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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.

As we move forward in 2017 there are a couple issues you should be involved with to make sure they are done right.  First make sure we only implement the good parts of the Brandt Pike Revitalization Plan.  For the most part this means take the ideas and data found from the study and use them in other parts of the city.  Definitely we need to fight the idea of funneling the traffic away from Brandt Pike so that people are forced to use Troy Pike and Rt 4.  The other issue is this $2.5 million dollar water pressure zone North of I-70.  Today all evidence tells us that the pressure there is at or above the national average for municipal cities and by spending this money we will be over pressurizing many of the houses in that area.  I intend to write more on these issues soon. 

Lastly, this November will bring in elections for councilmembers and a mayor.  Take the opportunity to meet the candidates. 

Thank you and keep in touch.


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 

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News

Annual Sidewalk Program

Category: Huber Heights City Government

I think residents would benefit if during the discussion of the Annual Sidewalk program our read ahead material pointed to a webpage that showed how well it worked during the previous years.  This could be done by publishing a table like the one below that included every address in the previous year’s program and a short paragraph that explains the Max Invoice and Deduction column’s:
 

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Energy Aggregation Discrepancies and Questions

Category: Huber Heights City Government

Two items came up in the discussion of the Energy Aggregation  Plan and Governance that I believe needed more supporting documentation before council proceeded.  First, we finally got a copy of the contract we signed with the consultant and nowhere in that agreement does it address the .005/KWH fee we thought the consultant would receive for their services.  Second, the Plan and Governance tells

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Swing for the fence

Category: General

In this article I 

Swing for the fence      with a long shot proposal that will take a lot of quick work.  
Those of you that really want to see this city improve, here is an opportunity
to hit a home run for Huber Heights
 
 
Last election the residents of Huber Heights confirmed they know a Chief Administrative Officer that lives in the city will be invested and committed to making that

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Brandt Pike Revitalization Plan Discussion

Category: Huber Heights City Government

You can find the Brandt Pike Revitalization Plan Final Report here.
 
There are many interesting parts that we can use going forward and many scary parts that we need to put a stop too and many parts that are good ideas but suggested for the wrong part of town or wrong timing.
 
I will start with the scary parts.

 

Traffic Calming
Divert Traffic from Brandt Pike to Troy Pike   Advocating

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Older news

June 11th 2017, 10:07 AM How bias is the Mayor?
April 30th 2017, 12:22 PM Issue 7;  Residency requirement Yes or No
April 27th 2017, 11:49 AM Rick Stan for Council at Large
March 19th 2017, 11:53 PM 19th Amendments considerations
February 26th 2017, 3:09 AM Hiring PS&E is a big mistake
January 11th 2017, 6:59 AM Mayor's Vision - Part .2
November 11th 2016, 11:38 AM Should Thomas Cloud be baseball only?
October 23rd 2016, 9:03 PM Charter Amendments other than Issue 29
September 30th 2016, 12:07 AM Help Wanted - Defeat Issue 29
June 21st 2016, 7:23 AM City issues or Summer Fun?
June 7th 2016, 2:29 AM Water Pressure North of Rt 70

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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Town Center and Home

I just returned from visiting my parents on Father's day.  My parents still live in the house they bought in 1969.  Saturday night we were out on their back porch and we could hear music coming from a house a mile away.  It was the exact music I would be listening to when I was in high school.  I am not one that reminisces very much, but sitting there looking out on their back yard, I could not

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Memorial Day Service in Huber Heights

Every year our local VFW post provides us an opportunity to remember the solemn reason for this holiday.  The service takes place at Shearer Cemetery, across the street from the post office on Fishburg Rd, from 1 to 1:30 pm.

VFW Memorial Day Cereomy

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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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Older blog posts

March 29th 2017, 9:20 AM Law says slow behind bikes
March 28th 2017, 6:01 PM RTA Seeks Bus Drivers
March 10th 2017, 7:09 PM Good is a matter of perspective
February 1st 2017, 2:41 AM Good converversation with Mr. Campbell

 

Image of the day

Tax Split

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