Middletown Ohio


Find us on
 Google+ and Facebook


 

Home | Yearly News Archive | Advertisers | Blog | Contact Us
Friday, July 19, 2019
FORUM CITY SCHOOLS COMMUNITY
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Council should reflect
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Council should reflect

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Vivian Moon View Drop Down
MUSA Council
MUSA Council


Joined: May 16 2008
Location: Middletown, Ohi
Status: Offline
Points: 4187
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Council should reflect
    Posted: Oct 04 2010 at 3:04pm

Council should reflect on uncomfortable trend

1:32 PM Friday, October 1, 2010

While Middletown City Council prepares for its first meeting in October, today is an opportune time to review an unmistakable trend occurring in council chambers: The unwillingness of some members to trust the recommendations of city administrators.

Let’s get one notion straight before we proceed. We don’t elect City Council members to rubber-stamp every proposal that administrators put before them. We expect there to be healthy, constructive discussion — and even arguments. And we certainly don’t expect every vote to be unanimous.

However, there must be some middle ground between rubber-stamping and what’s been occurring for the past couple of years. Consider some examples:

• For two hours on Sept. 21, council debated and agonized over a recommendation from City Manager Judy Gilleland and community revitalization director Doug Adkins to fire the city’s Section 8 program contractor, Consoc Housing Consultants. In the end, council voted 6-1 to end its contract with Consoc, but the drawn-out discussion made clear that some council members had trust issues with the recommendation and with Gilleland and Adkins.

• Soon after Gilleland arrived in Middletown in early 2008, she recommended that the city turn over its Section 8 program to another governmental housing agency altogether, but previous council members ignored her and decided to keep it under the city’s purview.

• Later in 2008, when Gilleland recommended that another company be hired to replace Consoc, that council voted 4-3 to renew its contract with the company — despite concerns about performance — and to again ignore its city manager’s recommendation. Much of the turmoil we saw Sept. 21 could have been avoided if council had followed either of Gilleland’s Section 8 recommendations in 2008.

• A recent recommendation to update the city’s historic district ordinance was greeted with distrust by some council members who suggested administrators were trying to give the city’s historic commission too much power. The update was passed by a 5-2 vote after considerable discussion at two meetings.

• In late 2009, while trying to set a budget for 2010, Gilleland’s recommendation to downsize and reorganize all city departments was undermined when four council members voted at the last minute to delay eliminating four police and fire department jobs.

• Earlier this year, administrators were chagrined after they recommended a downtown land swap — that would have seen the city paying $95,000 for a property that had just sold for $50,000 — and council members correctly balked at the deal.

• In 2008, Gilleland recommended that council not grant a waiver on utility tap-in fees for the Atrium Family YMCA, but council voted to grant the waiver anyway — by a 5-1 vote.

• More recently, in late June, Gilleland and other administrators took a very public trip to the woodshed when council was forced to come up with an additional $170,000 to complete the Sutphin Street repaving project when undetected concrete deterioration was discovered by the contractor, delaying the project’s completion. (The project was to have been completely funded by a federal stimulus grant, and the needed $170,000 had to be diverted from other local accounts.) Some council members expressed concerns about administrators’ competency at the June 29 meeting.

These examples are not presented in order to judge whether the recommendations and subsequent votes were right or wrong; they’re presented in order to show that council has been unwilling or reluctant at times to follow the recommendations of the administrators they employ.

That’s not to suggest that council members are obliged to follow all recommendations without question; however, at some point, they must trust and let their staff do its job without interference. As a longtime City Hall observer, we don’t recall the three previous city managers — Ron Olsen, Bill Becker (now a council member) and Steve Husemann — receiving the same level of skeptical treatment and lack of respect that Gilleland has experienced in her 2½ years in Middletown.

Take this observation for what it’s worth. It’s neither an endorsement of the city administration’s performance and past recommendations, nor is it a call for a change in personnel. However, the situation is too obvious and uncomfortable to ignore.

Consider it a call for council members to reflect and to consider why they continue to employ administrators with whom they often seem to disagree and second-guess. After the sharp, tense exchanges between council members and administrators at the televised Sept. 21 meeting, it’s a question that is probably on many Middletown residents’ minds.

 

Back to Top
Nelson...Himself View Drop Down
MUSA Resident
MUSA Resident
Avatar

Joined: Sep 08 2010
Status: Offline
Points: 69
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nelson...Himself Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 04 2010 at 5:35pm
What..happened..to..the..supposed..MJ..expose'..on..waste..&..mismanagement..of..HUD..funds?
 
This..promise..was..made..to.me..over..lunch..by..Ed..Richter..&..Kevin..Aldrich..in..late..January..2009.
 
Is..the..Middletown..Journal..really..providing..hard-hitting..fair..&..objective..reporting..on..city..hall?
Back to Top
VietVet View Drop Down
MUSA Council
MUSA Council
Avatar

Joined: May 15 2008
Status: Offline
Points: 6883
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 04 2010 at 5:46pm
Nelson- didn't Eddie Richter get relegated to a rear echelon position covering out of town events. He isn't even in the circle of Middletown news coverage anymore is he? And Kevin Aldridge has been AWOL with any relevant news stories lately hasn't he? He's been on TV Middletown as a host of some show hasn't he? Really wasn't a major cog in the Journal hierarchy as to writing about important news. Just fill in stories occasionally, right?
Back to Top
Bill View Drop Down
MUSA Citizen
MUSA Citizen


Joined: Nov 04 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 701
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 04 2010 at 6:09pm
What the article doesn't mention is that many were not on council when city admin like Judy and certainly Kohler were hired.  Why should newer council be obligated to give deference to entrenched and ineffective admin?
Back to Top
accuro View Drop Down
MUSA Resident
MUSA Resident
Avatar

Joined: May 31 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 99
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote accuro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 05 2010 at 8:07am
 
Ahhhh....:the charmed life of the city double dipper!
 
 
 
 
An ignorant person is one who doesn't know what you have just found out. - Will Rogers
Back to Top
TANGO View Drop Down
MUSA Resident
MUSA Resident
Avatar

Joined: Mar 21 2010
Status: Offline
Points: 72
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TANGO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 05 2010 at 7:21pm

Maybe the jounal should reflect on some of things that has been brought to council to look at . Sometimes i think that to much of what the admin trys to legislate is of  there own agenda without taking into account whats good for  the city.  I do agee with  one thing, if they do not feel they can trust Gilleland and HER staff then replace them. IT maybe cold way to look at it but thats the way you move forward in tuff times

Back to Top
wasteful View Drop Down
MUSA Citizen
MUSA Citizen
Avatar

Joined: Jul 27 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 793
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wasteful Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 05 2010 at 8:13pm
What do you mean Tango, basically City Council gives their stamp of approval or disapproval to most of what the Admin wants.
 
They need to hand out boxing gloves at tonights meeting, just about got out of hand there for a moment.
Back to Top
Bill View Drop Down
MUSA Citizen
MUSA Citizen


Joined: Nov 04 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 701
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 05 2010 at 9:13pm
It's hard to say that "council" doesn't have faith in Judy as "council" doesn't seem to be able to agree on much.  They can't make up their mind whether the sky is blue or not.
 
If I were on council I'd be getting tired of AJ rambling on showing his ignorance every 5 minutes and Josh spouting his ideology.  Memo to Josh:  this lttle ol' town of ours doesn't need an ideology militant and we don't need your lectures about some concepts you learned in college classes a few years ago.  We need a practical approach and practical comments.
Back to Top
Paul Nagy View Drop Down
MUSA Citizen
MUSA Citizen


Joined: Jan 11 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 384
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Nagy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 05 2010 at 9:42pm
 Memo to Bill,
     You couldn't be more wrong!  Josh's lectures on representative government are exactly what we need and haven't had for many years. That's why the city got in the mess and stays in the mess its in. There is nothing more practical than representative government. If you don't think so ask Thomas Jeferson and all of our founding fathers and all of our young men and women who have given their lives for that practical principal. Josh continues to stand up for citizens rights instead of  special interests and I know that you know that.
      May Josh Laubaugh's tribe increase.
      Paul Nagy
     
Back to Top
TANGO View Drop Down
MUSA Resident
MUSA Resident
Avatar

Joined: Mar 21 2010
Status: Offline
Points: 72
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TANGO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 05 2010 at 10:16pm
wasteful look at the legislation that the admin. brought to the table. its a joke, just an other to get mooore money out of the people. Paul Nagy is right we need more council to look out for the people
GOOD JOB PAUL
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.148 seconds.
Copyright ©2019 MiddletownUSA.com    Privacy Statement  |   Terms of Use  |   Site by Xponex Media  |   Advertising Information