Council clerk to be full-time

Law Director Stuart O'Hara issues opinion about position.
Scott Seitz2
Dec 8, 2012


It appears the position of city council clerk will become full-time come January.

There was some discussion after Tuesday night's city council meeting, since council passed the 2013 budget and related pay ordinances, which included full-time funding for the position, whether there was any need to act on tabled legislation that would make the position full-time.

Law Director Stuart O'Hara did additional research afterward and issued an opinion.

"Originally, the position of council clerk was full-time," O'Hara said. "When the position was changed to part-time, the full-time position was not abolished. It simply was not filled. So, it still exists," he added.

A story about this subject was published in the Reflector.




Lower city income tax receipts and a reduction in state revenue sharing be d*mned.

Check out the results of the 2010 U.S. Census; the majority of the county's top employers are either not-for-profits or local govt.

Having the private sector increasingly support a burgeoning public sector is fiscally unsustainable and will have future serious economic consequences.

Guy on a Buffalo

So, the council tables legislation that they believe decides the fate of the Full-time council clerk position, then finds out later Duncan and Co. snuck it in budget by increasing department budgets and claiming the position was never eliminated. I guess Duncan will stop at nothing to fulfill his "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" platform. I can't wait until we get some real leadership in Norwalk...


Guy on a Buffalo writes:

"I can't wait until we get some real leadership in Norwalk..."

That "ship" sailed long ago. The Best and the Brightest continue to join the previous members of the Diaspora.

Guy on a Buffalo

I look forward to your run for Mayor, Contango! Time for you to save the "ship".


@ Guy on a Buffalo:

Thanks for the vote of confidence; however:

1. Unelectable due to fiscally conservative outlook. Nationally and it would appear that locally, we are in the era of wantin' is gettin'.

2. The city has been in financial decline for several decades and there is no economic catalyst on the horizon of which I am aware.

3. IMO, best to head for the lifeboats like the "best and the brightest" have done for decades.

Guy on a Buffalo

1. Unelectable - Duncan is fiscally conservative and majorly dislikes unions, and he won.

2. There may not be any economic catalyst on the horizon, but someone needs to lead the city. I doubt you would have spent the money on fire truck and pay raises.

3. If you truly care about Norwalk, the best and brightest need to stick around and save the city from drowning.


@ Guy on a Buffalo:

Mayor Duncan is fiscally conservative? How so?

In order to survive economically, this city desperately needs a fresh influx of capital. For what reason would a capitalist venture invest in this town?

Drowning victims often panic, fight the rescuer, which in turn leads to the death of both.

See Cassandra:


You forgot one:

4. Prefer to pontificate from the safety of the Barcalounger.


Good morning Sunshine.

Actually, after graduating from college, I did get involved with the "city fathers" regarding some issues with Continental Cable. I gave them some ammo to use on a rate increase. It was a waste of time then.

The only decent politico I've seen recently was Dwight Tkach. I think that even he got fed up.

It's common knowledge that the politicos read these comments. For one, Mayor Lesch once said that her husband read them to her.

Mr. Brady used to write occasionally.

Cliff Cannon

@ Contango : Must disagree with the comment that Dwight Tkach is the only recent,decent politico we've had.

I don't start naming the many tremendous people who have served or are serving the city for fear,I might forget one. Truly,we are blessed by these caring people.

Having that much faith in these talented people,who are willing to get in the trenches for us. Makes it hard,almost impossible for me personally to comment on buying fire trucks or hiring clerks or school board cuts.

Even worse,is the lack of " insider information" we the public often have to work with.Which,obviously often leads to many half-cocked opinions. So, not being privy to that information, I personally,tend to stay quiet and let the leaders,lead.

Still,totally agree with you on the value of 'blogging' as they are very much read. Further,many folks of course,can and do oFFer "insider Information " which is extremely helpful in making one's opinion more intelligent. So "write-on" right ?

Looking very forward to your campaign " Mayor Contango" :)


@ CC:

The Svc. Director has complained that city income tax receipts are down. We know that the state revenue sharing has been curtailed. Large employers have closed their doors. And working at Walmart is now what passes for a "good paying" job.

In spite of this, city spending grows.

"Inside info"? To quote Bob Zimmerman: You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.

Cliff Cannon

@Contango: I hear you as well as see what you a point. Certainly,the city's spending does seem to be 'growing' at this point.Yet,the real question is: How much of that spending is needed?

Adding a cop of the caliber of Paul Gardner permantly to the police force, is in my opinion money very well spent.

After reading,several of the bloggers in the " new fire truck" article. My first reaction of being totally against it,changed too it doesn't sound that bad. After all if the info is correct that we have 20 years to pay for it. That translates to about 3 bucks a year per person in Norwalk. Which doesn't sound to bad for this type of equipment does it?

Then sticking with fire dept. issues,when Home Lumber was bought for the hopeful fire station. I was against it. Yet,the council vote for it was unanimous. So who knows more about city planning & finances me or them ? And that is exactly the 'insider info' I refer to.

As for this clerk position. I have no clue what a council clerk would do on a full time basis. Yet,I also know that a job like this one can get voted in today.Then get voted out just as quickly.So here's hoping it is/becomes a very needed position and not just a patronage type job

" To quote Bob Zimmerman" (only you wouldn't use his stage name)The direction the wind is blowing currently,is that public sector jobs (like private sector jobs have already ) are going to be taking wage cuts and the question is "when" not "if". Yet,who want's to end their political career by telling them ?

swiss family

thank you for the interesting clarification of your personal policy Mr Cannon.Although I have to tell you that I disagree with your opinion, I do find it interesting and enlightening to see what make s you "tick"

I guess that what makes all people interesting, is the fact that we all see things differently..does it not??I can not say that I totally disagree with your logic, about not wanting to comment on certain issues because it might step on some people who you respect, admire, and associate with, toes..Without hopefully, sounding judgmental,I think that I used to feel like you do, and I used to not want to challenge any people that I was associated with, on their ideals, but then after I ,matured and became more "multi-leveled" I found that it is possible, and sometimes even enlightening to tell my friends, and associates who are in a position of "power" how and why I challenge their ideas..They, in turn , are mature enough to realize that by disagreeing, it sometimes allows them to take in different points of view, and possibly a chance to see things from a different perspective, which then in tun, might actually help them to find the answers that we all are looking for

I guess what I am saying is that there was a time when I felt exactly like you, I could not and did not disagree with a friends choices and opinions.. but that was long ago, and before I realized that I could disagree with a friend, and still NOT challenge the friendship.I know that you have certain beliefs that you hold dear to.. one is your belief that just because you proudly display your name, but at the same time you still can not deal with the fact that others feel differently than you do, and respect their choices.I think that now, after you explain your inability to challenge any local leaders views and opinions, because of your possible close connection to them as a person, explains clearly your thought process and your expectations from others.

I am sure you will come back on here in "attack" mode.. and that again shows a maturity level.. As I have matured I realize that when I disagree with someone's politics, or life strategies, or their leadership abilities, it is NOT meant in a way to challenge our friendship, and sometimes it actually nurtures it. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone is entitled to voice their opinion. If you were in fact in a position of power locally, wouldn't you want and actually expect your friends, neighbors and associates, to pick your brain? To possible be your "cabinet"so to speak, and bring up different views and opinions so that you can do your job Most effectively??

Right or wrong, you do have a lot to say.. it is a shame that you choose not to give your opinion if it might in fact step on a friends toes. I truly believe that the people in power locally , are mature enough to know that any public position is open to scrutiny and opposing opinions,and if you keep the challenges on their "job" and not make it so personal.. I believe that everyone would benefit from it..just my opinion... and now I will wait for your attack..

Cliff Cannon

@ Mr. Family: I sure hope the family & friends that have been telling me for years ---not to be so darn candid---read your comment.Because no doubt,they will be stunned to know that some one actually thinks I won't step on toes in a disagreement.

Truth of the matter is. I always go straight to the person,I am disagreeing with ( if it really matters) and I could care less if they are Mayor's,C.E.O.'s or paper boys. Then give my honest opinion on the issue between us.

Yet,in these case's I mention to "Contango" there is little, or better put, no value in my opinion on these matters. Since he and I discussed the fire truck.Let's discuss the afore mentioned school board cuts,shall we ?

Like most concerned citizens,when the school board had informational meetings this spring. I attended one. Came home with a page full of notes,many questions answered and an even deeper respect for the talents of Mr.Doughty and the school board.

As you probably know our school system is the most eFFicently ran system in Huron county. Further,if you,like I, look forward to reading Mr.Doughty's essay's in the Reflector.No doubt,you'll agree he is a man of rare wisdom.

So what could a Joe Blow nobody like me possibly oFFer in the way of advice that this talented team of people haven't thought of? Then,think of ---all the things we have no clue about. Such as state mandates,frivolous law suits,unruly kids with unruly parents who demand special treatment for their dam brats or .... So why talk about,what I don't know about ?

If you care to see me disagreeing publically with some one.Go look up Joe Centers' essay from last week and you will see me whacking away at "the boss". Yet,disagreeing with him does not mean that his mother wear's army boots,does it?

Bottom line is I love to debate the topics of the day. And there is no better way to learn something from a debate than to disagree. Obviously,the 'trick' in disagreeing is to do it with respect for the other person's feeling's,isn't it?

P.S. Thank-you for the thought provoking comment

yogi bear

I'm sure the fact the council clerk is the step-daughter of a council person had nothing to do with it.

swiss family

In my opinion.. the schools should be accountable for the money that we give them already. I think that WAYYY back when the country was getting established, and public schools were forming, the community used to supply the building with heat, shelter, light sources etc...we are still basically doing the same thing today, BUT we have grown so large, even in a small town atmosphere, with several separate buildings and off shoots of the same school system, that I think we have just been giving the schools a blank check and allowed thyem to use their best judgenment, to use it as they see fit. The problem with that is, at times like this, they can determine that they need more money... for"upkeep and expenses" and we are expected to blindly decide to approve it or deny it.. I think it is a good time to put the facts on the table, and let the taxpayers see black on white all of the expenses and the ways the money is being spent, and then we can make a reasonable decision

I would be willing to bet, that if someone walked through the downtown, and randomly asked taxpayers.. things like "how much do you think a principal in a smaller one of the schools makes".. or ask.. "what is the water bill for a month for the main street school" or "what is the gas bill for the high school each month" or what do they do with the outdated equipment, from sports equipment to computers"or "what does it cost to maintain the grounds for the schools per month.. I think that the average taxpayer would have no idea.. and if they guessed, they would be completely wrong.WHY??? we, the residents and parents and taxpayers are the people funding and paying these bills... shouldn't we know more about it???A couple of years ago, the State was cutting their funding for the public library by 15%...that interested me.. I had no idea how much the "head master" of our library made.. I had no idea how much it cost to pay the workers. I had no idea what the heating bills were, so I went up and checked it out, and was unprepared to learn the Huge Budget thaqt ran one building.. I had no idea.. as I am sure that most people still have no idea..lets face it.. most libraries that are as beautiful as ours were NOT built to make the best use of heating and cooling the space available to them. So this , just as the schools should be open and displayed to us, every time they want an increase in funding... I know they can not see anywhere to cut expenses...just as kids in a household can not see places to cut either..BUT ask the parents to find the waste.. they are paying the bills out of their wallets.. they know the proper places to cut...but how can we be asked to fund them with more money when we are not asking them to be accountable for the money we give them now???