Soon we will have a choice in seating a new city council. Any councilman or woman that has been on past councils must be replaced. Major mistakes from 2004 to 2010 are due to the decisions of three members; two two-term members and ex-mayor have participated in Oakdale’s financial ruin.
1. Termination of a seasoned city manager who disagreed with excessive costs for the Bridle Ridge fire station construction and manpower.
2. Selection of a weak and ineffective city manager who was later terminated after $1KK of irregularities was discovered.
3. Approved the purchase of the Hershey’s visitor center at a ridiculous price and further refurbishment, total cost of more than $1KK. Negotiations with Hershey’s should have resulted as a donation of this building for compensation of 600 jobs lost.
4. Oakdale did not seek any compensation from Hershey’s for moving the operation to Mexico. Hershey’s was expecting great opposition to the move.
5. Absurd salaries and retirement benefits for top city staff positions and big severance packages.
6. Permitting a few operations on the airport to enjoy rents 1/2 to 1/3 market price and denying other operators; assessing the airport with $50K per year of city maintenance and support while labeling the airport as a financial loss.
7. Hiring a public works director with an overstated résumé and inadequate certifications.
Blaming the bad economy for mismanagement and corruption is not acceptable. Many bad decisions were made long before the housing bubble burst.
Please let new personalities come to council with independent thought and clear conscience. Five new candidates for three seats should be enough selection.