Sunday, September 24, 2000

Council wants to improve teamwork

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — City Council members are ready to hire a facilitator to help them with planning and goal-setting.

        Councilwoman Sharon Hughes said City Manager Steve Sorrell is compiling a list of possible candidates. Ms. Hughes said the half-day retreat could take place on a Saturday and cost between $200 and $300. That amount is considerably less than the estimated $1,500 to $3,000 a day council had considered paying a consultant to show them ways to get along and work better together.

        City Council is expected to discuss the matter and possibly make a decision at Wednesday's 7 p.m. meeting.

        “This is a chance for us to have some open discussions of what we'd like to see accomplished before the end of the term,” Ms. Hughes said, “and hopefully to develop some common issues on which we can come together to work rather than constantly bickering.”

        Several council members have said it is difficult to work together because of a lack of communication and teamwork, and infighting among council.

        Councilman George McNally has said votes on ordinances are delayed because of council not always getting along, and that he has even missed meetings because dates were not shared with him.

        Councilman Dick Holzberger said he has considered quitting because of the bickering among council members.

        “I have been so upset with this present council that I have been thinking about resigning,” Mr. Holzberger said. “And to my dismay, I found out that three others have shared my same sentiment.

        “I think we should be big enough where we can sit around the table, yell at each other as we need to and move on. There's no sense holding grudges. I want to see us move forward. I think we have accomplished much, and we have much more to complete to make Hamilton better for everyone,” he said.

        Mr. Holzberger said he favors hiring a facilitator, but only to help council plan better and set goals.

        “I would be in favor of that, but I don't need any facilitator telling me how to get along with people,” he said.

        Said Ms. Hughes: “We need to start talking now.”


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