Sandusky City Commissioners Debate

Oct 8, 2013


It is the season for the elected officials to state they will listen to the people because the citizens are at the top of the organization chart.  I guess we have all been there before and listened to the same old speeches.  The speeches never seem to change with promises being made that the candidates, most likely, will not be able to deliver.

The little guy seems to get lost in the shuffle between the time the candidates are elected in and the time the officials need your vote once again.  The focus is all on downtown and what the business people need from the city to succeed.  We all realize that business is important to our city, but I think the city spends way too much time appeasing the business people and not enough time meeting the needs of the little guy as well.    

According to the city manager’s report, the manager meets with the downtown business people once a month to hear what they would like for the city, but where does the little guy go to voice his concerns? Do we even have a voice? In the past, the commissioners entertained coffee meetings that were being held once a month for the residents which have been discontinued.  It is a shame that the commissioners cannot get themselves out into the public to meet their constituents on a regular basis.   

The candidates talk about decreasing our elected representatives from seven down to five, because they think they can get more done.  Having fewer elected representatives only serves one purpose and that is to rubber stamp every piece of legislation without having it questioned.

Some candidates, even before they get into office, would like to increase the commissioners’ salaries while at the same time reduce the number of commissioners.  Has anyone gone to a job interview and asked for a raise before they even get the job?  For one thing, the city doesn’t have the money to increase any raises. The candidates need to be respectful and sensitive to the budget situation we are in. There is a possibility that the 2014 budget will come up short by about one million dollars.

As for the possibility of raising the income tax when the candidates are elected, I see the increase happening because it seems to be the only way to balance a budget these days instead of trying to keep the spending in check. Does anyone care about the tremendous 67 million dollars, plus, that the city owes in debt? If the city would work to keep the debt down, they would have enough revenue to do things they would like to accomplish instead of having to spend the money on paying off loans.  Three million dollars is kept in reserve in the General Fund which cannot be touched because of the city's obligation of debt.  The city’s debt situation is restricting our money flow tremendously.  

Until next week, the only way the above issues can be placed on the ballot is through the petition process, Charter Review, or directly by the City Commissioners.  Any decision on the issues must be finalized by the vote of the people.    



JOBS are the issue. I see is opening a new distribution center in Kenosha, WI which will employ 1,000 at average wage of about $15.00 plus benefits. Was Sandusky even in the running? Our access to highways, airports and other logistical requirements is as good as theirs. How about the commissioners addressing this under new business in all of their meetings, same with the county. With our access to water we should be looking for high tech companies that need water in their processes. Where is that in the debate line up?


I totally agree. But the only debate around here is parks and green spaces and who can snip at the city manager the best. Perhaps this city wouldn't have the problems it has if there were more jobs with some decent paying jobs around here if the city commissioners were up to the challenge of courting businesses instead of chewing on each other and the city manager so much.

I have yet to hear ONE single progressive debate or conversation in that direction yet in the last two years. They are too busy spending money on wasted items like redoing flubbed searches, wasting money on ego trips and debating ego-filled arguments about disfunctional city manager arguments to worry about the people of this city.

When is THAT going to happen? Why not get people in there that care about JOBS...JOBS...JOBS instead of water access, trees and snipping at other? My vote will go that the people who can make the job market explode with new and useful business come to this area and getting rid of those who's voices criticize the ethnic business owners who bring them including writers who say that.


You're absolutely right except for the part where you forgot they all take a break to hug a tree and commission another study before going back to wondering why the City isn't further ahead...


LOLOLOL....roflmao. Yes, I did forget those. Thanks for the reminders

T. A. Schwanger



Local government is NOT about creating jobs. Any local politician, including those presently on Commission making hallow promises of creating jobs, are deploying the time honored "elect me" scheme.

Local government is about providing the best services for its users with the least cost.

Local governments should encourage and foster an environment which creates more jobs in the area, but not take up the role of creating job themselves. Enter the Erie County Economic Development Corporation ($30,000 yearly), the Chamber of Commerce, Erie County Port Authority among other organizations.

The brownfields, which by the way is non-existent at this time as far as new projects, is one mechanism to create land opportunities for industrial use. One-stop permit, regulations explanations and ease of same are key to being job creation friendly.

As for parks, green space and saving trees, as I've said many times before, there is more money available from State and Federal sources as well as national and local foundations at this time for parks and recreation than there is for streets, etc. The problem is, no one at City Hall is applying for these funds.

Funding sources available upon request.

T. A. Schwanger


Right, because federal pork barrels are just bottomless pits full of free money, eh? And people wonder how the country got so deeply in debt.

You're right, though, job creation is not the job of local government. It's not the job of state or federal government either. It's the job of the private sector - the government's job is to get out of the way and let it happen.

AJ Oliver

Hey Sharon - the state of Ohio is going to impose even more drastic cuts to cities like Sandusky. The candidates should be explaining how they will deal with this. How about if you and the Register look into this and explain it to the community? Thanks !!

The Answer Person THAT will ever happen...


This has to be the best column Sharon ever wrote, and kudos on a full month without starting a column with "my topic this week is..."

The problem is that, while candidates pay lip service to the citizens being at the top of the organizational chart, they wouldn't be running for office if they didn't have a deeply rooted need to impose their will upon others.