Dick Potter

Dick Potter is Moline's 4th Ward alderman.

When the city of Moline has two administrators and multiple department heads resign in a short time, it is natural for the community to be concerned and it is the duty of the press to investigate.

In response to Ald. Mike Wendt’s recent commentary ("Newspaper didn't print all facts about staff changes," Oct. 3 Viewpoints), I feel compelled to offer a different perspective.

The “analysis” of the legal department was preceded by changing the city attorney title to “corporate counsel” and then hiring an associate of Ancel Glink (our present corporate counsel) for consulting services.

Talk about predetermined, the message to the attorneys was clear and they chose to seek new opportunities. As for former city finance director Kathy Carr, she clearly recognized the city was without a permanent finance director and being the professional she is agreed to help out temporarily. But I would never assume to know the personal feelings she had entering retirement.

The department heads and managers are inundated at times with emails, requests, and phone calls from aldermen who were recently described as "very active.“ Too often, in my opinion, members of the council go beyond their role as policymakers and micromanage the staff.

The lack of trust and respect for their professionalism leads to anxiety and an ineffective organization. My personal experience is our department heads, managers and employees at all levels are hardworking and committed to the citizens of Moline.

With regards to Doug Maxeiner, former city administrator, he presented a balanced budget based on no cuts in services or expenditures. When the council rejected the property tax increase, he worked with the council and staff to realign the budget to their goals.

This is not the first time an administrator has proposed finding new revenue to balance the budget. To assume the public thinks we raised property taxes when we did not, based on a headline, is insulting. It became apparent that no matter what Maxeiner did, he could not please this council and he chose to resign.

The community and the press are wise to wonder why this council cannot hire and retain a city administrator and also be concerned about the ability to attract top level talent.

I also received a phone call from reporter Sarah Hayden, which I returned several hours later. She covers many local governments and probably is working on multiple stories at a time.

I can only assume that she had filed her story before she received my reply. I sincerely hope the community and the press continue to demand answers and transparency.

Dick Potter is Moline's 4th Ward alderman.


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