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Council members mostly mum on motives

August 16, 2011

St. Marys resident Ned Jacob questioned members of city council on Monday evening about their recent decision to begin the process of dissolving the parking authority. Photo by Becky Polaski.

By now, most residents of the City of St. Marys are aware that members of the St. Marys City Council passed a series of resolutions on Thursday, Aug. 4, to begin the process of dissolving the city's parking authority. However, little information other than that is known due to the fact that the discussion leading up to that action all took place during executive sessions.
Because of the lack of information available to area residents on the matter, St. Marys resident Ned Jacob approached council members during their meeting on Monday evening in an attempt to gain some more insight about the situation.
Jacob began by explaining to council that he had attended the parking authority's most recent meeting and they freely told him their side of the story.
"I would like to hear city council's story on the parking authority, why we're going to dismantle the parking authority and what led up to that," Jacob said.
Instead of answering Jacob's question, council members began to debate the legality of the parking authority's meeting.
City Manager Dave Greene remarked that the authority's meeting was only supposed to be an executive session.
"It was an executive session. Were you invited?" Greene asked Jacob.
Jacob responded that the parking authority did indeed have an executive session, but then held a regular meeting as well.
"It wasn't an advertised meeting. It wasn't a legal meeting," Greene said. "They can have an executive session, which is what they told us they were having."
Jacob attempted to get council back on track and again asked to hear their side of the story regarding their decision to do away with the parking authority.
Mayor Sally Geyer explained that council's decision is justified by the Home Rule Charter; however, she did not give any indication of what specific issues led to that outcome.
"It's in the Home Rule Charter that the city council can disband any authority, boards or whatever," Geyer said. "There was an issue with the parking authority and they did not want to comply with what the city council had requested. They're an arm of the city and they were going to be working against the city council on this. They were asked not to and they pretty much said they didn't need to comply with what city council wanted."
Jacob again asked council members to provide more information on the specific issue to which Geyer referred.
Councilman Dick Dornisch responded that if Jacob had attended the parking authority's meeting, then he should have already heard the issue.
"I'm asking you in an open meeting what's going on here with the parking authority," Jacob replied. "Why are we doing this? What led up to this situation?"
Dornisch responded that the situation stemmed from an 'unresolvable issue.'
"There was an unresolvalbe issue that had to do with them going against the direct wishes of council on an issue that had been determined by council sometime previously," Dornisch said. "The people that were involved were doing exactly what council had passed a motion and told them to do, and [the authority] simply did not want to follow our directions. [We met in executive sessions] and determined if they did not serve us as they were appointed to do, then we had no reason to continue going on with them. We might as well dismiss them and take care of these issues ourselves."
Again Jacob asked about the nature of the specific issue.
Finally Dornisch admitted that the issue related to the parking garage.
"Let's just say it had to do with the parking garage and what they determined the parking garage should be and what we had determined, with the bottom falling out of the [economy], that it could be with the monies that were available," Dornisch said. "They didn't agree and so we met an impasse and it became their choice to leave because we were not getting anywhere."
Dornisch noted that he was trying to give Jacob a 'bare-bones' summary of the situation.
"I don't think it's an issue that has to be turned into any kind of cause célèbre," Dornisch said. "It simply was an issue that could not be resolved between the two bodies."

Comments

I'm just going to say this

August 23, 2011 by Johnson (not verified), 2 years 34 weeks ago
Comment: 225

I'm just going to say this right now...the parking garage was a terrible idea! There is no economy in Downtown St. Marys that will even have people parking in that garage. Really? Besides Sheetz or the movies, what would someone go downtown for? There is plenty of parking for the few businesses that are down there suffereing. Maybe they should of got a grant for something else that is more worth while for the community.

Johnson hit a homerun

August 24, 2011 by Chuck (not verified), 2 years 34 weeks ago
Comment: 229

How right you are Johnson. Downtown St. Marys has been dying a lingering death for many years. Instead of beating up on the downtown businesses eleven months out of the year; and being nice to them at Christmas time with free parking for 30 days, City Council needs to reverse that. Let's face it, St. Marys is not a business friendly community in the downtown. And it's going to get worse as this new committee, that just replaced the Parking Authority, struggles to make changes to improve their image, not the communities, just their own. It's all about those giant egos folks.I,I,I,me,me,me. I wasn't a bit surprised to see an immediate press release by the new parking committee complete with a damage control photo, and look who was front and center in the picture. Mr. Ego himself. Those changes proposed are cosmetic and will do little to improve the deplorable parking situation in our city. Bring back the Parking Authority before it costs us mega bucks in another law suit and wrecks this town's image even more.

Thank You Mr. Jacob

August 17, 2011 by JustpainJane (not verified), 2 years 35 weeks ago
Comment: 210

For putting City Council on the hot seat. You had them squirmming as they searched for ways to evade your questions. I suspected for along time that all of these "Excutive Sessions" where "no decisions were made", stunk to high heaven. I also thought it was ironic that Councilman Roberts, who always has an answer for everything, was as quiet as a church mouse during this exchange. What's with that? And Mr. Dornisch, shame on you calling the problem an "unresolved issue"; and, stating, "We might as well dismiss them (Paking Authority)and take care of the issue ourselves". That is the height of arrogance of power! How dare you mistreat our citizens with that controlling attitude!

Typical GOVT Hogwash--

August 17, 2011 by cosa69 (not verified), 2 years 35 weeks ago
Comment: 208

Always HIDING things from the voters/taxpayers. St. Marys is no different than Washington DC. Hope that was OK to say (Eyes Wide Open and Changer 77)...... LOL!

Your argument

August 17, 2011 by Eyeswideopen (not verified), 2 years 35 weeks ago
Comment: 212

So once again to redeem yourself. What would you do in this situation. Specifics please. I keep asking but you give no detail either. So what are you hiding?

What to do

August 19, 2011 by cosa69 (not verified), 2 years 34 weeks ago
Comment: 214

Its simple, keep the Parking Authority. Why do U make things sooooo difficult eyes closed?

So COsa your going to make a

August 20, 2011 by Eyeswideopen (not verified), 2 years 34 weeks ago
Comment: 218

So COsa your going to make a decision without all the facts. That is poor judgement. No one knows the reason, what the exact issue of disagreement, is between the authority and council. Do you?

The fact that council is not revealing what is going on is bad judgement on their part and leads to these assumptions about the job they are trying to do. I will not defend the council (that should give you an idea of where I stand on them.)

The parking garage is a bad idea, the only folks who seem to have benefitted are the owners of Industrial Steel.

Maybe you have some more information than I do, but if you don't have ALL the facts from both sides I don't see how you can com to a logical decision. Be objective not subjective in your thoughts, gather all the facts and don't shoot from the hip.

I like the fact that you are concerned about what goes on in our town, I really do, but to disagree with everything and be correct is not impossible.

What COSA knows:

August 22, 2011 by cosa69 (not verified), 2 years 34 weeks ago
Comment: 221

U would be surprised what he knows. U do not have to be a rocket scientist to know what is going on downtown. If your eyes are wide open, it should be simple to see. U may want to chnage your handle.

"Chuck" has you pegged in his comment.

To Eyeswideopen

August 18, 2011 by Chuck (not verified), 2 years 34 weeks ago
Comment: 213

Be reasonable, not arrogant and superior. Compromise, don't just discard our volunteer citizens like pieces of useless trash. The Parking Authority served this community well over the years; more than I can say for this City Council. We have mistreated City employees and volunteers badly in the past and it has cost us tons of money. Quit playing stupid Eyeswideopen and call on your recollection. Contray to what some Council members and the Mayor might think, being tough all the time just doesn't work!!!

Assumptions

August 19, 2011 by Eyeswideopen (not verified), 2 years 34 weeks ago
Comment: 216

Once again kids, have I expressed an opionion about what council did? NO

Don't read into my posts, I am simply asking for solutions from those who are doing the critizising.

Please reread All my posts, I really haven't taken any sides, I am simply asking what the people who HAVE taken sides would do.

Thanks, and be careful about assumptions.

It is so easy to gripe, complain, and think you can do better, but when faced with a simple explanation of your side you crumble, and lash out. Why? because your smoke and mirrors, no ideas, no solutions, nothing.

Thanks

Eyes Closed:

August 20, 2011 by cosa69 (not verified), 2 years 34 weeks ago
Comment: 217

In the scheme of things, no one really cares what U think. We have seen your kind before. Fence walkers.Right down the middle on every subject. Afraid to state an opinion for fear that U might offend someone. 50-50. Vanilla.

Cosa revealed...

August 22, 2011 by Eyeswideopen (not verified), 2 years 34 weeks ago
Comment: 219

So now you not only make decisions without all the facts but you know what everyone thinks? "no one really cares what U think" By the way "U" is spelled "you." Not everyone even looks at this board, so how could they have even formed an opinion?

Are you sure that everyone feels that way? or is it that in your mind no one else matters? That is really what you are saying, you know that don't you. No one matters but you.

That is not how it is in the real world, where logic and tolerance do exist sometimes.

Cosa the dictator!!! Think like him, don't question his motives or you will become an outcast.

Thanks for this little exchange Cosa, I enjoyed it, and on top of it all I hope is that maybe your eyes widened a little to see that it is not all about you. That you can't operate without facts, and that complaining illogically somtimes doesn't work.

Revealed

August 23, 2011 by cosa69 (not verified), 2 years 34 weeks ago
Comment: 226

Cosa knows one thing 4 sure: Eyes Wide Open cannot wait to check the comments section and READ what COSA has to say.... Thank You Eyes.

C-Ya at the parking garage's Grand Opening..... LOL!

Cosa is "on point" at a law suit.

August 23, 2011 by Chuck (not verified), 2 years 34 weeks ago
Comment: 224

Here's how I see it- The St. marys Parking Authority thought they were getting "X" number of parking spaces as a result of the Yoder development (atrocity). They were shorted by about 50% of what was promised to them. They filed a lawsuit to rectify the situation and in an attempt to recover valuable parking spaces in the downtown area. Council in trying to protect the developer got angry and fired whole Authority. Hats off to the Parking Authority for
defending what they stand for- parking in St. Marys. Shame on City Council for being vindictive! Time will tell if my opinion is correct.
And, if you look closely at the law suits filed against our fair city you will find one common denominator sitting of City Council.

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