McMasters for Council?

News: McMasters for Council?

Will you support my running for Huber Heights City Council?
I often listen to the recording of City Council meetings while driving.  The one nice thing about the pandemic was I didn’t drive to work and often did not subject myself to the frustration

As a member of Ward 6 I am not motivated to vote for a candidate that is frustrated at paying attention to our City Council. You might get frustrated at the activity or discussion, but if you are frustrated by listening to others….don't run.

I don't believe anyone made deceptive arguments against why the city could not address the water issue. There is a difference of opinion on how to proceed….either reactively or with a life cycle management plan that has yet to be developed that includes identifying the funding sources and plan of action.  It is inappropriate to compare the infrastructure issues that the city owns to the revitalization efforts that are largely commercial activities designed to generate a profit for the private sector.
The water infrastructure issue is an approximately $300 million dollar problem that will need to be addressed over the next 40 years.  A current backlog $21M for repair and replacement has been identified. The General Fund does not have sufficient funds to cover this.  A long term funding/revenue source must be identified. This will likely include both rate increases and continued tax revenue.
Just because you believe spending $20 million out of the General Fund to build new city buildings is more important than spending that same money on City infrastructure doesn't mean that money isn't available to those of us with different priorities.
Your advocating for reducing revenue at a time where the city is growing and needs new equipment and infrastructure to deliver everything from street sweeping to fire and police services is nonsensical. Roads need widened, more city employees are needed in engineering and code enforcement, more police officers are needed to address traffic laws which are disregarded by a large and growing segment of the driving public, and the list can go on and on.
Paul - you have misread this article.  I wrote exactly what I am advocating.  Residents should not vote to renew the levy that expires in 2025 at the May of 2023 special election.  The reason for this has a lot to do with Council wasting the great financial position they inherited in 2018 that was primarily set up by good read ahead materials and other verifiable written communications and a dedication to transparency that allowed council and all residents access to information that proved the difference in whether a project would: build roads to nowhere like the huge concrete planters used block Carraige Trails Blvd for two years proved, cost twice as much as planned as what happened when the "$6 million dollar" aquatic center turned in the $12 million aquatic center or instead be a project like the Music Center whose original budget was $19 million and ended up costing $19.2 million even after I made them add in costs they didn't originally want to count.  

I will state it again.  I do not believe residents should vote yes in May or ever if Council does not require staff to provide written read ahead materials so we can check and contribute to the wise spending of our money.  They should not vote yes until simple things like a web page that shows all the costs and revenues associated with major projects like the Brandt Pike Revitalization project are available and comprehensive.  They should not vote yes until a professional, executable 5 year Capital Improvement plan is published.

All these things could be done by May and if they are not then the vote should be no.  Then they could all be done by November and we can assess whether the vote should be no or yes.  
As a pretty informed and engaged citizen, I do not believe your positions as presented on your "McMasters for Council?" web page represent what is best for the future of the city.

I'd also mention that the reason that the city has the infrastructure issues it has includes the inattention to infrastructure and life cycle management of numerous past administrations, including your administration during your tenure as Mayor. Your sudden interest and rhetoric regarding the city's infrastructure has not been matched by your previous actions.
I appreciate that you are involved and take the time to do the research that you do. Keeping with my addressing one point at a time, I'll note that I do not remember your presence at meetings or comments on my blogs while I was in office so I'm guessing the vitriol nature and inaccuracy of your statement, "Your sudden interest and rhetoric regarding the city's infrastructure has not been matched by your previous actions." comes from that lack of personal knowledge.

In reality, I harped over and over again about the need for a 5 year capital plan (even though one is required in the City Charter there was not one for many years before I took office and as much as I mentioned the need on the Dias, I could not get Schommer and staff to produce one until two years into my term.) Though I was glad we finally started producing one I often noted it was not up to business standards.
Specifically on water, note this exchange from 2014 which can be found at this URL:

Couple of Special Meetings next Tuesday ( Admin Committee, Water and Sewer Board) -

Here is the text of an email I sent to staff with my observations and questions concerning the water and sewer reserves:

Subject: Five year plan on water and sewer
I believe if the intention really is to borrow the money from the Water and Sewer funds the city needs to do a five to ten year projection of water and sewer needs.  Things to include:
Present balances
Present debts
Short term and long term water and sewer needs
Project yearly sewer line replacement
Green Sand
Water Tower
Other capital improvements or maintenance
Projected TIF (development) borrowing and Carriage Trails subsides
Expected amount to be lent
Expected direct investment
Expected amount encumbered by promise
Projected ability to maintain rates
Payment schedule and mechanism for ensuring it occurs
Expected balances by year
Minimum reserves to maintain present services, rates and projected water and sewer needs and the calculations to show that this borrowing will not cause the funds to fall below that level.
Additionally, the concept of city wide water softening was highly regarded in the 2010 survey with more than 70% of the city showing support.  This matches my own read from people I talk with.  However, I've not been able to find anywhere on the city website a discussion on this subject.  It would be beneficial to have a white paper available on costs, time frame, feasibility.  If this turns out to be feasible show a plan that puts the water fund back to a place where it could support such a project.
If these are already available, I'd appreciate seeing them in their present form.
Tom McMasters
Mayor of Huber Heights
937 985-6275 (H) 937 985-6431 (D)
Paul Schaeffer I definitely appreciate your willingness to engage. You made a number of different points. I find it more productive to address one at a time. Concerning you assertion that nobody made any deceptive arguments about why the city couldn't address the water infrastructure.

Is Mr. Bell's comment, seen in this video where he claims if council were to budget $4 of the $21 million you mention is needed for the immediate water infrastructure needs, Montgomery County would throw his budget back at him, even remotely close to the truth?

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