Sandusky approves 2013 budget

Sandusky city commissioners on Monday unanimously approved a $16 million budget for 2013, ignoring concerns posed by the board’s own finance committee.
Andy Ouriel
Mar 26, 2013


Commissioner Keith Grohe was the only member to caution commission prior to the 7-0 vote in favor of the budget, referring to the elimination of the estate tax next year that will cut about $400,000 from the city's revenues in 2014. 

“We will need to be very specific as to (coming up with) a plan to deal with the deficit,” Grohe said.

City commissioner Pervis Brown said it didn't matter how members of the finance committee view the budget. 

“We do not need their approval or disapproval on the budget,” Brown said.

Commissioners also approved two of three union contracts for city workers that include raises totaling about 5 percent over three years. The firefighters contract and the labor contract for non-safety service employees also include concessions reducing overtime pay from double-wage to time-and-a-half, and adjustments in the health benefits insurance premiums city employees pay. 

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Heh. If they don't need a finance committee, why have one? :)


Somebody has to put the spreadsheets together and most of the commissioners wouldn't know a spreadsheet or chart of accounts if they were hit in the nose by one.


Good point.

Why waste their time.


As Pervis Brown would say "Aint nobody got time for dat". Watch the finger pointing next year when nearly 1/2 a million isn't theirs to play with.


Am I missing something? Now I'm not trying to be a smart a** but shouldn't this have been done before 2013? It's the end of march already, almost a quarter of the year is gone.


What a joke the City Commission is! Are any of them accountants? I know at least a few are utterly incapable of managing their OWN finances let alone a multi-million dollar budget. And that's why there's such a thing as a Finance Committee. Those people DO know something about money and money management (or they should), and yet one commissioner suggests what the committee thinks doesn't matter...

Get ready for the pathetic whining from the Commission and the City when they run into budget shortfalls! I'm not an accountant either, but even I can see THIS one coming!


Watch for a higher income tax in the near future.


Nobody that lives in Sandusky would care if this happened. With a good percentage of them living off of entitlements of retired, the only ones that will be paying it are those who work in Sandusky but live elsewhere.


Once again coming from the great drug county HERION County tO give their ever lying 1 cents. If you are going to comment on sandusky at least dont lie about us tell the truth!


The Commission is like a box of chocolates, never know what your gonna get! Stupid is as stupid does!


The dimmest bulbs on the Christmas tree always stand out.


When I was a kid we would watch the Ed Sullivan show. They always had this guy that would have a dozen or so plates spinning on the end of sticks and they would play something like the Flight of the Bumble Bee. The deal was that he would wait until the last possible instant before the plate fell to spin it some more, avoiding disaster. This is pretty much the blue print for the Sandusky budget process.


What happened to the promise by the SR of Cole and Poole being the lone voices of reason on this budget? I thought they were not happy with it? Did I miss something here as I don't see them voicing opinions of opposition?

Did Alan Nickles of the finance committee not call off the scheduled meeting with Ard on his budget meeting? So what good is he with the city if he has no intention of meeting with her about the budget anyway?

It seems like the wrong people get blamed here, but get paid just the same. Why is that? The commissioners rely on these people as consultants, yet they cancel meetings, farm out responsibilities and collect big bucks from "we the tax payers" and don't do the jobs they get paid to do, and yet we blame commissioners and city managers for jobs not done to our liking.

Maybe it's time to take a good long look at the ancillary forces not doing THEIR jobs like Icsman and others who are not doing THEIR jobs but collecting salaries for supposedly doing theirs?

Look at the recent messes left unhandled like delinquent taxes, funds paid out but not prosecuted, and budgets handled but not overseen and those who are to do that, but they are shamefully lacking.

Why is that?????? Who do "we the taxpayers" appeal to, to see that these paid people do their jobs and not continue to farm it out and get no results? Just how much money needs to go out to people like the Murman firm with no results?????

Matt Westerhold

Members of the finance committee are volunteers. They are not paid for their work. 



Thanks for the info, Matt, but he still cancelled his time with Ms Ard according to the article in your story in the paper, yet nothing more was said about that. And Ms Ard took the "hit" for that one. I have known Mr. Nickles since grade school. He is a very nice man, but even as a "volunteer" why would he NOT hold the meeting, Matt? If the budget is such a big deal, why would he and the committee not meet with her?

And what about investigations into the mess with that housing scandal? Why was all the money released to the workers? Did they do inspections on the work being done BEFORE they released all that money to the workers or did they just give that money out to them in full? I would love to know the answer to that one? Where were the building inspectors on that one? Did anyone check on the work being done? With some effort, they could find these guys and sue to get the money back. In this day of electronics, that shouldn't be hard to do. Putting money back into the coffers of this city to pay back the taxpayers should be a priority I would think. You guys have said that again and again. Why isn't the commission doing just that? Doesn't anyone down there have the time?

What about finding out a way to collect the county taxes? I am sure the new head of the department is a fine woman, but she must have some way of going after the delinquent county tax matter who they are. That huge money deficit is ridiculous.

I know Mr. Icsman can't be everywhere but does anyone check on some of the things being "farmed out" to the other attorneys such as Murman and other lawyers when they get screwed up like the one that cost the taxpayers because the attorney missed a deadline? What about those things? Did that lawyer return his fees for making the error, or was it just forgotten?

Just asking, as we never see stories about those things....not indepth stories.

I am not saying you guys don't do a good job on ALL things, but sometimes you could do a little better on "follow up". It would be nice to see the follow up stories to let us all know how things finish out, Matt. Not to critize your paper completely......just a suggestion.

Just saying.


It proves that you get what you pay for! Get rid of them and get one of those 8 balls that answers all questions. Who cares if its the wrong answer, obviously the commissioners dont care.


If the Register is monitoring this article, how about doing a story on other cities the size of Sandusky and how much of an end of the year carryover balance those communities have. I bet you'll find it's nowhere near what Sandusky WANTS. Why? because of Sandusky's continued borrowing and non-essential projects we are still paying for 15 years later.


Or how about a story on the absolute waste of "administrative leave" for employees awaiting disciplinary hearing results?? Certainly the employees deserve due process and a pre-disciplinary hearing but why is an employee currently sitting at home - on administrative leave - not using vacation or sick leave, but in fact EARNING vacation and sick leave, and why??? Because NO determination has been made by the City Manager's office!!! They've already had the hearing. Do SOMETHING!!! Don't just let employees sit at home while waiting for a decision!!!!! That would be an interesting story...


spoken like a cop, or Paul Harvey "now you know the rest of the story"

Erie County Resident

In any article today it was mentioned that Perkins and Sandusky should merge.

LMAO ...NOW you know why Perkins people do NOT want anything to do with this crazy idea, and this is just one example.

Only commissioner that even came close to making any sense was Grohe.
Pervis Brown has not a clue.


Isnt perkins having trouble getting their things together ? So why is it perkins people get on here and make like things are going good there.

Erie County Resident

@ Mrjsiah1, your absolutely right. Perkins has only 3 huge problems right now.
The reason we want nothing to do with any kind of merge with Sandusky is simple math.
We do not want our problems to increase by X10 or X20 or X50 or more.

Our troubles at this time are easily fixed by 3 things.
1) Removal and replacement of all 3 trustees
2) Replace entire school board
3) Get rid of Supt. Gunner
All 3 have gone agaisnt the voters wishes which proves they do not think the taxpayers in the township have any say in how things run. How wrong they are!


@ECR...I wrote it. Perkins is struggling financially. Sandusky may be up against it sooner than later as well. What would be wrong with combining the two except for people who cannot see their way clear to the possiblities that the combination could offer. Instead of downgrading somethinng without considering it first, you might want to consider the possibilities.

Besides that, there were a lot of people on that site that had good things to say so I don't think you speak for all of Perkins with your comments. It may not be as "crazy" an idea as you would have people think.

Just saying.

T. A. Schwanger

Couple of added points here.

I was shown information their was a vote to annex Perkins in the 1950s and it failed.

The reason why Ford and GM built south of Perkins Ave in the 1950s is because Sandusky business owners vocally opposed the idea of building in Sandusky out of fear they would have to pay their employees a higher wage. Building those plants in Sandusky would have meant significantly higher income taxes for Sandusky.


Yes, yes, I know all about that. But that was way back in 1950. Living in the past cements you to thinking of nothing but the past. Start thinking outside the box for awhile. You may be very surprised how liberating it is to look forward, not backward. LOL.

As for Ford and GM, those plants, also built in the 50's, were built on land that gave them tax breaks that were significantly LESS at the that time to areas that did not have the tax ratios of Sandusky City limits. The city income taxes were NOT the issues any more than the higher wages were. Let me remind you that these were AUTOMOTIVE part plants for General Motors and Ford Motor Company (their salaries are determined by unions in Michigan) know that. The manufacturing plants at the time were given fairly decent insentives to build were they did and that is why they built there. The rural locations of Perkins were used because the Sandusky City Council people at the time did not want the city of Sandusky to CHANGE too much from what it was. They already had Scott Paper, Hinde and Dauch, American Crayon and several other manufacturing businesses afoot at the time these two places came in. The main worry of the City Commission was to keep Sandusky fairly small and much as it was. They did not want it to become like Cleveland or Toledo or Detroit. This sort of thinking lasted well into the 1970's and 1980's.

How do I know these things: relatives that worked for Ford and New Departure for years and years from the time they opened and friends and relatives that were on Council for several years from 1950 through the 1990's


Not the right answer or even close to it. Where is Marvin Pratt when you need him to explain why Perkins, not Sandusky, voted against annexation.


Really? A problem next year with the budget? No problem. The City manager will recommend more personnel cuts taking the easy road rather than watch what she spends. We need a study to study that study. Oops there's probably already one in a file cabinet at City Building