In this article I
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 city better. One way residents can assure Executive Officer residency is to change from a City Manager led government to a Strong Mayor form of government.
I see positive and negative aspects of both forms of government. Is Huber Heights big enough to find a resident qualified to run the city? How well has depending on council to select the Chief Executive worked out for the city?
Examining our current council and city manager, Strong Mayor becomes the right choice. I write today asking if you will help make this happen and in the process, chose me to lead the City through the transition period.
I respect Mark Campbell as the strongest member of council because he is a smart man and because he is organized. No other member of council comes close to being able to comprehend the subtleties of an issue as quickly as Mr. Campbell. However, normally when a city runs a project like building a music center there is a Project Manager on the city payroll & another for the construction company, each of which make about $100,000. For us that person was Mr. Falkowski, but we certainly could have hired an experienced person to take that roll. Instead we introduced a novel concept of inserting a third project manager into the mix that added almost a million dollars to the cost of the Music Center. That third project manager is the gentleman sitting in front of Mr. Campbell on a ride at Disney World Florida.
I respect Mr. Shaw and value his presence on council because of his ability to organize people. There is no city event as successful at drawing residents and performing useful work as the annual park clean-up. However, he used those skills to trick residents into voting for the one and done charter amendment. Recall, Mr. Shaw and I seemed to be on the same page in our desire to fix the emergency legislation problem so I trusted he would come up with good solution as part of the Charter Review committee. When he returned with his solution it resulted in council being able to reveal, vote on and implement a resolution all in the same meeting. He was able to get people to vote for this resolution because the announcements the city paid for in the paper claimed there was unanimous agreement on the amendment and because the ballot language made it appear like this amendment solved the emergency legislation problem.
I am glad Mr. Otto is on council because he is willing to listen and engage in conversation about city issues. However, when I pointed out the facts on the High-Pressure Water Zone his logic for supporting the project was “It just feels like we should do it” instead of supporting my call to document a real need for the $2.5 million dollar project. Mr. Otto, Mr. Campbell and Mr. Shaw have good attributes but need guidance from a leader with real authority.
When Mr. Schommer took the job of City Manager he came with a resume that qualified him as an entry level or $90,000 a year employee. Over the past three years he has performed to the level of his resume. The report provided on the Music Center financials is top notch. Going through the work to produce and publish reports like that pays off. Yet here it is July, and we have not seen the April 2017 City Manager report. The read ahead material for council meetings is substandard. Though I continue to ask, he does not provide updates to the unencumbered balance of our operating funds. Even if the rest of council would not know what to do with the information needed to make informed decisions, a $138,000 a year City Manager should have enough pride in their job to provide this valuable information anyway. The picture to the left is a screen shot of part of the city website taken 7 July 2017. It speaks volumes that our city manager allowed this message to take up space on the front page of our website since May 05, 2016. It also points to one of my main issues with his performance. This item appeared on our website because of my desire to make the deliberations of council open to the public. Instead of the transparent system I propose, council members meet with the City Manager individually where even the most outlandish proposal can be tailored to appeal to those council members
Our current City Manager led government wastes too much time in individual meetings that should be spent constructing verifiable documents for public discussion. To get a Strong Mayor initiative on the ballot this November would need 3 or 4 people to help re-write the charter (9 – 18 July) and 190 people to commit to gathering at least 10 signatures (20 July – 4 August). We are time constrained because after the one and done charter amendment passed, I decided to spend more time taking care of family issues I let slide the first 3 years of my term. I still have a lot of catching up to do at the house, but council actions compel me to at least offer residents the opportunity for responsible government through a Charter Amendment that converts the city to a Strong Mayor form of government which I will lead for the first two years of transition. If you are willing to be one of the editors or 190 petition circulators let me know through both my email addresses firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. You can also Facebook Message me.