As the saying goes, “elections matter”. So, it is only right that we should give our new Mayor Lydia Mihalik some latitude to reorganize her city administration. However, I do question the wisdom of giving our new City Safety and Service Director, Mr. Schmelzer, the responsibilities that once belonged to two full-time positions, and a bigger role in the city engineer’s department, while leaving the city engineer with one less full-time, qualified engineer. There are, after all, only so many hours in a day. The consequence of this decision is hers to bear for better or worse. If the city engineer’s department is able to keep all of the balls in the air and perform all of its’ duties while saving the taxpayers some money -so much the better.
But I take issue with the appointment of the new Communications Director. To fire an administrative assistant, who I would hope performed duties that served the city of Findlay, and then create a new position for Mr. Horne, represents the worst form of political patronage. Mr. Horne may have earned his stripes with the local Republican party and with Mayor Mihalik, but that does not entitle him to a job on the public payroll without the benefit of a real open employment process.
I understand that the Mayor has the right to hire individuals who will represent her interests, but the Mayor also has a responsibility to the citizens of Findlay. This appointment crosses the line. It sends a message, loud and clear, that if you have the right connections and work to support the right party and the right candidate, one can expect preferential treatment at City Hall. This is not a message that the City of Findlay should want for our community. The fact is that just the appearance of nepotism and political favoritism is as harmful to our public institutions as nepotism and political favoritism itself. I would respectfully ask the mayor to reconsider this appointment.
See articular in the Findlay Courier: http://www.thecourier.com/Issues/2012/Jan/05/ar_news_010512_story1.asp?d=010512_story1,2012,Jan,05&c=n#__comments
See Editorial in the Findlay Courier: http://www.thecourier.com/opinion/editoral/2012/Jan/05/ar_ed_010512.asp?d=010512,2012,Jan,05&c=e_0