City commissioners aren't supposed to have or promote secret meetings on matters of public interest - especially with local businesses who may be trying to avoid responsibility for environmental messes they might have been involved with creating. (You know who you are.)
Through nearly a dozen conversations with city officials and citizens today:A local law enforcement professional who, in the midst of the Sandusky city layoffs, claims that the police department doesn't need 15 command officers. This person claims that for streamlined oversight, the SPD needs only 3 lietuenants, 6 Sergeants and 1 Chief of Police. The Lt's duties are split between administrative and operational duties, while the Sgt's are responsible for operational supervision. Other police departments that serve communities of similar size have streamlined command structures such as this - and they work well. If Matt Kline had listened to early warnings about the nearly $1 million budget deficit and cut costs earlier in the year, he would not be facing such a dire situation and need to lay off so many city workers. He was first warned about these problems and told to make cuts in January of 2009. Economic development in Sandusky is being thwarted by city bureaucracy. In other communities, construction companies and private citizens are able to apply and be approved for building permits quickly and easily on the same day. In Sandusky, the city zoning board meets only once every other month - and even after jumping through hoops, the requested variance may not be approved. New construction projects are too costly for builders. Some local contractors are vocal about their disinterest in working in city limits because of all the red tape. They claim this is not an overall governmental problem - it's a Sandusky problem. City officials who claim that the city has a "revenue problem" are barking up the wrong tree. Sandusky is a waterfront community with a billion dollar company (Cedar Fair) in their backyard which dumps millions of dollars into the city coffers. The city doesn't have revenue problems - they have cost problems. Sandusky needs to analyze how they spend tax dollars on a very basic level and decide then where to make cuts. If Sandusky can't make it with the economic opportunity of the waterfront and all it's related sources of recreation and income - nobody can. It's foolish for the city to attempt large development projects like the Marina District when they have failed on the simple task of road upkeep. No economic development will take place unless the city provides quality basic city services. When government provides the right conditions for economic development, private citizens will value the community - desire to live here - and bring their businesses with them. The government can only create favorable conditions for economic development - they can't create it themselves. Sandusky is plagued by bad attitudes and people who only want to contribute to their own ideas instead of uniting behind someone else's ideas and giving them due credit. City commissioner Brett Fuqua comes to mind: He has a problem with "negativity" but every time he opens his mouth he's terse or outright hostile. Especially with ideas he opposes for personal reasons. (The Mayor/Ward system of government) The city law director farms out too much legal work. The world has become a more litigious place, but Don Icsman could do more to keep legal work in house in order to avoid paying out large sums of money to firms like Murman and Murman for necessary or unecessary "investigations."
The health and safety problem on Thorpe Drive has been taken care of:Before: After:
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