It was discovered this past week that several of the past tape recordings of the Newark City Council meetings do not have anything on them. This after several months of recordings that were fine, but then there was the issue of the document requests. Odd.
After discovering a city manager could not be just hired – it is a process which includes a petition and an election regarding the change – all of a sudden the city secretary is an administrator and the court clerk (without certification). Does this not require more action than just saying so?
They did have the presence of mind to hire a full-time accountant who will be working only part time. That was a good move.
After being in office for more than a year, the mayor and two of the council people still can not read the billing from the city’s attorney, who has served the city for more than 30 years. That was an intriguing interaction to watch.
A prolonged discussion regarding drainage of storm water was just rehashing the same conversations past city councils have had over and over for years. They basically agreed to disagree on where to start. This after last week’s discussion and agreement was to alleviate a problem a citizen had presented per the agenda. The permit to complete that work expired due to non-response on the city’s part two years ago.
There are some real changes – yes. There is no more playground equipment in the Delora Daughty Royal Park in the center of town. Other playground equipment was moved to a non-park area not accessible to most of our children. The city auditor is gone, and even the newest one is being replaced already. The bank is no longer acceptable, and oh yes, even the law firm is no longer acceptable. Yes, we have lots of changes in Newark. One item has not changed, though. The budget does not seem to match the actual funds in the bank.
Getting rid of employees seems to be the only way to catch up that one.
For about 17 years, Newark grew, hired local people as employees, maintained the infrastructure, developed amenities, paid its bills and showed its citizens it cared about them all. Now it takes away, fails to follow through on basic agreements, closes amenities, complains about bills and would rather local citizens would just leave them alone.
Just sitting through a city council meeting is proof of that.