From: Kenneth Fudge
I recently watched the recorded State of the City address by Mayor Lienhoop. I was left with the remarkable impression of it being unremarkable. A short rhetorical speech by Lienhoop about his four “pillars” then a speech from Mark Jones, director of the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, about how terrible Donner Center has become, how it needs demolished and a new facility built.
Mr. Lienhoop, can all you have done in office in a year be summarized in a short speech? All I heard was a sales pitch, not the state of our city; no viable results were mentioned.
Lienhoop gave $750,000 of taxpayer money to the school corporation. Schools are funded by the state and federal government. Was this for a specific purpose that would be monitored or just a blank check used as the school board wishes? Was it an attempt to ingratiate teachers to board the Lienhoop train and become supporters?
Lienhoop has given himself two pay raises while in office. He stated at the first City Council meeting he was going to review pay and job descriptions of all city jobs, making sure we were competitive with other cities our size in regards to employee compensation. To date he has done nothing.
Lienhoop traveled extensively to Japan, Germany and the Sundance Film Festival in the name of economic development, yet this city lost two large factory expansions here, namely NTN and Faurecia.
Lienhoop has disallowed open public comment at the end of business in City Council meetings and shut off the citizen’s right to address the council on issues in a public forum. He claims the citizen’s right to know about what city government is doing is “inviolate,” yet the only way citizens know anything is through his media releases. In my opinion propaganda, not transparency. To question, using public information requests, gets your name released to the media as costing the city “thousands” of dollars.
Mayor Lienhoop has authorized and the city council rubber stamped studies that cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars and are redundant or unnecessary. There also are a lot of “fee for service” contracts going to his supporters.
Lienhoop has formed committees but has no viable results from any. Those trains aren’t stopped nor has he connected the People Trail. His administration has purchased land, agreeing to overpay the true value and the city becoming responsible for remediation costs yet to be determined and waiving past due property taxes.
The drug problem in this city is epidemic. Lienhoop admitted he didn’t even know the extent of the one that exists. I think our mayor is not too well connected to the public or he would have been aware. I don’t think he really cares about addicts, he just doesn’t want to look bad. I don’t think he realizes this “problem” is the result of many socioeconomic and sociological conditions that exist in our city.
No vision, no plan, no results thus far by the current mayor and his administration.