Why Childish Theatrics? Is There Something to Hide, Mark Fitzgerald?
Why Childish Theatrics? Is There Something to Hide, Mark Fitzgerald? by Halie S. Rebeccaschild
On Tuesday, 6/27/2017, the majority council adjourned the City Council meeting at 5 minutes, 10 seconds. Mark Fitzgerald, mayor-under-recall, admonished minority council member Rob Weisgerber. Why? For failing to remove or condemn a reply on a Facebook post by a resident that suggested violence be carried out against Council Member Pam Gross (see “Facebook comment brings abrupt and dramatic end to Loveland City Council meeting“).
After this lengthy admonishment, the majority adjourned the meeting and abandoned an entire room full of residents and a full agenda with no apologies, suggesting that their behavior was quite all right because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln were on their side.
Of course, violence is not the answer; no one suggests it is, and LCHPAC strongly condemns both violent language and physical violence, neither of which have a place in civil society. Language does matter, and that’s why the majority council should have initiated a thoughtful discussion on how to respond to threatening language in social media. Mark Fitzgerald, Angie Settell, Pam Gross, and Steve Zamagias, had a great point, but instead of seeking solutions, they chose to silence any debate on this critically important topic. Their actions speak loudly that their intent was not to seek solutions to conflict but to create more conflict by silencing voices, and many residents were waiting to be heard and acknowledged at the 6/27 meeting.
This missed opportunity represents a monumental failure by our elected, majority council to actually lead. And this failure suggests that they had other reasons to avoid the meeting.
The Real 6/27 Agenda: Avoid Resident Scrutiny at All Cost
Mark Fitzgerald, Angie Settell, Pam Gross, and Steve Zamagias staged a walk out, in their best attempt at defiant political theater, to deflect resident focus away from a growing list of conflicts of interest and questionable development deals that Loveland Community Heartbeat (LCHPAC) stakeholders and other Loveland residents are exposing. For example, Todd Osborne uncovered a Fitzgerald appointment to the Board of Trustees on Loveland’s Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) that violates CIC regulations (see “Let’s Connect Some Dots: A follow up to Todd Osborne’s statement to council on 6/13/17).
Look to the Hanging Agenda
On this note, residents might want to take another look at the 6/27 agenda to see what items are left hanging in the wind. Here is just one (of two) to watch for on the 7/11 City Council Meeting agenda.
See Item 9.B An ordinance to raise the city manager’s discretionary spending limit to $50,000.
(You need a little back story to fully understand the significance of this item. Remember Rob Stansel? LCHPAC wrote this blog to expose Dave Kennedy’s illegal contract, “Who’s Rob Stansel? The Guy Awarded an Illegal Contract in Loveland, Ohio.”)
Well, this ordinance would get Stansel paid by raising the city manager’s discretionary spending limit (per individual) from $15k to $50k!
Do the math.
We will pay city manager Dave Kennedy $107k + benefits this year, and on top of that, Mark Fitzgerald and his majority want us to pay Stansel up to $50k. Is this typical for municipalities our size? We don’t think so. It’s upon our majority council to demonstrate completion of a comparative analysis.
And since all of this political maneuvering surrounds the employment of just one person, here’s an interesting tidbit: Karl Weidner and Rob Stansel have a professional history together.
Check it out here or just do a simple Google Search for “Property Development Associates Loveland.”
Okay, so Mark Fitzgerald brought a seasoned pair of development and real estate specialists to Loveland. No big deal right? Until we start looking at possible conflicts of interest, like that we found with Weidner and son (See “Let’s Connect Some Dots.”)
Is it possible that Stansel’s employment with the city and his relationship to Weidner on the CIC has created conflicts of interest that Dave Kennedy, Mark Fitzgerald, and Pam Gross as the Vice President of the CIC, have ignored?
All of these questions wait for Mark Fitzgerald and his majority to pass this $50K ordinance.