VIDEO: Watch Between the Lines with guest John Hamilton

Matt Westerhold
Jan 18, 2012


We had several guests for this week's program including Funcoast's Ashley Bethard, Sandusky Register reporters Annie Zelm and Tom Jackson and finished with Sandusky's ex officio mayor John Hamilton.

Watch the full program in the player below and we apologize for the early audio issues during Mr. Hamilton's interview, they have since been corrected.

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When John Hamilton, ex officio mayor, states “I represent 25,000 citizens” one wonders what he is doing to accomplish this and thus earn his twenty percent bonus.  He openly admits he doesn’t “coffee with the commissioners” to hear Sandusky residents.  He claims he hears the residents’ comments from having meals in local restaurants.   This is a presumptive statement readily dismissed.  The more likely scenario is he speaks to residents he knows in local restaurants, for this is common.  Then he presumes that he is recognized by all the diners as the mayor.  To presume people who you do not know would interrupt your meal is not supported by common courteousness.  This would be especially true for a negative comment during a meal in a public place.  So I dispute Hamilton’s claim.     This claim is borders on arrogant. 

Hamilton criticizes the ballot initiative to have an elected city manager on two tracks.  First He criticizes those that support the initiative because they were members of the charter review committee.  The suggestion is the topic should have been raised in committee and it was not.  He also claims the “pool” of available talent under the current system of appointed city manager is lost with an elected city manager and lost is contracting the search that provids this “pool” of best qualified candidates.   You need only reflect on this method and City’s recent history of hiring and firing city managers at will to know that this “pool” does not bring in city managers that develop the City.  Further, if this personnel process was optimizing the search for the best candidate why was the process held in so many “Executive Sessions” where the public is locked out? 

I do not know Ms Ard but I do know She was hired under a veil of secrecy.  That does not diminish her background or qualifications.  However, Ms Ard knew and the commissioners knew of the initiative to change the City Charter for an elected City Manager.  They knew if it passed Ms Ard would not be able to keep her $125k position.  Thus. they knew the City would lose all of her learning curve at a cost of approximately $65k and her six months’ severance pay, an additional $65k, if the initiative passes.   I wonder out loud in what restaurant and who would have said to Hamilton, it was a good idea to hire Ms Ard and allow the potential waste of $125k of the City’s pressed budget?

The Answer Person

Are the Schwangerites picking up the tab for the expense for this special vote?


There is no special vote.  This will be on the March ballot.

T. A. Schwanger

Well said Bess

Truth or Dare

Well, I guess if you're not dining out at the same restaurants/bars as Mr. Hamilton, you're pretty much outta luck as to ever running into him to ask questions, eh?   I don't believe in psuedo-Mayors, so why even apply the title when we clearly do not have a Mayor of this City?  As far as I'm concerned, as a voter and a taxpayerr, if our City Commissioners are willing to put their very adamant,  "collective" conclusion against this ballot issue into the form of a letter and mail it to all homes w/at least one voter,  @ the expense of all Taxpayers, the opposing arguement best be included!  

  A Petition was drawn up and signed by enough people!  I did not sign this petition.  However, this is   democracy in progress.  Something they clearly have no problem keeping from the public by doing so much business behind closed doors.  I'm on the fence regarding this vote, and the Commissioners aren't helping their argument at all, especially when they and those supporting their thought process is that no one within this town would be qualifiefd!  Doesn't say much for any one of our City Commissioners, past and present, he!!, the City Residents as a whole!   What it's does is shine a spotlight on the  arrogance  oozing from Meigs St.!