As a former Owosso City Council member, I feel it is appropriate for me to comment on the upcoming council election.
From my recent seven years of council, I did my best to represent the citizen taxpayers. In doing this, I had their best interests in mind, along with the best future for the city. I noticed several times there would be items on the consent agenda that would not be open for discussion unless they were removed from the consent agenda and placed on the agenda as a business item.
Of course, this would have the effect of extending the length of the meeting, which did not sit well with some of the other members, but I always felt and still do feel that we were elected to take the time to discuss the items before we approved or disapproved them. At times I found it very difficult to get direct answers to my questions. It appeared at times there may have been an effort to mislead or misinform the council on a certain item, which made it very difficult to truthfully make a right decision. It was always my intent to take the time to get as much information as possible, not just for me, but also for the entire council in the decision making.
The appearance to many citizens was that they didn’t think the council was really concerned about their problem, but rather was in a hurry to get the meeting over. Sometimes I had the same thought run through my mind and it was very frustrating. All too often, the leadership of the council desired to operate on a consensus basis rather than by motion and voting. By doing business in that manner, it left the city manager to make decisions without council direction.
To me, the council is the legislative body of the city government and is responsible for giving direction to the city manager. Failure to give direction to the city manager indicates to the citizens in attendance that the council, once again, doesn’t really care.
With that in mind, I am suggesting it is time to change the makeup of the council. Having served four years with Rob Teich on the council and observing his dedication to truly represent the citizens, I am endorsing him for another term.
In addition, I an endorsing Nicholas Pidek, a local businessman, who has a great desire to see Owosso succeed in the future.
That leaves two more vacancies to be filled. I highly recommend Michael Cline, a former council member, and an individual who has shown in the past that he is deeply concerned about the citizens of this city.
My final endorsement would go to Jerry Haber, a longtime resident of the city and with whom I am well-acquainted.
It is, in my opinion, that none of these individuals are making themselves available for their personal gain, but rather to move Owosso forward in the direction the citizens desire.
Above all, please be sure to go to the polls to vote on election day. Failing to vote might prevent your favorite from getting elected. Your vote counts.
Editor’s note: City council terms for Pidek, Susan Osika, Daniel Law and Loreen Bailey run through November, 2020. Christopher Eveleth, Janae Fear and Haber all have terms expiring in 2022.