From: David Brown
The City Council needs to be reminded that it was the former administration that put The Commons property under the parks department control. The fee payment set-up should have been hammered out by the former city officials. But apparently there were unintended consequences and unforeseen circumstances as is often the case in setting up anything new to our government.
The council does not understand that The Commons is not like the parking garages. The garages are set up to make enough money to pay for the management company and make a profit to cover any maintenance that is needed so as not to be a burden to the taxpayers.
The Commons, however, is very much like any of the other parks we enjoy throughout this city. The Commons will never be self-sufficient and will always rely on taxpayers’ money to maintain the property. To add another layer of expense is to make it more of a burden to the current and future taxpayers of Columbus.
The council should work to resolve this matter within the structure of the city government rather than always trying to reinvent the wheel. The people who rent from the city should have specific instructions as to how their payments are to be made and who to contact if there are any problems. Someone in the parks department should be made to ensure that everything is working as it should be, just like every other city park or project that does not need an outside management team to function.
I think the council is still playing politics over the mayor’s action in removing the head of the parks department. They must admit that someone should have been held responsible for not collecting the rent for such a long time. If there were any confusion as to what should have happened, the parks department should have talked to someone for guidance.
The City Council is willing to spend at least $5,000 of the taxpayers’ money on a lawyer to see if it can force the mayor to not replace a department head, and it seems that it is willing to spend more on an outside management team, even as it has nothing but praise for the people who have handled the parks department’s business in the past.
I think the current mayor is doing the best job she can as far as stewardship of the taxpayers’ money. The city is being run more like a business with an eye on what we have, what we want and what we can afford.
For the first time in at least 18 years the city has a real budget, infrastructure is being addressed and there is a confidence that we are in good hands.
I wish the City Council members and the mayor would be able to work together and move forward. Politics are for election time.