The latest episode of the Huber Heights City Council soap opera comes in the form of Council Member Janell Smith making an inane motion to remove City Manager Rob Schommer from his position.
Smith’s reasoning? Shommer is violating the city charter by not living in the city and not doing a capital improvement plan.
For the record, council sent a capital improvement plan to a second reading last evening.
As for requiring that Schommer live in the city – good luck with that one. The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled twice that residency requirements are unconstitutional.
Some in Huber Heights think there’s a way to wiggle an exception into the courts, and they were successful in getting 60 percent of voters to keep the residency requirement in the charter despite the city’s legal council saying it would be virtually impossible to enforce.
The bottom line? If the council fires Schommer over the residency issue he will most likely sue and the city will almost certainly lose. Council knows that, yet some continue to press the issue.
Beyond that – lets say hypothetically Schommer decides to leave – frankly who could blame him given the clown show he has to deal with on city council?
If he leaves, or is fired, there is a very likely chance that the pool of candidates to replace him will be of poor quality and small.
The reason is simple – city council.
No manager who is worth his/her salt would want to come in and deal with the constant bickering, back stabbing, back room conversations, shifting loyalties, formal complaints, etc. that happens every few weeks on that council. There can be no degree of certainty or stability for any candidate.
What city manager would want to work in a city that holds personnel discussions in the open versus in executive session? What city manager would want to work in a city where a council member waits until he is out of town to move to fire him?
The City of Huber Heights would be best served if the entire council would resign and replaced with people who have the city’s interests at heart instead of their whiny, petty, self-interests, and hidden agendas.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.