2008-11-15 / Editorials & Letters

Wells asks who is minding the sinking Buckeye Lake ship

Editor:

Buckeye Lake's ship is sinking and we're all asking, "Who is at the helm?"

Voters turned down two more levies for the Village of Buckeye Lake. The additional police levy didn't stand a chance. However, it's pretty telling when your street light renewal levy fails. After all, who doesn't want street lights? Were voters uninformed or sending a message?

The .8 mill operating levy was a renewal generating $ 20,405.98 in 2008. For years, the levy paid for street lights even though the ballot language didn't specify that. Neither the mayor nor the council bothered to communicate with the voters about this important fact.

Finance Chair Hilde Hildabrandt often squawks about her credentials in finance, but on this voyage she was certainly asleep at the wheel. Not only did she fail to communicate with voters, she failed to do her job A YEAR AGO! Council had three chances to put this levy on the ballot starting last November, but they waited until the third and final opportunity. Hildabrandt should be walking the plank for her poor performance.

What other topics drew Council's attention away from this critical $20,000 levy? A quick review of this year's council minutes reveal the following "significant" topics:

1) Council discussed forming a Tree Commission to monitor trees that are planted or cut down. It's an interesting concept given the fact that village officials gave their blessing as thousands of trees were cut down for the now "stalled" Landings project.

2) The Mayor reported that he met with legal counsel to discuss exaction fees "making sure that when the water is in we are able to deal with developers and those fees." Too bad we already gave away 100 water taps for 10 years to The Landings development.

3) Mayor Foster told council that they would soon have to choose a color for the new fire hydrants.

4) Development Director Valerie Hans said she was "working on the creation of new letterhead that would have a picture of a lighthouse instead of the current sailboat."

5) Council passed legislation to bid out the street paving and the following month the mayor asked council to reconsider whether bidding was really necessary.

6) Council discussed the village cutting some waist-high grass on private property and assessing the expense to property taxes. Council President Charlene Hayden said she will "contact the attorney and get a list of the steps that need to be taken in order to take care of the problem." Seems like a waste of legal fees since that process was already established several years ago.

7) Employees evaluation forms were discussed off and on for SIX MONTHS before council got those forms. I suggest the forms be put to good use on COUNCIL and submitted to the voters so they can see what a lousy job they are doing!

Admittedly, council and the mayor have been focused on the water issue. The water system has consumed a lot of time and effort but whether you're running a ship or a village, you've got to chart your course, hoist the anchor, swab the deck, mend your sails, trim the jib and come about all at the same time. If our village officials cannot handle all the routine chores during the installation of this water system, it will be our loss. It appears that the ship is slowly sinking and our funding is getting washed out to sea. We've lost another $20,405.98. It's gone! Why? NO ONE IS AT THE HELM!!!

Peggy Wells Buckeye Lake

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