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Welcome to Tom McMasters' blog about being Mayor & life in Huber Heights

I will not be running for re-election this year.

There will be four council seats and the Mayor's position up for election in 2017.  If you are thinking of running for any of these positions you should get started now.  It only takes 50 valid signatures to get on the ballot.  I always recommend getting 100.  The filing deadline is Feb 1st.  

Your first step should be to contact Campaign Finance at the Montgomery County Board of Elections (even the Miami County residents will have to file their petitions and reports in Montgomery County)

I am available to provide advice if you are interested.

Tom McMasters
Mayor of Huber Heights
 
Mayor Tom McMasters
 

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 

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

News

Rick Stan for Council at Large

Category: Huber Heights City Government
Rick Stan is the best choice for Council at Large because of his knowledge of finances.  Since my appointment of current Council Member Nancy Bryge is the worst decision I have made on behalf of the residents of Huber Heights, it should not come as a surprise that the best result of the May primary would be a November contest between Chase Warden and Rick Stan.
 
Even though Mr. Stan has been…

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Can we afford a Parks and Recreation Master Plan?

Category: Huber Heights City Government

Council needs to have a long discussion on how much money the city has before they authorize any money for a Parks and Recreation Master Plan.  There is good evidence that spending money on this plan will cause us to lose the ability to pay for more important priorities such as maintaining the park facilities we already own and bring our fire fighter/EMS manning levels closer to an efficient and effective standard.…

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Dave Wilson and Albert Griggs in November

Category: Huber Heights City Government

In the upcoming primary race for Mayor of Huber Heights, the most promising outcome would be a general election race between Mr. Wilson and Mr. Griggs. 

I had the opportunity to talk one on one with each of the three candidates earlier in the year.  
Here are some of my considerations that lead to my desire to see Mr. Griggs and Mr. Wilson advance to November. 

I had a nice hour long conversation

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Mayoral Debate - much appreciation for the work of the LWV's

Category: Huber Heights City Government

The Huber Heights Mayoral Debate was 6:30 April 20th at Weisenborn Middle School.  I missed the first 30 minutes because I went over to the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting to hear the discussion on the Parks and Rec Master Plan.  The part of the debate I saw was a good reflection on the LWV's and I am glad they did the work to put on this event.  As always though, it would be nicer if these

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Child endangerment, charter amendments and transparency all in one…

Category: Huber Heights City Government

I started writing this more than a month ago.  The ultimate objective is to advocate for more transparency by advocating for fewer executive sessions and better read ahead materials.  The last parts were difficult to write.
 
Although I intend to write about all the Charter Amendments in different articles, this article gives me the opportunity to tell you I recommend voting No on Issues 4,…

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Recent Comments

Thoughts on Signing of the 18th Amendment

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.

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Missing page that recently made the news

Why did you send the email to the news?

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Vice Mayor Starline missed the point in his opinion

Mr. Mayor,

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.

http://hh-cdn.cld3.bitstormweb.com/images/huber/council/rules_of_council_2016.pdf

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.

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Council needs to strengthen my authority to enforce the requirement…

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.

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Carriage Trails discussion

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…

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Site Purpose

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.
 
Tom

  


Flier

If you've come to this website because of a flier you probably want to see the City Lawyer's opinion paper first. At the very bottom of that page you can find a link to the flier for you to download it and pass it out yourself. 
 
Tom McMasters



Announcements

Web Designers, Authors, Ideas Wanted

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

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Arsenic In your private well?

I received this public service announcement from the Miami Conservancy District 

 

Private wells – Test for a silent killer 
By Mike Ekberg, Manager for Water Resources Monitoring and Analysis

There may a silent killer lurking in private wells used for drinking water.

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Law says slow behind bikes

House Bill 154 went into effect March 21, 2017

Read it for yourself here.

The interesting parts are provided in this summary.

- The new law requires a motor vehicle that is overtaking and passing a bicycle to provide a safe passing distance to the left of the bicycle of not less than three feet. The law states that when a bicyclist is in the roadway or riding on the yellow line along the shoulder,

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RTA Seeks Bus Drivers

I received this request from the RTA.
 

Dear Mayor McMasters:

As a trusted community partner we are seeking the City of Huber Heights’s assistance to help us identify candidates for professional bus operator positions at RTA.   These include both CDL and non-CDL positions which are full-time with excellent pay and benefits.  If you know people with a good work ethic and desire to improve their

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Older blog posts

March 10th 2017, 7:09 PM Good is a matter of perspective
February 1st 2017, 2:41 AM Good converversation with Mr. Campbell
November 11th 2016, 6:07 AM Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week

 

Image of the day

Tax Split

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