Friday, June 20, 2014

The Boards - Missing in Action

One of my constant concerns has been the disdain and the neglect that the village manager and Mayor Kreps have for the boards.  They barely look at the board chairpeople during the commission reports. Rollason and Kreps have by action and attitude communicated clearly to the boards that they have no interest in anything they might have to say.   Rollason at the Mayor's direction dismantled the Youth Services and Education Board, followed by the dissolution of the Business Board.  No one has set any goals or made requests of the boards, for years they didn't bother appointing members for most of them.  

This is not a surprise in any real sense.  Our mayor has a pathological dislike of any input other than compliments and has sadly reduced herself to only allowing paid compliments whenever possible.  The village manager likes to sit and announce what he might could do at some point in the future but has delivered on really nothing.   

This month at the commission meeting, nobody even bothered to show from the boards to report.  Why should they?  The mayor sits doodling happy faces on her agenda, the manager doesn't respond to requests and the rest of the commission just goes to their happy place, never asking a question or suggesting a topic.   

There is one board that is statutorily required - Planning & Zoning.  Before you can get a variance, it has to be heard by Planning & Zoning.  This week, the village manager found an innovative way to undermine even that.   Here's how it went.  

A new member of the P&Z board, William Webb, has a potential conflict with a variance that was scheduled to be heard this month.   The attorney's advice is that he should recuse himself and that's sensible.   However, the Village Manager, Frank Rollason, never reviewed the agenda or identified the conflict first.  He should have discussed the matter with Mr. Webb.  He didn't.  

The board convened with only three members present, enough for a quorum under normal circumstances.  The applicant flew in from Minneapolis specifically for the hearing.  And there was none.   The attorney had to explain the circumstances and without the third member, the board could not hear the item.  

In the meantime, the applicant had to fly back to Minneapolis, without knowing his variance status, and it must come before the board again in the future.  There is not enough time to meet and get in on the July agenda, and August is the month that the commission will probably take off for some undeserved rest, so we either have to have a special commission meeting for a routine request or the applicant must wait until September.  

But wait, there's more.  Without consulting with the board, the village manager who has no authority over the boards and no legal right to make this decision, told the village planner not to bother showing up.   So even if they had heard the item, the village manager summarily decided that it was his place to act as planner rather than have the real planner there.  In a well run city, this would never have happened and with a responsible commission, if it did, the manager would be held accountable.  

But no, not here.  The commission sits on the dais staring out into space while our mayor simply whimpers about light and positivity.  

Kevin Vericker
June 21, 2014

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