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Sandusky city commission 'behind the closed-door'

Matt Westerhold • Aug 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Great comments at the poll: What should Sandusky do with the former Surf's Up property?

Wiredmama wrote about a discussion she had with a city commissioer and the commissioner's assurances to her "that NOTHING is being kept from the citizens of this community and that everything is being discussed in the open" is interesting. 

In recent weeks I've had three different contacts from community members concerned that city commissioners during executive (closed-door) commission meetings have discussed the possibility of selling city hall. Given the nature of the contacts the Register received about this issue, it leads me to believe it was discussed during closed-door meetings, but there really is no way to verify whether or not it was a topic kept commissioners kept from public discourse.

One caller who contacted the newsroom with questions about this topic said in his private discussion with a city commissioner the commissioner told him there was concern the commissioners who support selling city hall might get "skewered in the press" if they brought the issue forward for public discussion. That does not seem like a legitimate reason to withhold any public information from the public under any circumstances, although it's understandable there would be concern about the reaction from the community given the deficit spending commissioners already have approved this year and the financial challenges the city faces with the union contracts expiring this year. 

The Register's editorial board has written in the recent past that commissioners should re-visit the topic of city hall and advocated the city have a public dialogue and reconsider the decision to keep it along the waterfront on Miegs Street. But regardless of any stand the newspaper may take on any topic, I hope city commissioners get better at taking public stands across a whole array of important decisions that will have to be made.

This city commission approved a $15.9 million deficit spending budget after about just 10 minutes of public discussion. The contention that "NOTHING is being kept from the citizens of this community and that everything is being discussed in the open" is simply not accurate.


"Between the Lines" is the area's only public affairs talk program and all prior segments of BTL are available for on-demand viewing anytime at sanduskyregister.com/opinion/blogs/betweenthelines.

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