McMasters exit only first move needed by Huber council

By Darrell Wacker -

The news that Huber Heights Mayor Tom McMasters will not seek reelection is certain to be welcomed by most city residents who watch the Huber Heights political scene closely. McMasters has been a lightning rod of controversy since his election in 2013 with most, but not all of it, self inflicted.

I applaud McMasters’ decision to not seek a second term. It is in the best interest of the city. The city needs less of his end runs around the will of council when he doesn’t get his way and more collaboration and consensus building.

McMasters exit won’t end the problems that ail the Huber Heights City Council, however.

Individually, I find all of the members to be intelligent people who care about their community. Collectively, however, Council is a dysfunctional body that beats dead horses for hours on end and often argues like children rather than debates the substance of issues.

Tuesday’s special meeting was a perfect example – a meeting that should have taken maybe 90 minutes instead stretched over four hours. At the end of it, no one except the city’s attorney and the council clerk left there knowing what they did – and no one of them will convince me otherwise.

The debate over charter review proposals that have been debated for several months went on for hours because the city had to meet a midnight filing deadline with the board of elections. To me, this begs the question: Are the proposals really ready for the voters if endless debate is required to cram them in before a midnight filing deadline? If that much discussion and debate really needed to occur, was there some pressing emergency that prevented the measures from being held until the November election for more discussion? There was not.

I gave up after two and a half hours and called the next morning to have the actions explained in plain English. I pity the handful of folks who stayed to the end.

It would be one thing if this was an unusual occurrence, but its not – it is business as usual in Huber Heights, which is sad. Elected officials are elected to do more than grandstand.

It’s absurd, and I don’t believe McMasters exit will solve that problem, but hopefully its a start.

By Darrell Wacker

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.