Loveland Magazine

Exclusive report and video: Beautification committee resigns en-mass at Tuesday council meeting

“We simply refuse to be identified with a governing majority that resorts to petty, vindictive actions against citizens.”

Loveland, Ohio – Fighting back emotions, Loveland Beautification Committee chair Lynn Oury read from a statement Tuesday night, announcing the mass resignation of seven members because Mayor Mark Fitzgerald did not re-appoint Donna Bednar to another term.

Oury said they are “Deeply disappointed that Council Majority voted to accept a committee roster that excluded the name of Donna Bednar.” The vote excluding Bednar came at the council meeting on January 5. Fitzgerald, Vice-Mayor Pam Gross, Linda Cox, and Angie Settell voted for the list that excluded Bednar. Rob Weisgerber, Ted Phelps, and Kathy Bailey expressed disappointment, and voted, “No.” (Read and watch videos: Committee upset that Donna Bednar was not re-oppointed to Beautification Committee)

Oury’s statement also said, “We simply refuse to be identified with a governing majority that resorts to petty, vindictive actions against citizens with long-standing, stellar records of service to the community. Long-serving volunteers should not be callously cast aside and used as pawns for political gamemanship.”

The statement was signed by, Oury, (16-years service) vice-chair, Becky Giver (16-years service), secretary, Emily Hicks (2-years service), and members, Mike Wise (20-years service), Cindy Jones (9-years service), Peggy Goodwin, (20-years service) and Cynthia Tate (16-years service). Newley named committee member Brittany Byrd is the only person to remain on the committee list, however since she is yet to attend her first meeting or take an oath of office, the viability of the committee is not known.

Both Fitzgerald and councilwoman, Pam Gross spoke to Loveland Magazine after the meeting and expressed their appreciation for the volunteer’s service to the community.

The only explanation previously given was that “new blood” is sometimes needed on committees. On Tuesday Fitzgerald added another justification, when asked if a good compromise would have been to re-instate Bednar. He said that committees can become too large to have a quorum of members who can attend meetings.

Gross said after the meeting that the future of the Beautification Committee is not known, however other city committees may be reorganized and be given beautification responsiblities. She also suggested  a community group might step forward and be given the dollars in the Beautification Committee budget.

As for the people who resigned on Tuesday, Oury said that they will stick together and soon announce some community service projects they have bounced around such as planting flowers for senior citizens, or clean-up efforts around the city.



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