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 Some Reflections of This Past Year

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mouthpiece
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Number of posts : 721
Registration date : 2008-05-15

PostSubject: Some Reflections of This Past Year   Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:59 am

I have heard a number of positive things the last few days and how the people who not only live in Ortonville, but who live around Ortonville have hope. Many were celebrating the outcome of the elections.

As for me, the verdict is in the weeks ahead. Although difficult there must be a clean-up of those who were part of bad government. Until this is done, there is really nothing to celebrate.

I think there was a refereendum on the police department and we need to undo the horrible things that Mr. Lang and a handful of others have done. We should immediately look to see if any stimulus money remains for law enforcement and move ahead. The voters have spoken.

We need to examine some things about the election. The use of the city website and the link used to campaign were inappropriate. We need a task force committee to get this under control.

We need massive changes in the zoning ordinance that hinders the building of homes and improvements of homes. Most of this ordinance is not even enforced except against a few.

Third we need to continue EDA, but we need to get back to our roots. There are two positive aspects of the Economic Development, the medical facilities (Fairway View and Medical Facilities) and we need to find some ag-related businesses.

We literally have hundred's of farmers who go elsewhere because Ortonville has little. Cenex, West-con and Sturdevants and that is about it.

Finally, congratulations to the victors, but the road ahead is not easy.
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: What's left of the rat pack?   Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:21 am

Yesterday a woman told me that when she heard the news about the election results she turned to her husband and said, "OK, we won't move." Another woman said she won't put up a "For Sale" sign on her house after all. Both women were feeling that there was hope in this community. For many years despair had set in and one couldn't help but notice the population decreasing and the downtown businesses closing. While some people in leadership wore blinders on their eyes and stayed focused on "their agenda" the people were losing hope. There is now a spark of hope and people are seeing a chance to change the situation. (You will notice below some people's names or things are highlighted in a different color. You may click on those for a link for more information.)

This election is a "New Hope" but it is not and end. It is a beginning. The Rat Pack has been rejected. There are still people in place who have been supportive of their agenda and one can't help question what happened. Char Grossman is suddenly found with a mark on her record and she resigns? Enter David Lang as new City Clerk/Administrator. The EDA secretary unexpectedly resigns on the very day the EDA vote to forgive a loan to a board members father. Enter Vicki Oakes new coordinator for the EDA. A member of the public asks to see the Balance Sheet and the Profit and Loss Statement for the EDA and David Lang will not release the financial data of the EDA?

What will happen now? That will be the decision of the City Council. Someone asked if Mouthpiece and I would be as hard on the incoming council as this outgoing council. They missed the point. All that Mouthpiece or I have been doing is promoting good government. I said it before and I'll say it again. No one has to fear anything from Mouthpiece or Lady Hawk as long as they are doing their job and being honest and obeying the law. If there is any question that abuse of power or conflict of interest is involved it is a duty to speak up.

For instance according to the City Charter Section 2.05 Prohibitions it stated that: {a} No member of the council shall be appointed city clerk-administrator, nor shall any member hold any paid municipal office or employment under the city; and until one year after the expiration of his term as mayor or council member no former member shall be appointed to any paid appointive office or employment under the city which was created or the compensation for which was increased during his/her term as council member.

Mayor Blair Johnson keeps books for the city and is paid for it. He, along with the majority of the council ignored city policy. There are other incidents where the city council ignored written city policy and the employee handbook. Employees were being tossed aside with disregard for the rules that were set up to protect them. I know of five city employees that were misused (some with blatant disregard for city policy that was in place to protect them). Where was City Attorney Craig Ash? Another follower of the Rat Pack. Could the City Council have gotten away with such behavior if the City Attorney had done his job? Was the City Attorney used to intimidate the city employees and the citizens into submission?

I still remember the remark that City Attorney Craig Ash made to the people at the Open Meeting on McCloud Street. He told them they needed to come into the city and sign an easement because they didn't want to have to litigate. A threat? The City Attorney didn't tell the people that if they sign the easement they would not get paid. Craig Ash never told them that if they didn't sign the city would be obligated to pay them for the property that the city wanted.

The City Council will be appointing a city attorney. If they do they need to appoint one who will use his or her skill to defend the laws of the city and not rubber stamp the city council. Let's see a city attorney who defends the people. judge

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: The people need to be involved.   Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:23 am

There is much to be considered in the coming months. One thing the new City Council members need to consider, as well as the remaining council members, is that this is a new age in government. People are watching. Now is the time to be public. No longer can public servants hide in the shadows and rule behind closed doors of a smoke filled room. You need to be available to the public. People need to have access to you. Not everyone reads the paper and not everyone can listen in on the radio. The internet offers another alternative.

This website has proven it's worth. It is like talking to people on the street or in the coffee shop. Make yourself available. Make yourselves transparent. It is a tough assignment and sometimes people will not be happy with you but when they see you respond respectfully and intelligently the public will take note. People want to know what is going on. People want to be involved.

That is the point to make here. In order for government to work "people" need to be involved. There are to many committees that are staffed by to few people. People need to stand up and commit to participation. The reason the peninsula citizens were caught off guard on the McCloud Street project is that there was no one out there reporting on the progress. If the committee members would come on this site and let people know what is happening on a regular basis the people would be informed. Right now the way this city works is that the committees discuss things and the minutes are given to the city. They are not published and so the only public announcement in the "Official paper" is the report that the city council approved the committee minutes. It is not reported what was said. This gives an opportunity to allow things to be going on that the public doesn't know about like the purchase of the
Northside Medical Center Assets. That came out of the sky blue.

There are many changes the incoming City Council members should consider. It would be beneficial to openly discuss them on this forum, like the City Council/Chamber of Commerce connection. I have heard of two people leaving the Chamber because of the direction it was taking. The Chamber needs another overhaul to drop it's politics and act like a business chamber. That will be a subject for another thread. In the meantime everyone can put on their thinking caps and ponder what part they want to play in the future growth of Ortonville.

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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