Let the UH city administrator R.I.P.
Why is it that politicians just cannot deal with rejection of their agenda? On Nov. 3, residents of University Heights rejected a city administrator. The vote was not even close on that issue, yet an article reported last week that Councilman Bullock feels that residents were not educated enough to understand, and Councilman Murphy questioned whether residents still want an administrator just not through a charter amendment.
So now this council, or perhaps the new council (with Sue Pardee, a proponent of an administrator and a member of the Charter Review Commission that voted for the position of an administrator), may seek to install the additional management structure through ordinance. At least that appears to be the hopes of some on our city council and the former charter commission chair, Harvey Morrison, who mentioned the same in a recent article.
As residents we need to monitor this council closely. When changes are made through ordinance, we the residents don't get to decide if we want those changes. The addition of a city administrator does NOT enhance the balance of power in our city. A city administrator WILL provide council greater power and influence and at the same time significantly reduce their responsibilities for the job they campaigned they were qualified to do. Our council will have more power and less responsibility and accountability.
I would expect that if the council passes an ordinance to introduce an administrator, the ordinance would include the elimination of council salaries to help offset the cost of the administrator. After all, if the administrator is needed to run the city because the council doesn’t feel they are qualified, why should we pay a council and an administrator?
To UH City Council:
Stop worrying about the administrator and start thinking of ways to help our city. Maybe, hire a grant writer to bring taxpayer dollars back to University Heights. Or, hire a marketing professional to increase our profile and bring residents and small businesses here. If efficiency is what you want, hire out services as needed. Remember, the job is not about you and your level of power, it is about ensuring our city’s safety, services, and affordability endure even through difficult times.
Rick Adante ran for University Heights City Council in the 2009 election.