Monday, February 11, 2008 Council Meeting

Filed under: Council Highlights,Uncategorized — tkm February 13, 2008 @ 19:0 pm

These are my comments about the Monday, February 11, 2008 “Regular” City Council Meeting.

The February 11, 2008 Agenda gave a 3rd Reading to the 2008 Operating Budget. The only council member who questioned the reliability, numbers, and information provided in the 2008 Operating Budget document has been 3rd Ward Councilman, Bob Mollette. On December 27, 2007 Councilman Mollette provided the Mayor three (3) pages of questions needing answered prior to approving the budget (click: http://portsmouthcitizens.info/Council/Bob/07-061Dec27.pdf); to date the mayor still has not provided written feedback to these questions.

At the Council Meeting I provided a letter to the solicitor, mayor and council with my concerns of unlawful and unethical behavior by both the mayor and the solicitor if they receive in-term raises, which are included in the 2008 Operating Budget. In this letter I provided a ruling from the Ohio Ethics Board and several sections from State and local laws (click: http://portsmouthcitizens.info/blog/?page_id=311, letter dated February 11, 2008 08-002).

During the Auditor’s Report Mr. Williams criticized the amount of time taken for items not on the agenda, and that he felt a discussion should have taken place concerning the budget (click link to: 2-11-08 City Council Meeting Auditor Report – Trent Williams); basically what I think he said was the meeting was a waste his time. I do agree with Mr. Williams that a discussion should have taken place about the budget, but by the rules set forth by Howard Baughman, President of Council, no discussions will take place after a council member requests to table an item. I also believe this is the wrong approach to work through city issues. You need to take that up with Mr. Baughman.

A concern I have with Mr. Williams’ comment is I am getting the feeling Mr. Williams feels it’s a waste of his time to listen to citizens concerns. Maybe we need to remember this at the next election. Citizens should feel it is a waste of their time to vote for Trent Williams for Auditor. With this attitude it seems he has taken the position of the ex-6th Ward Council member Marty Mohr who tried to remove from the agenda the rights for citizens to speak on items not on the agenda.

Mr. Williams also mentioned during his report that council determined pay of selected city officials. After the meeting I requested clarification by Mr. Williams about his comment concerning pay raises for the Solicitor and the Auditor. He informed me past practice takes preference over ethical behavior and laws of our city and state. This comment by Mr. Williams enlightened me on why the majority of our city officials feel their unethical behavior is justified – past practice!

Another noteworthy part of the Monday’s council meeting was listening to Mayor Jim Kalb criticize, mock, and ridicule citizens of Portsmouth, Ohio (click: http://portsmouthcitizens.info/blog/?page_id=47 Mayors Reports 1&2). In my opinion the Mayor was deliberately trying to get a rise out of the citizens who were in attendance at the meeting. At this meeting a uniformed and armed police officer was stationed in the back of the room. During the Mayor’s Report Jim rambled for nearly 13 minutes until he got his victim to bite with a rebuttal to his comments.

At the Monday night conference session meeting, which is held directly after the City Council Meeting, a discussion item was scheduled from the January 29th City Council Meeting to provide an item on the agenda to discuss possible locations for the new city building project. No discussion was held.

During several previous council meetings 1st Ward Council member Mike Mearan mentioned, time is running out for the taxpayers of Portsmouth to get their $1.5 million back from the Marting Foundation; for complete information on the Marting scandal click: http://portsmouthcitizens.info/blog/?page_id=90.

The $1.5 million dollars the Marting Foundation is in possession of is taxpayer money, which was collected suspiciously from the taxpayers and used to purchase a building from the Marting Foundation, at an extravagant cost. The time restraint deadline that has been mentioned several times by Mr. Mearan for recouping the above referenced $1.5 million has been March 2008. I wrote and delivered letter 08-001, Time Limitations, to Solicitor, Council and Mayor providing my explanation and documentation to substantiate the accurate date of June 2, 2008 (click: http://portsmouthcitizens.info/blog/?page_id=161).  Also, on this same link you can find 1st Ward Council member Mike Mearan’s Report.