Too many questions unanswered about city staffing and budget

Jan 1, 2013

My topic this week is how tight lipped the City Manager is about city items on hold and the status of the budget.

Since the year has ended, I hope the City Manager will give her year-end report to the taxpayer, head of the organization chart, about the state of the city. Or will she give her report exclusively to the Rotary members as it has been traditionally done in the past? It seems really bizarre for the City Manager to give her State of the City Address to Rotarians instead of the very people who pay her wages.

Ms. Ard should be informing us as to what has been accomplished during her first year, what her goals will be for the upcoming year, and what she will need to address as her top priorities. Ms. Ard should make her presentation at the City Commission meeting so we can feel her confidence that things are progressing along and that we are not waiting until a fire starts burning to address various problems that could have been taken care of by being proactive.

What does the manager intend to do with the City Engineer’s position? Who will fill the position until we obtain another engineer and when will that happen?  We certainly hope the projects are in experienced hands until such time we fill the engineer’s position. The manager was notified a year in advance of the vacancy. I am disappointed that we haven’t gotten someone ready to hit the ground; instead, we have waited until the person is about to leave and now a gap may well exist in the position. It is vital that we have an engineer in place as soon as possible.

The union contract will expire and mum is still the word as to how negotiations have been progressing along. What will the new contract consist of in benefits and wages?

Six firefighters are working under a grant, which is running dry. The situation is not sustainable and the firefighters will eventually have to be laid off because the budget will not be able to accommodate the expense of keeping them on after the grant runs out.  

The IT Manager was never replaced. I wonder, by not replacing the position, how vulnerable it makes the city’s operating systems, by not having the expertise in keeping the city’s computer systems well maintained. Is the budget that bad that we cannot replace him?

There are a lot of expenses on the city’s plate and not enough revenue to cover all that needs to be covered.  It makes me wonder how we could possibly entertain thoughts of moving City Hall and taking on more debt to accommodate the project since we can’t even afford the simple necessities to keep a city running. It is irresponsible of our leaders to consider moving City Hall while neglecting other projects that are still in dire need of attention and have been for years.   

Until next time, there are a lot of questions the taxpayers would like answered in order for us to feel comfortable and less anxious about whether or not we are in capable hands.  


"When commissioner Dan Kaman asked for a "ballpark figure" as to what the housing investigation cost the city, finance director Ed Widman replied it was in the range of $60,000 for three outside legal consultants, including Murman and Associates of Lakewood."


why do they always use Murman? Don't they have someone HERE who go do the work?


"City commissioners said they're still hoping to recoup some of the funds through insurance claims."

Did the insurance claim pay anything? If so, how much if any?

The Answer Person

Ms. Ard has been busy dealing with time wasters who constantly ask inane questions.


Sharon is obviously a journalist rather than a politician. Quit riding her like she is a new pony. She also brings up valid questions. You don't think your commissioners read this paper and her blog? Get behind her instead of telling her to be a politician. She is pointing things out that need to be addressed.

The Answer Person

@luvblues2. Thanks but no thanks! I have no intention of "getting behind her". Feel free to list all of her accomplisments rather than endorsing her narrow griping and offering your endless platitudes. Thanks and have a great new year!


I don't see her griping as narrow. Also, she isn't required to be "part of the solution" to offer her opinion. We have freedom of speech. Sharon is exercising her freedom of speech and willing to put her name behind it. Good for her.


Did you ever think that just maybe the city was not insured for employee theft back then? Someone needs to look into what the BORMA insurance policy stated. The insurance should have covered employee theft. I would like to know if the city was under insured at the time of the theft. There was no evidence that the insurance paid anything out on the housing claim. I could never figure out why the insurance didn't cover the loss. The whole thing still remains a big mystery. Most people have been discharged who were involved, but they were never held accountable.

Just a Girl

Take a look at Ms Ard's report card in Sunday's Register. This woman looked so good on paper and I had high hopes for her. We had no city mgr, no fire chief, and no police chief when she interviewed. Seemed like the city would get back on its feet. But she's doing a poor job. Could we hire someone local now who both knows and cares about our city?