Wednesday, May 24, 2000

City manager survives vote

Lebanon residents, council majority stand by Patrick

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — The city manager has received another reprieve — as have the city's electric customers.

        The attempt by two council members to fire James Patrick on Tuesday night fell short as the rest of council and a standing-room-only crowd of about 100 supported him. Council's vote was 5-2.

        “Some of the issues that have been brought up regarding this current city manager are somewhat ridiculous,” Karl Boelkel, a planning commission member, told City Council.

        James Reinhard and Amy Brewer drafted the legislation to fire Mr. Patrick. They objected to his changing the new electric direc tor's time card, and they had concerns about other personnel decisions Mr. Patrick made.

        The vote was the second close call of Mr. Patrick's 10-month tenure. He received a 4-3 vote of confidence in February after Mr. Reinhard publicly called for his resignation.

        In a surprise move Tuesday, council voted 4-3 to raise electric rates 20 percent, but the measure needed five “yes” votes to pass. Residents' costs would have increased from $61.30 to $73.56 per 1,000 kilowatts, according to electric director Dave Clark.

        Several council members questioned the size of the rate increase or opposed automatic increases. .

        Council has not seen the last of this issue, however.

        “The very real fact is that the power costs are going to increase very shortly, and we don't have the funds to cover it,” Mr. Patrick said.


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