No budget, no contract, no chief, no engineer

Anonymous
Mar 19, 2013

My topic this week is the city’s procrastinating posture.

Can anyone make a decision at 222 Meigs Street? What seems to be the problem? Is it the City Manager, the leadership, or both?  

This month marks a year since we started the Police Chief search and the city is still dragging their feet, so much so, that the candidates are opting out one by one. How long does it take to do background checks and interview three candidates, now down to two?     

The union contract has been left to expire with no new contract in sight. The city should have been in negotiations months ago and ready to sign a new contract upon expiration of the old contract. There is no excuse for not having a new contract negotiated in time for the budget process so the increases can be planned into the budget.   

As far as Charter Members’ evaluations, only one member is in the process of being evaluated since the commissioners started the process a month ago. How long does it take for the commissioners to get through one evaluation? The leadership seems reluctant to do any evaluation on the City Manager. The public needs to know how she is performing and what problems she is experiencing in trying to perform her duties. Raises should not be automatically given to the City Manager or to any employee without an evaluation.

The budget is another problem. I sometimes wonder if it is the officials, and not the City Manager, that has the problem. Ms. Ard handed the budget cuts to the commission during the budget workshop. The commission met for two hours in the budget meeting and decided to cut nothing before one commissioner, who said nothing the whole time, decided to call an adjournment prematurely before cuts were finalized. How does the City Manager try to do her job when the leadership is incapable of giving any guidance? Even the Finance Committee canceled their budget meeting and will not reschedule before the final budget is presented to the commissioners at the next commission meeting. It doesn’t look very hopeful that there will be a balanced budget.

The commissioners need to take a hands-off approach to Ms. Ard and allow her to manage. If the commissioners are hesitant about giving Ms. Ard her rightful authority over the day-to-day operations, then the city is going to continue to have problems. She should know her staff well enough to know what cuts need to be made and she should be able to justify the cuts to the commissioners so they feel comfortable with her decision.   

A year ago, the engineer informed the city he would be leaving at the end of the year. Thirteen months have passed since the notification and still no engineer.

Until next week, silence is not an option for commissioners sitting at the commission table and not even attempting to represent the taxpayer. We are headed into a full-blown crisis if the habitual procrastination doesn’t end soon.

Comments

MrSandusky

" the candidates are opting out one by one" How many candidates have opted out? That is one of the problems with this blog too much exaggeration and no action.

If you want things to change run for office. Otherwise who are you to complain?

pavedparadise

MrSandusky:

Ms. Johnson should be honored--you must read only her blog and not the rest of the on-line Register?

Andy Ouriel Mar 12, 2013 Sandusky police chief field down to 2.

With a decision from city manager Nicole Ard expected any day, one of three finalists for the top cop job in Sandusky has bowed out.

MrSandusky

You are exactley correct...only one. The blog is written to make it sound as though many have dropped out. Hence the word "exaggeration".

The Answer Person

Thanks to you MrSandusky! Many of us have said this for YEARS and yet the blather goes on and on and on and she and her group contribute NOTHING except lip. At least Matt Klein had the backbone to tell her park to it.

pavedparadise

MrSandusky and The (no) Answer Person will be the first ones to ring Ms. Johnson's phone off the hook with complaints if she ran and won a seat.

Woody Hayes

My topic this week is why doesnt this person run for office instead of just making a lot of noise every week.

SamAdams

Uhm, Woody? While I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates the sentiment, please allow me to repeat something that's been said more than once by more than one of us: We need QUALIFIED candidates! Merely being a perennial squeaky wheel does NOT mean "qualified!" In fact, I suspect it means just the opposite...

Perkahontas

The "Coping with Aspergers" support group meets Sundays at 4 at Christ the Savior.

reserved

Actually, Ms. Johnson is right on with a few pieces of information that she doesn't know...first, the contracts have been done for over a month. In fact the unions have already voted and approved them. So, yes...the City is procrastinating at getting them in front of the Commission for their approval. I'm sure their "excuse" is the budget. Blah, blah, blah...the budget has had an anticipated budget increase attributed to salaries. The City is excelling at procrastination!! No police chief even though the final interviews were completed...why no decision? No determinations in pending disciplinary actions...why no decision? Why are employees sitting at home on administrative leave while the City Manager makes NO decision on their status? The City is an absolute mess and there are no plans, no determinations, no strategic actions, no leadership at all. At this point just do something - even if it's wrong, it will be some sort of action!!!!!!!

Darkhorse

Reserved: Surprise, surprise. What do you know, it seems that the city is not only excelling in procrastination but excelling in secrecy also. Why is the city holding back on these news items? More procrastination! Are the Commissioners trying to override Ard's decisions? It is inexcusable that the union contract has been approved and has been sitting for a month without being approved by the commission especially during the budget process.