Welcome to Tom McMasters' blog about being Mayor & life in Huber Heights
|This is the third year of my four year term as Mayor. This site is set up so that I can let you know my thoughts on City government and you can give me feedback on what you like and dislike about my performance as mayor as well as what is going on in the City. We can talk about anything here.
To the left you can post your own blog. You can also comment on the main articles. If you ever want to get back to the front page click on the top left part of the page that has the HuberResidents.org logo. Also, for quick notes or to tell you about upcoming events I often use my Facebook page.
As important as I'd like to think this website can be, if you really want to keep up with City government regularly look at the agenda items found on the City's Meeting Information & Audio / Video page
Monday council will vote to send some City Charter Amendments to the Ballot in November. One of those proposals makes it standard procedure for council to reveal major projects like the Aquatic Center and Music Center on the same night they decided to spend big money to get them started. The objective of this post is to convince council this is a bad proposal in hopes that they won't endorse going…
On July 11, 2016 there was an agenda item that council approved the possible sale of land the city acquired last year due to the owner not paying taxes for a number of years. There are about 80 acres and it is located next to Gander Mountain and behind Lowes. The agenda item talks about the possibility of the sale going to an entity that would put in a recreational facility.
What kind of…
In regards to your first objective… I think it is reasonable that you ask those types of questions. But I also think you should ask yourself this… why should the city get to sit back and provide nothing, but reap all the benefits? TIF is a pretty common thing used all across the country and in the rest of the world. The whole purpose of it is to encourage develepment.
As for your suggestion to slow down development…. this has already been going on for how many years now and still has many more to go. How long exactly do you want this to last?
Have you considered what happens if the city stops contributing and the developer pulls out? The developer is currently paying millions in debt on behalf of the city are they not? If DEC pulled out…. the city would have to start paying that debt again? Or find a third developer at that point to take all the risk because the city doesn't want to help.
Your second objective is basically just to prove a point that you have power or to get some revenge on what some council members told the news in the past? Tell me I didn't just read that. You should be less concerned about what some PAC is doing and more concerned about the city. That is just politics. That PAC failed to even get enough signatures to support their movement 2 years ago.
Can you please provide the specific rules in which you make the following 2 claims:
1. The 3 ways that an item on an agenda (.
2. The mayor can reject any agenda item for any reason
You claim those to be true, but what backs that up?
The rules of council referenced by Starline seem to back up his claim that the mayor has no such authority. Section N of the document below.
I have to agree with Starline's conclusion unless you can back up your claims. All that document says is the Clerk of Council is responsible (consulting with city manager and presiding officer) or an item can be compelled by 3 council members.
If the council itself doesn't want this "requirement", which doesn't seem to be anything official, why make such a big deal about it?
If you think the lack of a read aheads waste the council's time… then that is their choice. It is their own time they are wasting. The few public people who attend the meetings don't seem to care. They probably get more information out of it the way it is, because they have to hear all the clarifications.
I am a resident of Carriage Trails and also a resident of Huber Heights, as Carriage Trails is in Huber. With that being said city council is doing their due diligence by gathering as much information on this subject as possible. From what I have seen and gathered over the past couple weeks; are people seem to reacting with a lot of emotion, which in my experience can cloud critical thinking and ideal perception from sound decision making. Looking at this as a big picture standpoint as the City of Huber Heights, not just Carriage Trails, it is imperative to take into account whether or not the government subsistence is needed to further the development of Carriage Trails. The reason being; if the money is not needed to further develop and sell lots in Carriage Trails then the reality is the City could use that money for many other important things such as paying off debt for the aquatic center, the rose music center, and for water & sewer. However, if the research shows the sale of homes will diminish, slow, or stop if the subsistence is not paid then it may be a benefit for the City to pay the subsistence. With all of that being said, things I would like to know; are there other developers; or has the city entertained the idea, to look at other developers to see if there is any interest to take over the project if DEC pulls out? Is $199,000 the minimum DEC would take to continue to develop the 25 lots or has the city thought about offering a $50,000 or $100, 000 as a counter offer to DEC? That is not to say they can't pay the full asking price of $199,000 but this is simple negotiating tactics. As a citizen who has to manage my family budget if I can save money somewhere I am going to take advantage of it and do it. City council, in my opinion, has the same mentality which is why they are looking into this in order to make an informed decision. Other things I've heard from others representing some of Carriage Trails residents is if the developer pulls out the home values will drastically drop, HOA fees will quadruple, and the current residents will lose horrifically. This could all be true; however, I have not seen any facts to back up those comments. Dry Run LLC is the current company who cuts grass for the HOA, owned by Ken Conaway, who also is a stakeholder in DEC, to my understanding. I would be confident if the HOA were turned over to the residents and the mowing bid was publically open for contracts the free market system would prevail and a company would be willing to cut grass for less; therefore, not quadrupling the HOA fees. These are simply my thoughts and opinions. I do not want to see Carriage Trails fail as I have a vested interest; however, I do not want to see Huber Heights fail because we are all Huber residents. I will stop with this; if the new lots being developed are sold for more money than what earlier residents paid for their lots then in the long run this can/will raise property value for the residents of Carriage Trails. Obviously, this assumes the lots would still be sold at a higher price; however, if the lots would sell then not only does create a higher value for the existing homes already built it increases the revenue stream for the city…
I've found that when people talk to our current city council they listen. I also believe council both needs that scrutiny and they don't like it. In fact, they proclaim they want public input but then their actions discourage it. I’ve been trying for a year and a half to get more people to learn about what council is doing because I know with our feedback the city will end up with better government. This website is new online and I have a great vision on where it can go! Right now you can review the beginning of the Aquatic Center or “The Heights” or you can create a profile and start adding content to this site. This is a great project and I look forward to working with you to ensure we get good government here in Huber Heights.
This website theme has great potential especially since it is open source and free but I can see I'll need help to make it work. If you believe in the vision and you can write code for a website as sophisticated as this contact me. As useful as this site seems it loads pretty slow so if you know of another open source theme that does the same things contact me.
Also, I think if there are 8 of us willing to rotate through the committee meetings and then write about the key events we can improve this city. Contact me if you are interested.
Finally, if you have pictures of City events, construction, public areas or services I'd like to show them. Send them to me and I'll incorporate them into the site. Tom McMasters
Thomas and I went over to play tennis tonight. Even though it was nearly 90 degrees, I was happy to see others using the park. There were quiet a few trying to play Pokemon Go. A couple of the players stopped for pictures. You can see it is a game for all ages. There were others playing tennis and volleyball too.
Are there any tennis players out there that have organized a tennis ladder or other group method for getting a game?