Friday, March 01, 2013 - 5:02 AM
A strategic planning session for members of city council didn't go quite as planned Thursday night. The group had scheduled a meeting with Six Disciplines, but didn't make that meeting public. However the press and some city residents showed up anyway, citing Ohio's open meeting laws as the reason to have access. Jerry Murray, K.C. Collette, Councilwoman-at-Large Anne Spence, 1st Ward Councilman Mike Slough, council President Jim Slough, and Auditor Jim Staschiak all stayed for the meeting, while others including Law Director Don Rasmussen decided not to attend once it was decided to hold the meeting in the public view.
When the meeting got going, the group reviewed the city government's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The Courier reports expectations for excellence, the city's education system, citizen involvement, community support, and a solid economic base were identified as the city's top five strengths. The group agreed that weaknesses included internal and external communication, the short terms of council members, a lack of understanding about what officials' roles are, a general expectation that government change should be easy, and a lack of collaboration between elected officials.
Following the meeting Jerry Murray apologized for the lack of openness regarding the meeting. He told the newspaper, "I was initially cautious because I didn't think we could talk openly. But I fought for this meeting a long time ago. I wanted it to be an open process." He admitted the two thoughts conflicted with each other and were hypocritical.
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