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Thoughts from the 6/20/17 Council Meeting

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buddhalite View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Thoughts from the 6/20/17 Council Meeting
    Posted: Jun 22 2017 at 10:11pm
I attended this meeting - and was pleased to see that there were more people from the community in the audience.

The meeting went off without a bang - really not much to see here - some of you would say that is some sort of horrible thing - I don't know.  I don't necessarily disagree with much of what was done - however - I'm not going to provide the same play-by-play as I did last week (unless you really want to read it)....

However - I would like to take some of your time to make a firm statement right here and now about me and how I operate in the business and political realm in life....

Attitude Matters and Style Counts

This week's meeting was far more invigorating for me due to the after-meeting convo in the lobby than anything else.

Now, I really tried my best to keep you negative ninny's out here from affecting my thoughts on council, leadership and our City Manager - but one thing that has been repeatedly offered here as criticism is that there seems to be little to zero in the way of discussion of anything at our council meetings - matters are simply voted in unanimously without as much as a little banter about the issues....

As I have stated before - I don't believe it breaks any laws (Sunshine, ORC or otherwise) and that's it's perfectly legal for the council to proceed in such fashion.  But, I didn't say that it passes the smell test.

Now - I'm not going to name names here - but let's just say I walked out with one of our council members and we got in the same elevator and I was sorta pressed to ask whatever question that was on my mind - because there was a genuine desire to give me whatever answer I was searching.

As we conversed about that question - another of our city leaders joined in the conversation.  We had about a 15 minute pow wow - where I found out for real where the power within the city truly lies.

I'm not saying that this person isn't entitled to that power under charter - or otherwise - however there was a certain priggishness displayed almost immediately that I found both rightful and unbecoming.

Rightful in that I must say that this person has a job to do - and they have a very stringent view in their own minds about what powers that gives them, how they can handle city leaders and how they do what they do above reproach from others.

Unbecoming in that people have the right to ask questions, feel whatever way they'd like to feel about any given issue and have all the trust or distrust they wish in their city leaders.

I was accused of asking for council to become a 'dog and pony show' - and well, yeah.  I can in some way subscribe to that theory......it seems that some of our leaders have forgotten who pays the bills, their salaries and/or stipends and that it's our right as citizens (especially because this city has more than three fingers in my wallet at all times taking my money for every matter under the sun while my street is STILL in major disrepair) to question our leaders to ensure that they are representing us as we wish. 

Sure - we have a strong Manager/weak Council form of charter for the city - and I can't say that it needs to change or be modified just quite yet - but I can for sure at this moment say that my high school debate teacher was correct - being assertive for the sake of being assertive only proves the first three letters of the word.

I can see why people could be frustrated with our current city management - I'm getting there - but for different reasons from most of you.  

In business - I've often found that harshness for the sake of being harsh - often only results in the objects of said affection becoming disaffected and detached from the work at hand.  I used to work with a woman at Gannett who is exactly as I described.  She as a result - achieved positional elevation solely due to the Dilbert principle - but could solely destroy a healthy P&L simply by rubbing a few people the wrong way.

In politics - I've found much the same.  Some politicians rub the cat against the grain of the fur - and are the outcasts of their body.  Sure - they author a bill here and there - and support others when there's gain for them - but otherwise they live a live of solitude - except for when they must interface with others.

I'm sure you're wondering what in the name of Sam Hill I'm talking about right now - but let me sum it up this way:

If every citizen who approaches certain people in leadership is dismissed in the same way - it really doesn't matter how good someone's ideas might be - without the public buy-in it doesn't matter.......right?

Well - some of you would say that assumption is affirmed - I'm a bit miffed, and not sure how to take it...

Technically speaking - it only matters if the leaders of the city get their shorts in a twist over it....

All that I am saying is that I'm a Christian - and a Baptist - and I've studied and read the book.  I've counseled with preachers who know far more than I ever have/will - and they all seem to agree with the Word in that...

A kind answer turneth away wrath.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. 

I want to help this city - I want this city to thrive - I want this city to be the best it can be.  If this is how it has to be - I'm not sure I want any part of it.  

Now - all I stated was that there seemed to be no discussion of anything at the council meetings - and it launched a discussion that felt heated at moments - that there isn't supposed to be any.

Well - you know - I don't take that as an answer.  I feel that our council members should have some public debate, some public comments and such about matters.  For what it's worth - I want to know where the members stand on every issue.  I can't believe that EVERY SINGLE ISSUE is unanimously accepted by all 5 members of the body.....the odds of that are almost 0 for anyone who attended statistics class.

Oh well - I guess - yes.  I guess that all the measures being approved have already been flushed out and questions answered and everything is sure to be all hunky-dory long before the public meeting so there's nothing needed to question - but you know, it sure makes me feel better about my leaders actually doing something at the meeting rather than just saying 'YES' repeatedly.

And that's the second point.  Style matters.  Right now - there's no style - and don't dare ask for it either.  All you'll get is a blank stare and a retort - "What - you want a dog and pony show?!?!?"

No - not really - I just want to know that Mr. Adkins, Mayor Mulligan and all the council members have actually read, studied, looked at, perused, questioned and ensured each issues propriety before unanimously voting.  

Plus, promising a good fight and not delivering is the best way to draw a crowd....  :-) 
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)
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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 23 2017 at 7:38am
Bob:
"However - I would like to take some of your time to make a firm statement right here and now about me and how I operate in the business nd political realm in life....

Attitude Matters and Style Counts"

Bob, were you a cheerleader or "positive thinking" seminar counselor in your former life? Please stop all the rah rah crap. It doesn't work in today's working world. Too many negative roadblocks thrown by managers toward workers to be believed. Too much favoritism for some by managers and exclusion of certain ones in the workplace to be believed as well. Heard all the "pump you up" and "positive attitude" seminars for one lifetime. They rarely work and are just a way to get out of the routine work for most. You listen to the feel good, everything can be better seminars and then you go back to the same old negative working climate caused by company policy, managers and business owners, especially in the corporate world. It is a mean and vicious cutthroat climate that they create.

Bob, the major portion of your post is just a revisit of what we have been posting for eight years now. It is a summary of what is recorded within this forum. It is an observation of what drives our resistance, anger, frustration and out and out hatred at times, toward this city government. We see Adkins as leading the council around by the noses. The council as spineless bobbleheads who automatically nod yes to everything they are told to approve. They have no reason to think on their own nor to be objective. They are mere puppets who sit behind a desk and go through the motions of council meeting criteria. Decisions are made as to outcomes BEFORE council meetings and the meetings are only a public display to record and make legal their decisions. Resistance from citizens is futile unless they have the numbers and then, the city manager, council and the political machine is still in the driver's seat.

The MMF organization runs the direction of the city. Powerful, influential, yet misdirected and town destroying people who sit behind the scenes telling the city government what direction to take at each juncture. Research the list of members to see who comprises the MMF. Larry Mulligan and Ken Cohen are two for a start. Mulligan likes the control game. He should know better as he has been here as long as I have. Hell, I played ball at Smith Park with Cohen back in the 50's. Both remember the town when it was good but still condone the destructive direction it has taken in recent years. Their vision has not been healthy for the city.

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Douglas Adkins View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Douglas Adkins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 23 2017 at 9:56am
I'll reiterate what I said to you the other night. My belief and "style" is that Tuesday night is about doing the City's business. If I've done my job well, there shouldn't need to be much discussion.

We had times in the past where people sometimes showed up on Tuesday night and weren't prepared to do business. In that mode, we often tried to figure out major policies and issues on the fly without proper thought. That, in my mind, is a terrible way to run a city.

It's my job to fully explain what I'm asking them to do and prepare them with all needed information to fully understand the issues and the policies behind the issues before they step foot into the Chamber on Tuesday night.

I've been a City Councilman and a Vice Mayor before. I've run a campaign and won office. I know the types of questions I wanted answered before I showed up to vote at the Council meeting. That's the way I prepare our City Council for each meeting. If there are surprises, then I didn't do my job very well on that issue.

I'm happy to answer questions. If you get the packet and have questions, send them to me. I'll answer them and you can post them here or wherever you wish. We put the packet out the week before, so you should have enough information to understand what I am proposing and why.

On Tuesday, the meeting is to conduct the City's business. If you come up and spend your three minutes asking questions about things I've already answered in the packet, I'll refer you back to the published materials. If you ask the questions early, I'll have answers for you before the meeting, so you already know what is going on. If you show up on Tuesday and ask questions, we'll take those questions down, and I'll respond later with the answers. Earlier is always easier and better.

If you ask a question that genuinely affects the vote of Council on an issue, then again, I didn't do a very good job on that issue of explaining why I am asking them to pass the legislation.

Keep in mind that they have my five year plan, the budget, and a ton of information that they have gone through over the course of their term in office that prepares them for many of the questions you have. They already know the answer from past meetings and/or documentation.

We may have to agree to disagree here.

I have a style. It's conduct the City's business in an efficient, professional manner and go home. No theatrics, no shows for the sake of putting on a show.   That will continue to be the way I conduct the meetings while I am Manager.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 23 2017 at 11:03am
It wasn't me you talked to and pardon the interruption, but I have some thoughts on your response.

Mr. Adkins:
"I'll reiterate what I said to you the other night. My belief and "style" is that Tuesday night is about doing the City's business"

THE CITY'S BUSINESS is the topic

Mr. Adkins:
"It's my job to fully explain what I'm asking them to do and prepare them with all needed information to fully understand the issues and the policies behind the issues before they step foot into the Chamber on Tuesday night"

And that falls under city business and should be conducted in full view of the people you serve. Why away from the public? Discussion about (your words),,,"fully understanding the issues and policies" BEFORE.....BEFORE, they step foot into the Chamber on Tuesday night" Again, discussion of city business, which is what this is about, should be discussed in REAL TIME IN FRONT OF THE PEOPLE and the people SHOULD be able to observe the interaction in the discussion that now occurs, in your own words, OUTSIDE the Chamber.

Mr. Adkins:

"I have a style. It's conduct the City's business in an efficient, professional manner and go home. No theatrics, no shows for the sake of putting on a show.   That will continue to be the way I conduct the meetings while I am Manager"

And again, you left out one very important issue as to trust within the community. You mentioned efficiency, professionalism with no theatrics which is commendable BUT, you didn't mention that you would not conduct city business out of sight of the people. Very important and it is not being done according to what you have written here. You are basically pre-programming the council people on the direction you want the proposals to go and, whether you agree or not, influencing their opinion on any given matter. We don't want our council people to be "pre-influenced". We want them to make their decisions in front of their constituents in real time, not pre-planned time.

Mr. Adkins:
"That will continue to be the way I conduct the meetings while I am Manager".

This statement makes it sound like council is working for you rather than council representing the people and being your bosses. They do the hiring of the city managers right? Seems they are allowing you to dominate the meetings and have given you free reigns to do it your way rather than dictating council format protocol themselves. This isn't suppose to be a courtroom with you as prosecutor dominating the room but it certainly looks that way as council sits silently with absolutely no input while you do all the presenting.....and there is always the automatic yes vote after you are done that offers more support of the pre-programmed decisions. Almost as if it were pre-rehearsed. Why?
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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whistlersmom View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2017 at 11:43am

Sadly, our City Manager has apparently signed off of this forum with his last post and thumbed his nose at us after stating, in dictator fashion, how he will run the city according to his five year plan (of unknown content, to us). And he says it’s going to stay that way as long as he is Manager.


Sadly, Vet has said it right, Council and Mayor Mulligan ARE WORKING FOR ADKINS. Therefore Council is in complete dereliction of duty … they are in no way representing their constituents. They are representing Doug Adkins! And they seem sheepishly happy about it. But, just in the back of your mind, don’t you want to question just why it’s so easy for Adkins to hold such sway over Council??? Think about it.


Even more sad is the way Mr Adkins keeps pompously stating that it’s his job to inform, prepare and instruct Council on EVERY issue (all of which he initiates) before Council meetings. That means there is no time “wasted” having to answer questions in council meetings. Doug wants to “conduct the City’s business … and go home.” And since virtually everything is done on emergency basis the public has no chance to ask questions or get clarification of the workings of our city government. Oh yeah, he says he will answer questions before or after council meetings, depending on when you send him the “packet” but none of those questions and answers will ever be seen by the public or be recorded on YouTube. The obsessive need to keep city government processes out of the public eye seems very suspect.


At the very least, the spirit of the Sunshine Law has been circumvented.


And Buddhalite … this is not “negative ninny”ism. It’s just the facts.


Mr. Adkins stated that he has been a city councilman and a vice mayor. I have not seen any records that indicate where this occurred or the duration of office. Anybody know?? Doug??? It would be interesting to know what they thought of Doug’s performance.


How far into his five year plan are we? Two +? It sounds like he will only “want to be here” (as he said) for that five year plan duration. In two+ years we may be left holding the bag while he uses his experience gotten here to “go run (ruin misspelled?) a city with new infrastructure, less crime, more money and less problems.”


So far (first two+ years) we have not improved our situation with his “efficient professional manner” (rather the opposite). So he had better hurry in order to “leave the city in better shape”!! We should be closer to his above described ideal city if we follow his plan. Right??? Besides, none of the sheep on Council have offered an alternative plan. And Council will send him off with glowing reports on his managerial skills.


Council has forgotten and even forgiven that while he was Revitalization Director he lost the management of and thereby any monetary gain (millions of $’s in management fees) from the Section 8 housing program. HUD took away control of the program from Doug and then city manager, Judy Gilleland, because (even after several warnings) they refused to follow the rules. THEN Council gave Doug the City Manager position followed soon thereafter by a $25,000 a year raise FOR GIVING US A GOOD SCREWING! Great job Doug and City Council, you are responsible for this!! How can council consider this to be good management?


How will Council’s sheep ever conduct city business without Doug? Will they be able to pull the wool off their eyes and get out from under a long list of financial burdens which were authored by Doug, passed under council sheep noses and quickly bobble head approved?


Burdens like … 1). City owned blight that will have to be torn down 2). Management of a growing population of drug addicts (brought about by Doug’s mismanagement of Section 8 housing) 3). Inability to attract industry & larger businesses that will provide jobs and bolster our shrunken tax base 4). Reestablishing the amenities that Doug was so eager to give away or tear down … golf course, swimming pools and parks!!! There’s more but you can fill in the blanks and begin with the poor, poor, very poor performance of our schools inside the very expensive new buildings.


I’m betting this will be read by city officials but there will be NO RESPONSE. Their policy of ignorance of their constituents has served their purpose so well so far.




"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2017 at 5:07pm
Whistlersmom -

Thank you once again for your thought-provoking insight and analysis of the actions and consequences of senior city staff and city council.

Over the years, it is people like Vivian Moon, Acclaro, Spiderjohn, etc. who offer far, far more than just complain about the malaise of the present in comparison to the Middletown of old.

You critique priorities, policies, plans and programs where criticism is due.

You present alternative approaches that will successfully and economically address the abundance of deficiencies now harming the Middletown populace.

You are a sensible change agent who is making a positive difference and represents what many consider to be the proper course of action and citizen-based governance for Middletonians.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chief Muterspaw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2017 at 7:33pm
You all have despised and criticized every city manager the council has hired over the years. You have also criticized every Council.

You wanted new blood, you got it. You wanted the new manager you got it. You wanted new council people you got it. But it's still not good enough. The number one problem in Middletown is it people live in the past and can't move on and they love to criticize but they never want to jump in and do the work. I see it every day and I live it every day.

Take it what it's worth from someone who's lived here their whole life other than going away to college for a few years and someone who works out of the city building... The grass isn't always greener on the other side. It's easy to criticize from the stands when you're not up to the plate hitting.

Thought we really made some progress at the meeting a few weeks ago even though most Of you who talk so much didn't show up. Guess I was wrong.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2017 at 4:23am
Chief Muterspaw -

As per your post, should MUSA participants infer that you endorse the housing and community development priorities, policies, plans and programs promulgated over the past eight years?  Also, should MUSA participants infer that you agree with the utilization of multi-millions in HUD and other taxpayers dollars to generate highest and best use, cost effective downtown, older neighborhoods and economic development endeavors?  Outside of other important public safety priorities, policies, plans and programs not discussed herewith, do you see short- and longer-term increases in home ownership, property valuation, property conditions, downtown physical and economic revival, median household income, etc.?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2017 at 8:31am
Chief:

"You all have despised and criticized every city manager the council has hired over the years. You have also criticized every Council.

You wanted new blood, you got it. You wanted the new manager you got it. You wanted new council people you got it. But it's still not good enough"

Easy answer for this Chief. The city managers, council members and the city agenda have not changed just because the players have changed. The city leaders are playing the same game, just changed players. The city managers and current and former council members are (were) cookie cutter people cut from the same mold as the previous ones. We the people are forced to elect cookie cutter candidates because that is all that is offered at election time. Josh Laubach was elected for the Third Ward at one time because he offered a ray of hope and something different from the cookie cutter crowd. Didn't last long either as we suspect he was ousted under the backroom pressure generated by Mulligan and company. Members of council who want to think outside the box find themselves outside looking in apparently and they soon disappear from the political landscape around here. Mulligan's MMF machine keeps churning out production line/all the same type candidates to fill the council seats leaving little choice for voters who want change.   

There has been no change (until, perhaps lately with Adkins) in the city's operation and thinking in the last four decades for us to change our minds and thus, stop complaining. The city leaders change what hasn't worked in four decades, show some actual progress and positive outcomes and that will give us a reason to change our opinion of things around here. Until that happens, the "complaining" will continue until the right focus and direction is achieved.

Chief:

"It's easy to criticize from the stands when you're not up to the plate hitting."

The city won't listen to us nor take our advice therefore, we never make it up to the plate to hit. The city has had a habit for decades of not listening to the people, especially council. Closed ears, closed minds and a lack of respect for the people have ruined any chance of city government and the people forming a close relationship.

Chief:

"Take it what it's worth from someone who's lived here their whole life other than going away to college for a few years and someone who works out of the city building... The grass isn't always greener on the other side"

Chief, take it for what it's worth from someone who has lived here since the late 1940's, the grass use to be a hell of alot greener on all sides back then. The city has gone downhill in many respects, especially in the last four decades. If it hasn't hit rock bottom now, it is very close.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2017 at 3:20pm

Chief:

When you say “you all” I am assuming you mean those of us on this forum who are of an opposing opinion to city management and council. For what it’s worth take it from someone (me) who is a fourth generation Middletonian who has refused to abandon my home town, even when, more recently, the grass has looked a lot greener elsewhere. My property has been targeted by vandals and thieving drug addicts. I keep loaded firearms in my home for personal protection because I feel that the city’s police force is overwhelmed and unable to provide adequate protection. This condition has come about in part because of poor judgment and lack of informed leadership in the city building. You are not the only one who has to “live it everyday” … we ALL do, and we all feel the loss of our former All American City.

My family is neither affluent nor poor, prominent nor obscure. But good citizenship was always important to us. Not everyone can or should be in public service. We may have been in the stands at times but we have been in the trenches just as often. I am here and now doing what I can to raise awareness and enlist others in fighting for what we/they think is right. As to your accusation that the people in Middletown “don’t want to jump in and do the work” ... I think you must be unaware of the shabby treatment by city officials of citizens who have volunteered their time and effort to improve or correct some smaller (but not insignificant) problems that they have observed. And this volunteerism has been done with the knowledge of the city and well within any city regulation of such activity. The city was not concerned about these little problems until they decided to displace the volunteer(s) with a bureaucratic committee who then either ripped apart volunteer work or took credit for it themselves. And the city probably had to pay another bureaucrat a salary plus benefits.

I do not claim any special privileges for having been here virtually my entire life. Every legitimate concerned citizen should have equal rights and privileges regardless of station in life or duration of residence here. And that includes the right to be fairly represented by our elected officials and to voice our opinion of their performance. It’s my opinion that those rights have been usurped, and reserved for a privileged few … some of whom may be in or closely associated with the city building.

We (the “you all” group) are not and do not wish to be living in the past as you suggest. My post which, I think, is what you are responding to, does not mention our stellar past or use it as a comparison to the present. But since you brought it up … good point! There is no comparison!

The more RECENT past is where the REAL PROBLEMS have occurred. That’s when the city government really screwed up and Doug is ever present in 90% of the screw up. Though I can not understand how you continue to miss the obvious here’s a partial list … AGAIN … HUD, Section 8 and the heroin epidemic; loss of industry, jobs and tax base; academically poor performing schools in expensive new buildings; lack of funding for roads while Doug’s accounting department plays shell games with funds; our best amenities, golf course, pools and parks are given away or torn down; city owned blight not torn down; misuse of funds for blight to illegally raze commercial buildings by falsely claiming they are residential; razing repairable abandoned homes while ignoring unsafe housing occupied by addicts and on and on … PLUS the loss of our good reputation to become the financial and moral laughing stock of the region, state and possibly the nation.

Up to now I’ve said very little about Doug’s initial position with Middletown as City Prosecutor mainly because the mistakes he made there might involve you and I didn’t want to lose the dialog we had established with you on this forum.

But now, here it comes!!! The police, the law director, and Doug (as Prosecutor) I believe, have colluded to carefully hide police misconduct on a number of occasions.

First, the illegal recording in the city jail of privileged lawyer/client (city jail inmate) conversation. Boy that could really help (the City Prosecutor) Doug’s case. Wasn’t the city sued over this, Chief? Do you know how much that cost us taxpayers?

Next, the property room!! It was found virtually empty, no records were kept or could be found of transfer of materials in or out. There should have been files for evidence in current court cases. What had happened to confiscated drugs? The officer who was in charge of the property room was accused by the city but she proved in court that she had followed direct instruction NOT TO MAKE OR KEEP RECORDS for the property room. This was settled out of court likely to avoid public scrutiny of city/police misconduct/incompetence. How expensive for Middletown tax payers was this? How is the property room being handled now? The public should be demanding to know, especially the status and whereabouts of recent volumes of confiscated drugs.

Next, remember the incident where a man was run over and killed by a police cruiser? That was settled out of court too and was expensive ($750,000 worth of our tax dollars). Next, Jimmy Cunningham!! How many times was he suspended then almost immediately returned to duty with a promotion and raise? Didn’t one suspension involve excessive use of force? We were told that the reason for another more recent suspension would never be revealed to the public. Why should we, who provide his pay check, have information about his conduct withheld from us? What are you hiding? … And Chief, there’s always more. Have you personally looked through the court records? I promise you some eye openers!!

Our elected city government is responsible for ALL of the above debacle and it occurred without voter approval and it was often done out of sight and beyond our control. I think that deserves, in your own words to be “despised and criticized.” Council’s actions appear to me to be UN-American, and often unconstitutional! We wanted a new manager but we had no choice about who it was. And Council chose Doug even though they were aware (or should have been) of his blatant mistakes, incompetence and refusal to abide by the rules of the Federal HUD Program. He really was and is just continuing the flawed policies of his predecessor, Judy G. Newly elected Council are always quickly indoctrinated to be bobble-heads for Doug’s five year plan to finish off our city. No matter what new council is elected they morph into the same good ole Council that Doug has under complete control.

Most voters have lost interest, the city is demoralized after being robbed, ignored and their protests considered beneath Council’s attention. But some of us haven’t given up and Doug, we intend to keep pointing out your mistakes until some changes are made and continue to be made. Or, until you are replaced. Achieving that may require the total replacement of council and mayor of this city. And Council, that is within the realm of possibility!

P.S. Chief, didn’t Doug ask you to respond to us for him?? He’s too chicken to do so himself because he knows we are right. And the same goes for all of City Council. Sad for you to have to bear the brunt of criticism for them. And it’s a shame that you must do their biding in order to keep your six figure job.

P.P.S. The Java Johnny meeting was poorly attended because it was not advertised to the public. Only a few bloggers knew about it. Most of the topics and questions the bloggers had would have been directed to Doug. But Doug purposely gave no notice of his intention to show up. And some of us would not attend such a small gathering because we want to avoid city harassment for having exercised our constitutional right to speak our mind.





"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Chief Muterspaw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2017 at 5:31pm
I will respond to you and this will be my last post here. If any of you want to know what's going on in the Police Department follow our Facebook page as we have over 17,000 followers. Compared to the site which has minimal followers. For those on here who I know and will sit down and talk with us I'm sorry it has come to this and I really appreciate your relationship with us. You guys do a great job and you are appreciated by us.
You mentioned highly paid bureaucrats in the city building. I take it that you have not done your homework as the city has less management then it's ever had since I've been there. The police department has five less supervisory positions, the fire department has less supervisory positions, there is no assistant city manager or public safety director anymore. I keep hearing about all these fluff positions that the city has but yet we have about 300+ Less employees then we had when I started and not even close to the management numbers that we used to have. So that is false. All you have to do is ask for the positions and you will see for yourselves.

Let's talk about your infatuation with the past. You mentioned section 8, this was brought in by past council members and other people who have nothing to do with the city anymore. The city has reduce that since they all left but again we are paying for the sins of our former management. Again that is in the past. Section 8 has always been a problem but none of us brought it here.

I always chuckle about people complaining about the lack of pools in Middletown I was a street supervisor when they took the pools out. There was literally nobody going to the polls in the summer anymore. You could drive by the pools on a hot July or August afternoon and there was maybe two or three people in the pools. Water parks, above ground pools changed that. The last two years the pools were open attendance was down maybe 60 or 70%. It was sad to watch. So people need to quit complaining about the pools because nobody went to them the last few years they were open.

You mentioned jail recordings. Again way in the past. The sergeant who is in charge of all of that has been gone for probably 10 years. Did they make mistakes? Obviously they did but again in the past.   What do you want us to do about that now? Do you want us all to sit and wish it didn't happen. It was a decade ago.

The property room. Again over a decade ago. The players involved in that are gone. That was three chiefs ago. But you keep bringing it up. What do you want us to do? Would you like us to go back in time and change it? Since then the property room has had a complete overhaul software change, system change, stocking change And new property officers. It is now civilianized and the city fixed the problem. The supervisor who is in charge of that retired from here over a decade ago. But again you keep bringing it up because you have nothing better to do than complain about the past like I said. Now the property room has annual audits and has a totally different system. But that still will not change the past in your eyes. You need to move on from the past but for some reason you can't.

The man who was run over by the cruiser and killed. Tragic. But also the man was intoxicated walking across the street at 2 o'clock in the morning in black clothing. The officer was speeding to a emergency call and did not see him. Very tragic but again this was probably more than 10 years ago. Matter of fact it was more than 10 years ago. Again you are talking about the past, more than 10 years ago.

You keep mentioning lawsuits like those or a bad thing with just the city of Middletown. Police departments in cities get sued constantly. Matter of fact it's one of the most common lawsuits in the nation. Every time somebody gets arrested they tend to Sue. We have lawyers in this town who Sue every time one of their clients get arrested hoping to get a dime from the city. About every time someone feels wronged against a city or government they sue. Why? It's because that's where the money is. We get sued all the time it's nothing new and it's not uncommon. You can do everything right in this job if you're still going to get sued and that is what every police agency across the nation knows.

Next you mention the Lieutenant which that incident was about 3 to 5 years ago. That was under a different chief and he was suspended and it was taken care of. The city did not have to pay out a bunch of money on a lawsuit. It was a disciplinary issue that was addressed. There was nothing covered up or under the table. It was in the paper, the news media for a whole month. There was an accused use of excessive force by someone but it was never proven. Nobody is hiding anything, if you want to know about any suspensions come to the city building and request them through public records. If you have questions do that. Don't sit here and gripe and complain when the option is to come down and get it yourself.

Next, you say the open forum at Java Johnnys was poorly advertised. Really? It was on here for three weeks beforehand and only two people from this blog showed up so you knew about it and you didn't come. As far as poorly advertised we have had six or seven community forums since I have been the chief and we have literally had 50 people or more at several of them. Where were you? The journal advertised it over and over and it was all over social media. Please don't act like we're trying to sneak these forums in because we advertise the heck out of them and people do show up. The one for this blog was for you the ones who are complaining and you did not show, plain and simple.

Our relationships with our community is better than it's ever been. We have over 3000 people show up to our national night out. We work with the schools in the churches to provide Christmas gifts for needy families and Halloween for disabled kids. We are constantly working with our neighborhoods in our community to make people feel safer during this heroin craze. I meet constantly with our pastors all across the city and lunch with our activists and community leaders informal and formal a lot. We spend so much time building relationships with our citizens and for the first time we have an open door policy downtown. It's never been like that, ever. All you have to do is look around. We have people left and right joining with us in this ridiculous heroin fight. Our community is tighter than it's ever been since I've been here.   I am proud of hill at what we are building in what we have built. And for you to say Doug Adkins is afraid to talk to you guys while he was there at Johnny's and he was very direct and he was very approachable - well you're just wrong, completely wrong.

I wish you all well and like I said if you want to hear what we're saying in see what we're doing join our Facebook page. It's under the Middletown division of police and it's one of the best pages in Ohio.

Take care MUSA,

Rodney

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2017 at 9:12pm
Chief Muterspaw -

Once again, I respectfully submit the following three questions to you for your answers:

1)  In terms of the city's community revitalization endeavors of the past eight years, do you believe that multi-millions in HUD and other taxpayer funds were spent for the highest and best uses?

2)  Do you believe that these community revitalization funds were spent in an exemplary, cost effective manner?

3)  Do you believe that downtown, neighborhood betterment, infrastructure and economic development priorities, policies, plans and programs of the past eight years should be continued with little to no modifications over the coming years?

Thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2017 at 10:06pm
Analytical,

I can sympathize with your three questions but shouldn't you be asking them of someone else?  I like Chief Muterspaw - he's a great man and a terrific law officer - but those questions are way out of his wheelhouse and I'd rather him be the most effective Police Chief in Ohio than fielding questions like that.

It all goes back to what I have said in the past....the past is the past and we've got to pick up the pieces and move on.

I wrote what started this thread out of a sincere heart - not to solicit responses - not to anger anyone - but I truly believe that attitude and style matter - and that's much of why the concerned citizens of this forum and the leaders of our community tend to butt heads too much.  Style, attitude and altitude - all three matter.

I just asked a simple question which started all this and it goes back to a previous discussion here about the sunshine laws, etc. and frankly I think that Mr. Adkins could be a little less harsh - knock off the hard edges - and if he did, and we all gave him a chance to really speak from the heart about his passion for our community, his plans and desires....we'd be on his side 90% of the time and be willing to help, work and popularize his ideas.

All I'm saying is that - no Viet, I was never a motivational speaker, but my points are still very valid - style counts and I think we could all use a bit more of it.

Furthermore - Chief, you have my full respect and I wish that both of my boys will have a long and prosperous life here in our fair city and I believe that our safety is first and foremost in making that happen.  My hats off to you and all your staff for making Middletown a great place to live and work - and here's to it just getting better day after day. After meeting you in person and hearing your passion for keeping order in Middletown - I know we are in good hands.

Additionally, Mr. Adkins - I tried to be vague enough that I didn't single you out in my initial comments, but I want to thank you for being the opposite of everything everyone here seems (ok, not all, but close) to think you are.  I find you to be extremely intelligent, well-thought and purpose-driven...all great characteristics of a good man and an even better manager.  As I have stated before to you personally - don't ever hesitate to contact me anytime for any reason, if it will better our community, count me in.  I don't care if it's cooking weenies on a grill for an event - I want this city back on its feet and ready for the growth that I expect to see in the next 5 years or so.

Bob
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 26 2017 at 6:04am
Bud Bob -

Please know that there's always a direct correlation between the overall health and sustainability of a community in comparison to the caseload size/severity of its' public safety challenges.

As a lifelong resident of Middletown, Chief Muterspaw is comparable to VietVet, SpiderJohn, Vivian Moon, etc. in knowing first-hand how Middletown has declined over time.  The work of his department has been/is directly affected by the hoped for competence and effectiveness of Middletown's community revitalization priorities, policies, plans and programs.

Given the above, and in response to your unsolicited critique of my three questions for Chief Muterspaw, he is the perfect person from which to elicit responses.  Since he is the Police Chief, directly reports to Mr. Adkins and is a staunch advocate of the "chain of command," his opinions would be useful.  I say this knowing that the probability of his answers might be unlikely.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 26 2017 at 9:00am
I like and respect the chief, though I didn't agree with his comments here yesterday. He probably wishes now that he had simply sat on his hands instead of what he authored. Plus he probably stepped on his wiener when he made the embarrassing statement that he was "done and out of here for good--goodbye"---we know that curiosity  will get the best of him eventually.

He wouldn't want to be stereotyped as same to others around and before him, and those posting here don't all think and act the same way either. Pretty much an easy way out. Then you have trolls like middiemom and m29 adding their disrespect and negativity(sad unhappy people imo).

I skipped the latest "meeting"--outrageous to some--nbd to me(though I would have been more interested if I had known that mr.A and a council member would participate). I(and MANY others here) have attended similar sessions for decades, with the end result always being business as usual. I would be more interested in listening than speaking--I have nothing new to say. Actions pretty much speak for themselves.

I understand why Mr.A deals with Council like he does, but in some ways don't agree with it. Citizens want to hear the discussions and reasoning behind decisions. When the public knows and understands, they are more likely to contribute and participate. Council does very little to help their case in this situation.Maybe stream the "pre-Council session also?) 

 I spent yesterday on a road trip with a few long-term lifers and vip contributors, and they have all mostly given up and  are ready to pack up and leave. We don't feel very involved or wanted, despite past efforts of constructive activity.

Face it--our next Council is going to look just like our past Councils---so nothing is honestly going to change. I have ripped Mr.Picard for years, and now find myself in total agreement with him on his recent drug and financial positions.  

Thanx to all for the positive and constructive statements and efforts--budbob and the chief have made it more interesting and hopeful, though direction hasn't changed much. Those that recently left the system are now blamed for everything negative as always.

I totally agree that the past is behind us and we must focus ahead. Doesn't mean that we should ignore past actions and decisions---we must learn and improve from them and we all must accept appropriate responsibilty, and break down the self-created barriers that keep us separated.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 26 2017 at 10:23pm


Chief,


The announcement that this is your last post is one of Doug’s tactics when he doesn’t want to answer some tough questions (usually questions that have gone unanswered after a decade of asking).. And we are sorry that you have decided to take this tact. Open dialog, even when highly contested is always more desirable than a one-sided argument. Wouldn’t you agree? You have respect from this side for all your genuine concern for our city and the honest effort you make to initiate and continue improvements when it is within your power. Chief, I know that some or most of the following was not under your control.


However, you have misread my words and put your own (or Doug’s) spin on them. I think you are being defensive about things that are not there and you are reading them into my post.


I did not use the words “highly paid bureaucrats”. The word bureaucrat was used in reference to volunteers being replaced by bureaucrats that would add to the city payroll. You chose to ignore the point … the city mistreatment of legitimate offers of volunteers to help the city at no cost to the city.

And no mention was made of any “fluff positions” in my post. Perhaps it is you who is recalling that past. I think that Doug may have fed you some incorrect figures regarding the large number of city building employees in the past. I believe that Judy Gilleland was the first to employ over 400. Don’t we currently have close to 400 employed by the city? If that’s true and IF we have reduced the number of city employees by 300, then we would have had to have 600 to 700 employed in the past in order to have 100 or so remaining employees which would not even be sufficient to man the fire and police departments. Yet a check of employment records will show we never ever had that large a number employed by the city at one time. I believe it was Judy Gilleland who first incorrectly claimed that inflated number of staff.


The take over of management of all Section 8 by both Butler and Warren Counties (1662 vouchers in all) from the city was in the very recent past, 2015 I believe. We are not “infatuated” but rather appalled by the recent loss of millions of $’s in management fees! The Section 8 population is still in residence in Middletown and that includes the drug addicts along with welfare recipients. When Doug, as head of revitalization, said if city council gave him the power he would straighten out the Section 8 problem. However, his methodology was contrary to the rules set out by HUD and was the direct cause of Middletown’s losing Section 8 management and fees. That makes it recent and relevant today. We want to insure that the city operates with thoughtful consideration and within the boundaries of the law and the rules set forth by federal and state programs. Mistakes are more easily forgiven if they are not repeated.


The closing of our swimming pools is not amusing and will not illicit a chuckle from people who could have enjoyed them. I remember that some pool patrons quit attending because of unruly conduct by others which management could not control and neither the city nor the police department would offer a solution or provide assistance. They preferred to punish all of us by throwing away another amenity. Mention of this past problem is relevant today because Doug keeps saying that in order for the city to be attractive we need more amenities. We had great amenities … Under Doug’s watch Weatherwax (our fantastic golf course), Sebald Park and now Bicentennial Commons were thrown away. How do you replace that? It would require millions upon millions of $’s.


The jail recordings. For years, some of us asked at the city building for information about this criminal activity and we were stonewalled, for years, and told nothing could be discussed about an ongoing court case. Then after so many years of this story suddenly the excuse changed to “that case occurred TOO LONG AGO for us to discuss now.” So none of our questions were ever answered after ten years of asking. We still don’t know how many suits were brought or how much it cost the city to settle them after ten years of asking. The city could avoid being constantly questioned by being open, honest and transparent about city operations, mistakes (which will happen no matter how careful) and their subsequent solutions. This is relevant today because we do not want the city to repeat such costly mistakes and have the tax payers pay for them again. City revenues are too scarce to waste. Has anyone been held personally liable or responsible, as the supreme court ruled in matters of this sort? It is illegal for tax dollars to pay the cost of settling civil rights violations?


The property room. We kept asking about this because, for years, it was so difficult to get any information. The citizens deserve an explanation of such a serious matter. If there had been transparency from the start there would be no need to continually question the city for years. Thank you for your forthcoming answers about how management of the property room has been changed, improved and monitored. Just wish we had been enlightened much sooner.


The man who was run over by the cruiser and killed. The officer was speeding, over 100 mph. Drunk or sober that man in the street could not have avoided being hit. The officer claimed to be on the way to an emergency call, but witnesses said that he did not have his emergency lights or siren engaged. And the records show the emergency call situation had been rectified by the time of this incident. Even more tragically, the legitimacy of the emergency call was questionable and so this whole tragic scene might, or should, never have happened.


Jim Cunningham, who is now a lieutenant, from my point of view looks like a bully with a badge. He impresses me as a hot head operating like a loose cannon. His “energetic” style of policing is in my opinion another regrettable police incident looking for a place to happen. And it’s most irritating that he has been rewarded with promotions and raises while receiving virtually no significant discipline for numerous infractions. Why has the city recently refused to reveal to us the nature of one specific infraction unless they fear the public’s reaction to it? This has been going on for years! Continuing to question this sort of situation is relevant now because it should stop and should have been stopped years ago.


The meeting at Java Johnny’s was not advertised to the general public at all. Had it been, there might have been a good turn out. I mentioned when you proposed the meeting here on your forum post that it needed to be advertised to the public. I was thinking that we might reignite public interest in improving our city. But that suggestion was completely ignored. So the general public was totally unaware of this opportunity. Doug’s attendance was unexpected and he knew some on this forum said they would not attend in order to avoid harassment by the city for speaking our mind. ….


As a separate matter, you are to be commended for your efforts to relate to our communities by setting up opportunities for them to interact with you and your department. We will not find a better ambassador for Middletown anywhere. Your obvious kindness will hopefully inspire others. You are making great strides in human relations! And you should be proud!


As to Mr Adkins’ skill level for relating to the public … there’s a lot to be desired. Could you give him a 101 course on diplomacy? You should be his boss instead of him being yours.













































"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anon Y. Mouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 27 2017 at 6:19pm
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