Dave Waddington has earned the respect and trust of residents as a leader on the Sandusky city commission. We wholeheartedly support his bid to be the city's next ex officio mayor. Waddington is, by far, the best choice because he best represents and reflects the concerns and aspirations of residents. He's earned this position by the no-nonsense, roll-up-your sleeves approach he has demonstrated on countless issues.
There's nothing elitist about Waddington, and there's nothing political about the positions he takes on issues critical to the city's future. With Waddington, what you see is what you get. And what you get is a man dedicated to the betterment of the city and its residents, and one who may understand the city better than any other member of the commission.
Waddington is a consensus builder and he takes the time to thoroughly understand the choices that come before the commission. He is not ego-driven, but has provided more authority over a wavering city staff that lost sight a long time ago of its primary mission -- to serve and respond to its citizens.
Other commissioners, Craig Stahl included, coddled the mediocrity inside city hall.
Waddington, noting that the problems would have come to light much sooner had city staff been responsive to residents, pushed for exactly that.
City hall should not serve as a comfortable place where your friends work, and we are concerned Stahl cares more about that comfort city staffers seek than he does about constituent services. Stahl has not taken a strong stand on reform or the internal scandals inside city hall that have cost city taxpayers untold hundreds of thousands of dollars and severely hampered the efforts to rebuild the city's housing stock.
City manager Matt Kline recently said the city seems to operate on "rumor and innuendo." While some others seem to engage that rumor and innuendo rather than quash it, Waddington takes the approach of Sgt. Joe Friday on the old Dragnet television series: Just the facts. Stahl is a good man with his heart in the right place, but that doesn't qualify one for a leader's role -- demonstrating true leadership does. We have seen this from Waddington many times .
We urge Stahl to step aside and urge all city commissioners to vote Waddington in as ex officio mayor. We also urge residents to make sure each commissioner knows where you stand on this important leadership post. The ex officio mayor, or commission president's post, as it is also known, has a substantial sway on the direction the commission will take over the next year, and Waddington has said his focus will be on jobs, being fiscally responsible and reform.
Pay close attention in the coming weeks as we report when a vote will be scheduled. The current leadership's claim that this is a transparent government is not supported by the facts, but we'll do our best to make sure residents are fully informed when the vote will be despite any slippery maneuvering that might take place to keep you in the dark.