Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) Report
What Happened Last Year
If you cruise around Amelia as I certainly did gathering signatures on the petitions to dissolve Amelia I certainly heard enough stories about the how Menz got the job of full time Village Adminstrator. Well I had my doubts simply because I could not believe it could actually happen the way people were telling me it happend. So I decided to see for myself. Now you don't have to take my word for it. Below is a list of public documents that you can acquire yourself through Public Records Requests.
It is Ohio Law that they have to provide you the requests you make so you will get them if you go ask for them.
November 6th, 2006 - Council meeting minutes.
Undated document made sometime before November 20th
November 20th, 2006 - Council meeting minutes.
November 20th, 2006 - Ordinance O-2006-88
December 4th, 2006 - Council meeting minutes
December 18th, 2006 - Council meeting minutes.
January 2, 2007 - Council meeting minutes.
January 2, 2007 - Ordinance O-2007-05
Everything I am about to tell you is contained in the above documents except my opinions and you all know what opinions are worth!
Mayor Menz Asked for a motion to go into executive session to discuss personal matters. *
Mr. Scharf motioned to go into executive session to discuss personal matters at 8:10 pm. Ms Troxell seconded the motion, Roll call vote; Me. Kelso yea, Mr. Scharf yea, Mr. Tasch yea, Ms Troxell yea, Mr. Walters yea. Motion carrier.(their spelling not mine)
Mr Scharf motioned to return to regular session at 8:30 pm. Ms Troxell seconded the motion. Roll call vote; Me. Kelso yea, Mr. Scharf yea, Mr. Tasch yea, Ms Troxell yea, Mr. Walters yea.
Mayor Menz asked council to continue this meeting on Wednesday November 15th. *
(I know this is hard to believe but it is titled Record of Proceedings - Village of Amelia. It has no date. It contains a guest list of Laura Abrams, There is a motion to go into excutive session to discuss personal matters. There is no mention of the council members at the meeting.There is no detailed vote, just All in favor. There is a motion to end the executive session then there is a motion to have the solicitor take the draft job description for the Village Administrator prepared by the mayor(((Menz))) fine tune it as needed and have prepared by next council meeting. Once again no detailed vote just All in favor. I believe that this document is sadly pathetic. It is certainly nothing like any of the other proceedings I have seen. SO FAR! By the way if you ask for this tell them page 936) .
This is on page 941. What happens here is that the ordinance to create the full time job is created, the rules are suspended and passed and authorization to drawing up the contract is passed.
(sorry you got to see this to believe it)
Now what I had heard on the streets was that Menz created the position as Mayor, then resigned and took the job. Pretty close to this information. Well that was bad enough, right! But some of the things I didn't know were there were executive(secret) sessions to discuss his personals problems just before he created the job. He not only created the job but he drafted the job description! I'll get into that and the bonuses that are contained in "his" job description a little later. Look at the ordinance above! Menz as mayor recommends the creation... The council, every last one of them who were there agrees... Menz has prepared a draft of his new job description... this job description has potentially massive bonuses for his new job.... public meetings are suspended... position created!!!
Now at this point we the residents don't know who is going to get the job because we are not privy to what goes on behind closed doors. But it dosen't take long. The above ordinance was passed on November 20th.
I don't have the exact salary figures on Menz's new salary and benefits. I intend to try to get them. I know the current mayor makes about $8,500 so if that were the case then Menz and the council put him in "fat city". By the way there was a recommendation that the mayor's salary be reduced to $5,000 a year because we now had a full time administrator. I'll see how that turned out and let you know. Even if it did happen it was a drop in the bucket compared to what Menz got and it didn't last very long because the mayor is back up to eight grand plus!
Now don't hold me to this because I do not have the exact figues but I have heard that Menz's salary is somewhere between $60,000 and $67,000 and his benefits are somewhere between $15,000 and $18,000. I am attempting to get those figures now. I can say for certain that the administration department has increased by at least $97,100 with the addition of a full time administrator. That is also a matter of public record. Of course we now also have a full time "executive assistant to the village administrator" too!
Mayor Menz asks for an executive(secret to the public) meeting *
Mayor Menz asks to continue this meeting on another date *
Mayor Menz recommends that a full time administrator job be created
Mayor Menz drafts the administrator's job description
Mayor Menz introduces ordinance creating full time job
Council passes ordinance
Mayor Menz reads his letter of resignation
Mayor Menz resigns as of December 31st, 2006
Former Mayor Menz appointed as time administrator
So this is the truth how it happened folks. No more rumor mill stuff. Get the documents for yourself and see!
Just one other thing before I close. I refered to the job description bonuses earlier and I would like to show them to you. The following was copied out of the Village Administrator job description available from the village.
"in addition to the base salary, the Administrator shall receive "incentive" on administrative pay of 10% of all grant moneys obtained by the Administrator's efforts or in cooperation with other governmental agencies which are used by the village and administrated by the administrator. Said incentive pay shall compensate him/her for additioanl duties and responsibilites incurred in obtaining and administrating such grants and shall be paid to the administrator in the fiscal year in which such grants are received. The incentive pay shall not exceed 50% of the administrator's salary, per project for which grants are obtained. By agreement of the Administrator and Council and because of extrodinary circumstances, such cap may be increased for specific projects undertaken by the village"
You can judge this for yourself because you now have the facts!
My opinion is that it stinks to high heaven and I feel like I am living in Chicago during the Daley era! The other thing that really stinks is that if needed this is one of the most important jobs any form of government could have. Yet they are not required to interview canidates for the job in an effort to find the most qualified individual for the position. The canidate is selected by the mayor and must be approved by the council. Thats it! Now we all recognize the mayor and the council to be an elected officials who may or may not be qualified for the position they hold but are elected for any number of reasons which have absolutely nothing to do with being able to run a village. Perhaps they are just the most popular, perhaps they are the only canidates running, etc. These "appointments" need to be changed! At the very least we should be allowed to vote just as we do the clerk/treasurer. I don't know how to change it but I do know one thing! If we dissolve this Village this kind of behavior goes away and we will not have to worry about who creates a job for themselves and then resigns to take it ever again!
* Please understand that I do not know what happens in exective(secret) meetings and therefore I do not know if these meetings had anything to do with this examination but it did seem to me to be to much of a coincidence that it happened just before the string of events that lead up to Menz being appointed to the Administrator position. You must draw your own conclusions.