This editorial is not meant to be an attack on any city commissioners. Rather it is a plea for effectiveness.
Each of the seven ran for a commission seat for the same reason — because they thought they could make a difference.
During their tenures, each has spearheaded or acted as backup on projects that have fostered positive change. Still the commission is often at odds. Their scattered agendas and harsh words for each other have hogtied the Seven. It has caused them to act independently in a way that locks out the exchange of ideas needed for advancement. The focus on city improvement has been lost in a jumble of hurtful accusations among them.
The Huron Park mini-project deemed too expensive on Monday was completed with little fanfare on Tuesday. (Click this link to read related article.)
The offer by the county to use the building at Columbus Avenue and West Washington Row for a new city building died for lack of response. No public discussion, pro or con; no "Let's see what we can work out"; no "Thanks, but no thanks." (Click here to read related article.)
The residents of Sandusky have come to expect nothing from City Manager Nicole Ard, but commissioners as a group are her superiors. "As a group" are the key words in the above sentence. While no commissioner should try to coerce or bully Ard into making changes, "as a group" they could guide her to effectiveness. (Click here for related article.)
Instead, criticism by the newspaper or the public in general of Ard's accomplishments — or lack thereof — is looked upon as attacks. So rather than working on being a cohesive unit for the betterment of the community, certain commission members and Ard herself prefer to stonewall the newspaper. By perceiving the media as the bad guys, they seek to draw attention from Ard's shortcomings.
One commissioner has even chosen to keep the public informed of his version of commission news via Facebook. Certainly, he has that right. It's called freedom of expression. Newspapers use it every day.
Ard and all the commissioners should put aside their differences and try being straight shooters instead of constantly shooting the messenger.
In the words of Rodney King, a man whose life was altered by divisiveness, "Can't we all just get along?" (Click here for a video.)