November 22, 2019 10:05:07 AM
Encourages more transparency and discussion at council meetings
After reading a commentary by Steve Rogers in The Packet, he brought up a subject that I've been writing about for some time. Transparency. At the council meetings I have attended for the past several years, it is a cut and dried process. The "docket" is voted on. I have never witnessed any questions asked or explanations giving on anything. I know it is a boring read, because I try to go over it when it is published before the meeting. To refresh your memory, there was a check written for about $124,000 to Webster Electric for repair work, I wrote about it and it was found, to have been written in error. Oops? At the council meeting nothing was said. Now this is old news, but my point is to question whether the docket is looked at properly by the council before it is voted on. It is the taxpayer money being spent.
First there have been no updates given to the new LED street light being installed. I have heard several citizens talk about calling the Columbus Light & Water Department for street lights that have gone out. I thought we were paying this new firm to replace them. But what do I know?
Now, to the Amphitheater. The city is to receive $500,000 from the state to start the second phase. This will be spent for a brick and iron fence to secure the area running from the back of the stage down the east side of the river and back up the incline to where the main wall at the entrance will be built. There is no way to secure the west side because there is a rock drive to a private resident behind the amphitheater. The $500,000 state bond funds, is $2 million short of what is needed to complete it. There has been no talk about what if it floods again. Is FEMA going to come to the city's rescue every time it floods? On that point, what has happened to the FEMA relief monies? Transparency? Does the city use the state money for flood repairs? Nothing has been mentioned. The question comes up now, does J5 receive their cut of the $500,000 from the state?
Next the city's financial condition is a mystery, because the report published on the city's agenda will make a CPA pull his hair. There are a lot of numbers put out and not a lot of explanation to the figures presented. What about Columbus' share of the state's new infrastructure funding? The more transparency in the city the less assumption the public will be doing.
Contrary to what some council members think about my letters, all I want is a transparent city government. Contrary to what was said at the impeachment hearings, "facts are better than opinions".
God Bless Columbus and America.
Lee Roy Lollar
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