Doesn't get Votes
Loveland, Ohio - This LOVELAND MAGAZINE HD VIDEO is from the July 26 City council meeting when Councilwoman Angie Settell asked for a vote to reprimand City Manager, Thomas Carroll. She was concerned about his recent actions concerning Loveland’s Amazing Race.
Settell said that Carroll’s actions ended up being an “embarrassment and black mark” against the City and that there needs to be “consequences for Carroll's unprofessional behavior on what should have been a proud day for Loveland.” Carroll sent an e-mail to Race officials ten days prior to the July 16 event demanding an unexpected and unexplained $5,000, citing the failure of Race Board member, Martin Schickel's not signing a private contract to sell his prime real estate to private developer Rick Greiwe for use in the downtown Loveland Station project. Carroll said that the Race permit would not be issued without the $5,000. (City Manager Threatens to Cancel Loveland's Amazing Race)
In an e-mail, Carroll blamed Schickel for “killing” the Loveland Station Project because he would not sign the sale contract. Carroll said it would now cost the City an additional $108,000 to refinance debt on the downtown project and he would have to lay off a police officer.
Settell said that she cannot bury her head in the sand. “I’ve had too many e-mails, discussions and calls from concerned citizens. There needs to be consequences for unprofessional behavior.” Her motion ultimately failed when Brenton Zuch moved to “Table” the motion. Discussion ended when an immediate 4-3 vote was taken, Mayor Rob Weisgerber, Vice Mayor David Bednar, Paulette Leeper, and Brenton Zuck voted to table the motion. Settell, Mark Fitzgerald, and Linda Cox voted for more discussion.
In moving to squash discussion, Zuck said that there wasn’t anybody who wanted the race to stay in Loveland more than him. He said there was “great deal of political grandstanding, opportunism, and there’s been a lot of people picking at this sore.” He suggested the issue was staying alive, “To keep hard feelings rolling and make a spectacle of this.” He said the City was on the verge of bringing the issue to a resolution and that’s what, ‘We need to focus on at this time.” He said that Settell’s motion might endanger an amicable outcome between the City and the Race.
There is speculation that the Race, after 7 years might not happen next year, or it may be moved to another city. Race registration, which usually opens immediately for the next year, has been indefinitely postponed.
However, Mark Fitzgerald wouldn’t let the subject drop. He said at the core of the matter is “equity” how people expected to be treated in doing business with the City of Loveland.” He said that for the City Manager to link the private dealings of one of the Race organizers to the issuance of a special events permit for the Amazing Race was, “Totally inappropriate.”
Fitzgerald speculated on what kind of message it would send to someone who might be a business prospect wanting to invest and bring jobs. He said that Settell’s motion is “wholly” in order, because council needed to “step up and reign in” the City Manager. “I don’t think that tabled motion will come back, and I think that’s sending a terrible message.”
After some discussion about some council members being left in the dark throughout the matter, Fitzgerald said:
“Nothing alters the fact that ten days before an event, an event that already had all the arrangements worked out, (the City Manager) came up with some bogus fee. They pay the fee. The fee ultimately gets refunded, but there’s the audacity to say, you either give me the $5,000 fee or have this individual deliver a signed contract for his property. There’s no way getting around that.”
In closing the meeting Weisgerber allowed himself the last say, “This has been handled horribly. Everybody’s pointing at the City Manager, but look around the table.” Weisgerber said he had previously asked council, “Give me a little latitude to work with the race committee.” He said he didn’t want to drag the Race committee through the mud in public, “For things they did wrong on their part as well. But, if we are trying to drag people through the mud, let’s go at it, but there’s going to be a lot of collateral damage that goes with it. But, that’s not my objective.”
Carroll refused comment after the meeting concluded. (Read Editorial: Loveland Magazine Officially Illegitimate)
Libby Fisher said: