Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Guest Commentary: Mayor Wilson Weighs In On Referendum

Fairhope, Alabama

Why I'm Voting YES for Fairhope Nov 6th.

"A non-political, professional City Manager would decrease operating expenses by increasing efficiency and improving productivity. With a new form of government, the mayor sits as a voting member of council - not as an elected political executive. I believe that a political executive, having control over staff, is a fundamental flaw in proper and efficient local government management.

I brought my financial background, which includes 25 years of managing people and 20 years running a business, to improve fiscal stability and implement planning for our unprecedented growth. In two short years, I turned around a city running at a $6MM deficit to a nearly self-sufficient state.

The ship has been righted because I have empowered directors to do their jobs,
gave them the tools they needed to accomplish it, and hired experienced, non-political professionals.

A political mayor uses daily operations to achieve political "wins", which is what creates the politicization of city staff and operations and fosters unequal treatment depending on whether or not you are an "important" citizen.

However, when non-political professionals are in charge, things like maintaining private roads, running free sewer lines for new development, and allowing developers to install substandard sewer infrastructure (which leaves citizens footing the bill) no longer happens!

Having two professional civil engineers on staff has saved the city $800k in engineering costs alone in two years. Much of the savings in these departments cannot be quantified, but it certainly shows up in the year-end financials.

Politicians will boast about paying off debt when it has actually been at the expense of putting off critical infrastructure. This administration has managed the budget, personnel, and planning our infrastructure with a collaborative, comprehensive approach. This needs to continue. As the fastest growing city in the State, we must do better. Let’s vote to get politics out of day-to-day business which has been an issue for almost twenty years.

With the mayor as a voting member of the council and NOT a political executive over city operations, this conflict, which has been at the very heart of Fairhope issues (as it has been in other municipalities) is removed.

If the vote is successful, another savings will be that a future mayor can no longer draw two salaries (one for mayor and one for superintendent of utilities). I did not take the $60k superintendent pay and instead put this toward hiring a much-needed utility manager with 28 years’ experience. Let’s not allow good decisions like this to be reversed.

Do not believe the rumors. Strategic investment in experienced professionals pays off. The last two years is proof!

This fundamental change will require ALL city elected leaders to work together to formulate a vision and strategic direction which a professional city manager is charged with carrying out. No more bickering with the mayor or council. The entire council, mayor included, will rise or fall based on their vision and direction for the city. No blame games - just absolute accountability to ALL citizens.

Voting yes is not about me nor the current council. It’s about our FUTURE.

Let’s not go backward...let’s CONTINUE to move forward. Vote YES for Fairhope on Nov 6th."

Karin W. Wilson
Fairhope, Alabama


Anonymous said...

Babble: to talk long-winded without making much sense

Anonymous said...

Well said mayor. hope the people aren't misled by the naysayers and do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

She was against it before she was for it. Confusing.

Anonymous said...

Her heart is in the right place and has been from the beginning; she was at one of the first Fresh Start Fairhope meetings. Mayor Wilson does not excel in extemporaneous speech, but she seems to want the very best for Fairhope (as opposed to the 3Bees on the Council who are clearly freaking out over the possibility of losing their power (aka cash).......imho!

Anonymous said...

I don’t think it will work well. The proponents also should realize the City Council currently in place can hire someone to a long term contract just before the switchover so that the new person can be organized when the transfer is completed. The new administrator will be someone they approve of and the next Council will be unable to remove that person unless and until they can show proper “cause”.

I for one am tired of hearing from a “fake hero” blogger who finds fault with anyone opposing the Mayor. (And no, i don’t think she is all that bad.) Fake heroes will continually reference their military service of many years ago as if they are entitled to something more. They are first to go to the surgeon over non combat injuries and use resources true heroes need.

Anonymous said...

does not excel in extemporaneous speech? thats for sure!

Anonymous said...

rip had a bullet wound in the head in 'nam.

Anonymous said...

Wrong! The manager would be selected by the next council not the current one. Did you bother to attend any of the meetings about it?

Anonymous said...

wrong is correct, these blogs have more fake news than CNN

Anonymous said...

wilsons been in office two years and is an expert on everything now?

Anonymous said...

Remember she has two top expert advisors, Dumb and Dumber!

Anonymous said...

I don’t know if it would come to it but there is nothing to prevent the Present City Council from hiring a manager before the manager begins work. Just because someone at the meeting wants a different council to hire someone does not mean things will happen that way. I suspect the lame ducks (we are guaranteed some) won’t care to take that on but if things get crazy that can definitely happen. The 3 Bs are against the CM idea anyhow and it does’t matter what the other two think if they want to extend their influence post election. Wonder what would happen if all 3 were re-elected ?