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If We Are Going to be a City We Must Have a Functional City Government

I feel the lack of communication and poor planning continues to haunt our City Government.  This is based on my observations as a citizen participating at City Council meetings and as a member of City Council over the last four years.  I ask how a City government can represent their citizens without providing proper communication.  I ask how a City government can be successful without a clear vision or plan.  I ask how a City government can encourage citizen involvement without informing the public.

Our City government and local news media has unfairly labeled citizens with a difference of opinion as negative or gadflies.  A faction is attempting to gain voter support to tax property owners through intimidation by labeling citizens against the renovation of the Marting Building into a City Center as C.A.V.E. people or Citizens Against Virtually Everything.  I feel our City government has failed its citizens by placing their property owners at risk to the voters without a plan.  I feel our City government has created much controversy by placing the City office space on the ballot without options or comprehensive plan.

Our City has many challenges and I remain positive these will be met because I feel our citizens and neighbors care about the future of the City of Portsmouth.  Although, I do believe change is needed to make this happen.  Our City government must stop living day to day and start planning for our future.

Our City government must provide two-way communication with the public during the City Council Work Conference Session.

Our City government must develop a vision and plan by creating a five (5) year comprehensive action plan and a five (5) year financial plan.

Our City government must provide additional opportunities for citizens to become better informed.  City Council should continue with implementing cable programming of Council meetings including Work Conference Sessions, provide Council member phone numbers and electronic mail accounts on the City website, and include all proposed and passed ordinances, resolutions, and council letters on the City website.

Bob Mollette --- 10/21/08

Below are some ideas and consider nothing will happen unless a majority of Council members desire change..........Bob Mollette --- 10/21/08
Portsmouth Five-Year Financial Plan
The financial plan is a roadmap for Council and the administration when looking at the financial challenges to be faced in the next five years.  Each department would review the five (5) year plan and submit updates to be included in the current plan.  These updates would be reviewed and consolidated by the finance department.  The finance department would then adjust the plans submitted by the departments to ensure that sufficient funding is available to pay for the year of the plan at a minimum.  The resulting plan is then circulated to the departments for review and final revisions.  This plan is presented to Council and the public as a reasonable approximation of current administration plans for future expenditures pending adequate funding.  A plan will require the input and assistance of the Mayor, Auditor, Council, and Department Heads.  This method is not etched in stone but is similar to a report to Council that was developed for the City of Macedonia in Summit County, Ohio (

Topics for discussion to be included in the plan:

Personal Expenditures
Police Requests; Fire Requests; Building/Engineering/Zoning Requests; Service Requests; Finance Requests; Recreation Requests; 5 Year City-wide Personal Expense Projections

Non-Personnel Operating Expenditures
Service Department Equipment Requests; Building Maintenance Requests; Recreation Requests

Capital Expenditures
Road Maintenance; Storm Water Management; Sanitary Sewer; and Departmental Capital Requests (Police Department, Building Maintenance, Fire Department, Service Department, Recreation Department)

2008 to 2012 Debt Service Summary

Revenue Projections
Income Tax and Property Tax Projections

Five-Year Budgetary Impact
Street Maintenance; State Highway Support; Parks and Recreation; Sanitary Sewer Maintenance & Repair; Water Maintenance & Repair; Fire Department Fund; Police Pension Fund; Wireless 911 Fund; General Obligation Bond Retirement Fund; Special Assessment Bond Retirement Fund; Capital Fund; General Fund

Financial Strategies
Increase Grant Funding; Reduce Growth in Personal Expenses; Increase Economic Development Activities; Increase Regional Cooperation; Debt Management; Increase Revenue

Portsmouth Five-Year Comprehensive Action Plan
The comprehensive action plan is a central organizing document used for planning and managing growth in the City.  It will consist of a set of official City policies regarding long term development and land use.

Contact the following for input and assistance:

•Southern Ohio Growth Partnership
•Chamber of Commerce
•Main Street Portsmouth
•Community Development
•Downtown Revitalization (Kelcey Edwards)
•Shawnee State University
•Scioto Economic Development Corporation
•Scioto County Commissioners
•Village of New Boston
•Southern Ohio Port Authority

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