Saturday, May 24, 2014

Midsummer City Manager Madness

"Kevin W. Johnson is up to his usual tricks and  the moon is full."

Having a city manager form of government in Portsmouth is  the equivalent of a mid-summer full moon. The full moon brings out the craziness  in Kevin W. Johnson, who apparently doesn’t know the difference between  the  mayoral and  the  city manager form of government,  even though he is the one who instigated the charter change to city manager. Since  the change to  the city manager form of government is turning everything topsy-turvy, Johnson thinks the solution is to make more  changes to the city charter. So he recently proposed three more  charter changes, which with his typical underhandedness he began illegally lobbying several  other council members to support. Then unnamed parties  who apparently  think the city manager is the city’s chief executive,  urged Johnson  to drop two of the three proposed charter changes and let the city manager handle things,  which is what Johnson did.

The only charter change Johnson  is going to continue to push for is the one  that would repeal the charter amendment that limits what  the city can spend on capital projects without first getting approval from the voters. The reason the voters approved that  charter amendment was because city officials were seriously proposing to spend up to $12,000,000 (twelve million dollars!)  to renovate the worthless Marting’s building and the equally worthless former cable company building for city offices, which they would have had to raise city  taxes up to the moon to pay for since there was nothing like twelve million in the Capital Improvements budget.

The city manager is not the chief executive of Portsmouth, which has no chief executive per se. The executive powers once invested in the mayor are now distributed, diluted you might say,  among the members of the city council. The city manager is the servant of the city council. His job is to manage, not make policy. Considering  how incompetent and corrupt the majority of city council members have been historically,  giving them executive authority, along with their legislative authority, is a recipe for bedlam.

The successful lawyer  Frank Gerlach, the only person in the history of Portsmouth who served as both city manager and mayor, warned that the city manager form of government would not make things better, that  it would make things worse, and it has, especially when the moon is full and Kevin W. Johnson is up to his usual tricks.

Click below on other on other posts on Kevin W. Johnson

Political Puppets of Portsmouth

All Aboard!

Financial Black Mold

Gerlach Says No to City Manager