Commission candidates weigh in on Ard

Leadership is a forefront concern for Sandusky city commission candidates.
Andy Ouriel
Oct 21, 2013


Several candidates have doubted city manager Nicole Ard’s ability to successfully spearhead government operations.

Five of the seven city commission candidates vying for three contested seats have questioned Ard’s management style.

Incumbents Diedre Cole and John Hamilton, both seeking re-election, share polarizing views. Cole’s starkly opposed to Ard while Hamiltion is one of her ardent supporters.

The Register, meanwhile, asked the other five candidates running this fall about their opinions of Ard, including sharing opinions on the recent “consensus” evaluation and her desire to hire a private attorney to decipher the 127-word review before she comments on it.

Here’s what they said:

• “The moment an employee of mine retained an attorney and instructed me to communicate my evaluation of that employee to their attorney through my attorney, I would draw the conclusion that we may have a problem. This approach lacks any faith at all.” — Dick Brady

• “Regardless of what people think, I think Nicole does a very thorough job. I think she is thorough, she is very organized, she does correspondence well and she’s very aware of what is going on in the community.” — Patricia Ferguson

• “To suggest that the city has been moving in the right direction over the last two years is contrary to almost every opinion of every city observer I have spoken with recently.” — Dennis Murray

• “I’m not sure why she should feel the need to involve an attorney on this process. I’m looking for more transparency, morecommunication, more interactions and more discussions about what the city manager is doing. It’s important for a city manager to engage the public, speak openly and freely about the goals and ideas that the person has for the community.” — Naomi Twine

• “There are a whole lot of issues that need to be addressed sooner than later, and I’m hopeful I can be part of that process.” — Scott Schell



Fire that ARD woman Now!!!!! better yet demote her


Murray and Twine have my vote!


We need to cut our loses with this city manager and as quickly as possible. We should not have kept her this long. The city needs to find the money to pay off her contract and give her the boot! She should have never been hired in the first place. We needed an experienced city manager that could have hit the ground running and instead, we get someone who has never managed a city before and is still learning. This city has no time for an inexperienced city manager.


And who would you suggest we get THIS time? Do you honestly think the background of this city would be conducive to ANYONE wanting to come here to work?

What people seem to forget is, the next city manager will be looking at OUR backgrounds and who has come and gone as well as us looking at them. How do you think this city would fare in that respect?????

Julie R.

If Murray wins, the COUNTY will continue to run the city of Sandusky just like they have been running it for the last 15 years, thanks to your city law director, Don Iscman. If you sheep couldn't see it before, you certainly should have been able to see it when Iscman recommended Baxter & Co.'s favorite retired Lorain County rent-a-judge Cirgiliano in the Nuesse fiasco.

The nice little city of Vermilion is being run by the COUNTY clowns now, too. City law director Rich Stumpahauzer from Baxter & Co.'s favorite Lorain County law firm of Stumphauzer & O'Toole. (i.e. Metroparks/Huron River Greenway)

Now notice how the COUNTY clowns do NOT run Huron. That's because the city manager ~ who is not from Erie County and is not one of the good old boys ~ would never let them.

T. A. Schwanger


Julie we need some help here. This election is one which can best be described as "voting for three of the lesser evils".

Love or hate Dee Cole, she does throw herself into healthy discussion and debate at the Commission table instead of hiding under it as some other commissioners do. She understands and practices the term "open and transparent government".

She seeks out resolution to problems passed to her and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty out in the public.

Murray is level headed, although he has a trait I, as well as others, do not agree with as being a necessity--relocating City Hall downtown.
This idea has been talked about and fought over for 30 years--time to come up with a new idea.

Hamilton is starting to show signs of improvement and gumption as a Commissioner.


TA Schwanger.....Ms Cole, who must be a friend of yours and who I know you have worked with, does not appear to have the "open and transparent " understanding of government surely didn't display that during the police chief fiasco. Her answers to that entire mess were not "open" at all, they were self serving and entirely guarded, least anyone forget how our taxpayer money was squandered on that mess.

Having your hands "dirty" doesn't make you a great leader if you haven't the strength of your convictions, which I wonder about frequently with her and several other members of the commission.

As for Murray, he also had his chance. I disagree with you about relocation of the city hall, but we will never agree on that situation no matter what. Not when there are more pressing problems with this city that NO ONE addresses. Until this city has something to offer besides what we have now, it would be better off sucked into Perkins or Margaretta Twsp.

T. A. Schwanger



Perhaps I was not clear. We DO NOT agree with relocating City Hall. Candidate Murray does. If you have not watched the Between the Lines program with candidate Murray, please do.

As far as the Police Chief search is concerned, both Commissioner Poole and Cole were found to be correct in their questioning of that process.


Wow, Finn, Will, Kline, and now Ard. What person in their right mind would even want to apply for the job. Sandusky is being run by too many adjendas and special interests.


I would point out lest too many forget that Finn and Will were effectively forced out. Finn dealt with trumped up ethics charges, and Will was deliberately made miserable until he sought employment elsewhere. Interestingly enough, they're also the last two competent managers the City has employed. Funny how that works, ain't it?


milesmark....AMEN and some of them are still sitting on council. This town needs NEW ideas and I don't care who the city manager is, someone will be complaining about the person.

Until the city manager is capable of getting businesses into this area and creating JOBS, no city manager will be safe. And only that person who can rub salve on 50 wounds at the same time, while answering continuous questions and explaining themselves to just EVERYONE, will survive.

G George I du kno

Dick Brady has my vote! He obviously can smell something rotten in city hall!


Let the new blood have the seats this time around. I know a great many people who say the same thing. Those who have been there, already showed what they could and couldn't do. The one's on there now show a total lack of leadership skills as well (especially over the chief of police nonsense).

Its time for out with the old and in with the new. Maybe they can do a better job of it than what we have now or had before.