Silence from city hall is troublesome

Jan 15, 2013


My topic this week is the silence at 222 Meigs Street.

For a whole year, the citizens have been giving Ms Ard the benefit of the doubt.  Since she is new to us, we have been waiting patiently for some evidence that we are in capable hands. We all know that Ms. Ard had a lot of fires to put out upon arriving, which delayed certain things from being implemented. We understand that it takes a little time to show results, but is it too much to ask Ms. Ard to update us on what she has implemented during her first year as City Manager?  Even some of the commissioners ask the very same questions and get no answers.

The lack of communication between Ms. Ard and a local newspaper reporter should be a big concern. Not answering questions takes on the appearance that City Hall is hiding things from the public. It is especially troubling when the elected leaders allow the questions to go unanswered from the City Manager. The city is not a private company where people are on a need-to-know basis. The city is managing our tax dollars and the citizens have a right to ask for accountability of those dollars. 

We know what Ms. Ard has not accomplished and we want to know why she has not met her deadlines. Is there a logical explanation why she hasn’t replaced the engineer’s position?  What is the reason for a six-month delay in the union contract? The City Manager has not eased our concerns and she has left us with unanswered questions. Maybe if Ms. Ard explained herself, we could better understand why she is doing what she is doing. Is the problem the elected leadership or with the manager?  Is the budget worse then we could possibly imagine?  

Delaying the union contract until June is another situation. Will the new contract be retroactive back to December?  How will the city make up for six months of short fall if the union should receive raises or a change in benefits that should have been effective from the time the contract expired?  Putting off the contract could present some serious budget problems. How do you budget 2013 not knowing what the outcome of the contract will be? I guess when you have a  $353,000 deficit starting out that there shouldn’t be any raises being discussed since there isn’t any money to give out. Is that why the City Manager didn’t get her approved raise?  How would it look to give a raise to the City Manager while the union may be left with no pay raises?   

Until next week, Ms. Ard received a sweet deal of a contract.  We only hope that the citizens are receiving a return on our investment. Unfortunately, we are still waiting to find out how well she is managing the city.   


Licorice Schtick

On the other hand, sometimes, silence is golden.


Yes, let's run this city manager out of town on a rail before she has even been here a year...I am sure being in a constant state of change will be much better for the city. Surely, given our track record with managers, we will be able to attract only the best applicants...

What a joke some of these people are, even worse the Register gives these nutjobs a voice.

Julie R.

Gee, don't feel bad, Ms. Johnson. The county public officials are even worse!

Swamp Fox

When is Sharon announcing her candidacy for city commission, she seems to think she has all the answers.... Or is it easier to have all the questions with no solutions to the problems?

The Answer Person

Same old crapola from Fifth Street.
No one does anything and if they try then they are doing it all wrong.


There has been constant complaints about Ms Ard of late. Given the comments written in the "your 2 cents" can no one see the handwritting on the wall here? Ah, yes, time to bring it on again. It's almost May. Bet me that the "elect the city manager" group won't be at it again. This time with the backing of two city commissioners and others who wish to have THIS city manager out and a certain elected person in her stead.

I wondered how long it would take before this would happen and it is as clear as can be. But how many answer would we have then? How open would we have at our city commissionrs and the manager as well? Only after the fact perhaps? Who would be running the city then? The elected officials of this city?

I am raising viable questions here, not just supposition. This is NOT all for not. The constant barrages against this City Manager, the constant questioning of her management skills and this sudden story are not for nothing.

I suspected as much when I was told by another CITIZEN, not a councilperson (before someone jumps to that conclusion and questions it), that this was in the works. I really didn't believe it, but now I do. I thought she was wrong. I owe her a HUGE apology.

Lets wait and see, but I will bet that either in May or in November we see it happen. Another attempt to have the City Manager position become one of a voted position.

Those who wish it so, just hope no one notices or hope that by that time, they have raised enough doubt in Ms Ard to have her dismissed.

What a shame Ms Ard is the scapegoat without even having given her a fair and equal chance and by giving her any basis of a vote of any sort of confidence whatsoever. I find that a shame since she has been putting out more than FIRES within this city.


@wired, the only people that I hear complaining about Ard are those people in the business of selling newspapers. Why not stir up some old fashioned controversy mixed with a side of hate and discontent to get some extra hits on the old website.

Why do you think they still run this blog? It generates hits from all the people that click on it for a cheap laugh. It is more entertaining than anything the Funcoast features.


I totally understand you point of view.

Licorice Schtick

Guess she didn't get the hint.


If you are referring to my taking the hint of "silence is golden", I guess I didn't. And apparently, neither did Ms Farrar at the meeting. I applaud her standing up for Ms Ard. Good for her.

Julie R.

If Sharon thinks the silence from the city public officials is troublesome, I hope she never has to deal with the unprofessional county public officials, more than including those unprofessional courts on the 2nd floor of the Erie County courthouse. She'll find the silence there deafening.


And how!!!!!!