Rescue of a city in crisis

Apr 07, 2017

The local newspapers from March 2017 headlines where; “Changes at city hall helped overcome significant budget deficit” and “Mill Creek digs itself out of deep budget deficit”

As reported in a local paper our city’s Director of Communication and Marketing Joni Kirk said; “When Mill Creek’s City Manager Rebecca Polizzotto took the reins of the city in June 2015 she faced a daunting task of overcoming a significant budget deficient of nearly $2.4 million dollars.”

Then in the informative March 3, 2017 Mill Creek Beacon, Editor Dan Aznoff wrote; “Mill Creek closed its 2015-2016 biennium with $1.5 million more in General Fund reserves than expected, falling just shy of $6.4 million.

In reference to the Mill Creek financial turnaround the Beacon editor goes on to quote Peggy Lauerman, the Mill Creek director of finances, (the financial turnaround was) “nothing short of phenomenal”. The Mill Creek financial director also quoted city employees that are ecstatic about our city’s financial rebound.

Residents are breathing a sigh of relief knowing Rebecca has found and now fixed the mismanagement errors of our current and some past city council members. Yet, we must not stop there. City hall (and we citizens) have to look further into what caused our wonderful city’s financial meltdown.

It’s an axiom for mental health professionals to listen to what a person is not directly saying. Since what is hidden can be just or even more important than what is said.

While they celebrate our city’s  from a financial ruin, Rebecca’s subordinates are praising their boss. It’s important to note, without saying it directly, the the employees are also criticizing our past and current elected leaders for their colossal mismanagement of the taxpayer’s money.

What we really need is an explanation of how Mill Creek came so close to having such a major financial breakdown. It’s just common sense without answers that history will surely repeat itself. Voters must give credit where credit is due. Let’s find out who are the chief individuals that lead the city towards its deplorable, unbelievable and disastrous financial calamity!

Those honorable employees who wish to keep their tax paid jobs are afraid to tell us. Polizzotto will not tell us due to the fact she too would have to point her finger at some of her bosses’ ineptness and this could lead to her losing her job.

In order to keep our city’s interest forefront in your minds. I respectfully remind city hall employees that your loyalty should not be towards the ones who hired you. Your loyalty must be behind those who pay your salary, which of course are the taxpayers!

The search for the truth is now in the hands of our local press. These guardians of “the people” must step up and investigate what happen to our local government’s check and balance systems. All concerned can determine which of the past and current city councilpersons and our city’s official watch dogs were sleeping on the job.

Maybe the Mill Creek Beacon should have a special section dedicated so residents can submit specific questions for our city leaders, and not to a surrogate, then in 250 words or less these local governmental workers would be required to answer such public questions.

Polizzotto’s so-called draconian management style is still causing an unprecedented number of highly experienced employees to resign. Even with this we must acknowledge her phenomenal accounting skills. She kept the city from having a devastating monetary crisis.

Rightly so along with our gratitude the current Mill Creek councilmembers should be praising their city manager. Since it was she who cut the council’s approved budget pork; thereby saving the councilmembers political bacon.

Darn right its time again for the residents of Mill Creek along with our local newspaper reporters to step forward and explore answers to these questions;

How did our city council’s lack of oversight contribute to the mismanagement of our city’s budget? How can the voters become more involved in their city’s government so they can make sure their city’s leaders are doing their job in our government’s check and balance system?

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