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Maumee City Government Lacks Transparency and Inclusivity.

Since starting as City Administrator in February 2020, Patrick Burtch, with the aid of Mayor Richard Carr and six of seven council members, has methodically added, amended, or deleted ordinances that give him virtual control of Maumee. Burtch has carefully nurtured and charmed six council members, most of whom were “rookies” he mentored and groomed to blindly do what he tells them to do. It is a sad situation for Maumee. No one is allowed to know, let alone challenge many of the decisions being made for Maumee – particularly when it comes to its ordinances.

Most of the ordinances that have been passed were passed as “Emergency Measures” with only one reading instead of three. There is little or no public discourse or public notice for many of these ordinances. Some are presented hours before voting. This allows the City Administrator the ability to pass onerous ordinances with zero friction from the public. People do not even realize these ordinances exist until they attempt to get a permit or do something with their property and get in trouble.

Maumee Illegally Dumps Three Billion Gallons of Sewage.

Over the past twenty years, Maumee has illegally dumped an estimated three hundred billion gallons of raw sewage into the Maumee River – 150,000,000 million gallons per year as reported by WTOL. To put this in perspective, a fuel tanker, like you see at a gas station, holds 7,500 gallons of fuel. If any individual dumped just one truckload into the river, they would be fined put in prison for one single incident. Maumee did not do it one time. On Rich Carr’s watch, Maumee did it the equivalent of 20,000 times per year – 400,000 total tankers over the past twenty years. The Ohio EPA fined the city around $30,000 – about 7.5 cents per truckload and allowed the fine to be reinvested in infrastructure. See Ohio EPA Findings and Orders here.

The above information is three-year-old news, and all we have heard from the mayor is it is going to take $100,000,000 and thirty years to fix the problem. Who made that decision and why? Who estimated the costs? What if the costs are $200,000,000 or $300,000,000. Who is going to pay for those costs? Either by design, ineptness, or lack of political will, Rich Carr ignored this issue for a generation. Will the city ignore it for another generation. This is Maumee’s largest issue. It is already increased water rates staggering amounts. Funding hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure is not going to be easy.

The “Quit Rate” of Maumee Administrative Staff Exceeds 100%.

Key leadership positions have quit allowing Burtch to name himself to the following positions: Safety Director (Police and Fire), Public Service Director (Water, Sewer, Streets), and Zoning Administrator (Zoning and Building). His autocratic leadership style has caused most of the other leadership and staff positions to quit, including the former Law Director and the former Finance Director (as well as many of their replacements).

The second floor of the municipal building has approximately eighteen people working in that space. Not including their replacements that have left after being hired, all but three have left the city’s employment in the past three years. The police department is at 34 officers, down from 43 in 2020. With quits from multiple hires, the three-year quit rate for Maumee’s administrative staff is far more than 100%. There is little institutional memory left in the city’s employment. Prior to Burtch, employee tenure was in the decades for many key positions.

Burtch has Created His Own Source of Funding.

Burtch has a penchant for spending city money on improvements and has created his own source of funding to balance his budgets – and for funding wastewater improvements. On February 7, 2023, with only one reading and without any significant public notice, Ordinance 007-2023 was passed establishing and revising procedures for creating far reaching assessments that appear to be able to fund any improvement made by Maumee
from trees and sidewalks to hundreds of millions for a wastewater treatment plant or reservoir. Having the ability to levy this amount of massive debt and payments on homeowners and businesses with no public notice or vetting or reeks of arrogance and recklessness from paid public officials.

Maumee Fails to Dispense Public Information.

Over the past two months, our organization has made numerous formal public information requests from the City of Maumee. Except for receiving a copy of City Council Minutes since January 2020, we have failed to receive electronic copies of the following requested public documents:

• Copies of all ordinances passed since January 2020.

• A list of all employees that have left Maumee’s employ since January 2020.

• A copy of Patrick Burtch’s current employment agreement and associated documents.

• A Certified Copy of Ordinance 002-2023 – the rental housing ordinance. Hard copy request.

• A Certified Copy of Ordinance 007-2023 – the assessment ordinance. Hard copy request.

• A Certified Copy of Ordinance 93-2020 – the design standard ordinance. Hard copy request.

Time and Again, Burtch’s Policies are Failing.

At great cost, Burtch has a need to control everything being built, improved, or proposed for Maumee. Much to his personal tastes and preferences. When you refurbish more than thirty percent of a parking lot, you uncork the ordinance that requires it to be brought into compliance with design standards in Chapters 1141 and 1145 of Maumee’s codified ordinances enacted in 2020 by Patrick Burtch. See them here.

The ordinance states that when 30% or more of a parking lot is refurbished, a litany of other improvements is mandated, with no grandfathering of older structures, such as the following:

1. Interior concrete curbing is required.
2. All paving must be removed to bare stone.
3. Alternate drainage and retention ponds or tanks may need to be installed.
4. Approaches must be reinstalled with six inches of concrete.
5. Regardless of condition, if sidewalks are less than 5’ wide, they must be replaced with 5’ sidewalks.
6. If a commercial property, sidewalk width must be 6.’
7. Street trees may need to be removed and replaced with city approved street trees.
8. This may also give the city authority to go inside a building and require improvements be made.

For one apartment community, this took the cost of improvements from $120,000 to $300,000 including tearing out and replacing 8,000 square feet of perfectly good 4’ sidewalk. No improvements were made when the owner was desirous of simply resurfacing the entire parking lot to like-new condition. Well over half of the buildings in Arrowhead Park and throughout Maumee are affected by this ordinance. When driving, you will notice many parking lots in extremely poor condition throughout Maumee. Knowledgeable paving contractors advise their customers to sit tight and wait. This ordinance makes no sense and needs to have a simple “grandfather” provision to allow owners to make needed improvements to keep their properties looking sharp.

The design standards can also be uncorked if you are making improvements to the inside of a property. If the proposed improvements are greater than fifty percent of the Lucas County Auditor’s assessed value (35% of total value), the design standards are uncorked for both interior and exterior improvements. This formula puts the “uncorking” at a low amount compared to value.

For instance, let us say you have a property with a total value of $100,000 and an assessed value of $35,000. If your proposed improvements are more than half of $35,000 or $17,500 on your $100,000 asset, you will uncork the design standards for both interior and exterior improvements. I have heard of many people who find themselves being forced to spend much more money than they originally intended. Some have left their property and moved from Maumee. If you are doing a build-out for a new commercial tenant, you are going to be in trouble. If you are putting a roof on your house, you might also have to install a concrete driveway and new sidewalks -among other things.

Maumee Reneges on Neighbor.

In 2003, the cities of Toledo and Maumee, along with Monclova Township, developed a joint economic development zone (JEDZ) that includes hundreds of acres of property within Monclova Township. Although the property is in Monclova Township, Maumee receives a portion of the income tax collected within the boundaries of the JEDZ. Included in this agreement is a stipulation that “there shall be no annexation, merger, or consolidation of any unincorporated territory unless it is approved by the legislative bodies of all the contacting parties”.

On June 6, 2022, the Maumee City Administration, without consulting Monclova Township, irresponsibly moved to annex 27 acres of land situated in the neighboring township of Monclova. This needless action clearly violated the terms of the long-standing joint development partnership created between Maumee, Monclova and the City of Toledo.

This unnecessary and short-sighted action negatively impacts the relationship between two adjacent and intertwined communities. Loss of trust could very well impede important discussions regarding regional water issues, emergency services back-up and future development of the JEDZ. Maumee deserves leadership that not only keeps their word but abides by written agreements they have entered.

With Five Hours’ Notice, City Council Did It Again.

On July 10, 2023, Maumee City Council, at Patrick Burtch’s demand, passed Ordinance No. 016-2023 that allows the City of Maumee to deny or remove a Certificate of Occupancy and levy fines for any property found in violation of any pemit or inspection ordinance. Any hearing is an administrative hearing with members of Burtch’s team presiding. What this means, is that no property can be used for its intended use without a valid Certificate of Occupancy and no due process can be had outside of Patrick Burtch’s domain. The ordinance was only available for review five hours before the council meeting. The ordinance was passed with only one reading and without a thorough public vetting of the ordinance.

Maumee Businesses are Organizing to Oppose Burtch and Council.

Maumee business and commercial property owners are organizing to put political pressure on city council – or have them removed from office. Many Arrowheads business are absolutely frustrated with Burtch’s policies that are making Maumee non-competitive and business unfriendly. If you are interested in being part of this movement, please send us your contact information.

Maumee Can’t Afford Patrick Burtch.

While his policies are hurting Maumee, costing businesses and homeowners money while driving away customers, City Administrator, Patrick Burtch has the highest compensation plan of any city administrator in Ohio – including its big cities. His employment agreement was negotiated by Maumee’s Mayor, Richard Carr, and represents a compensation package that is more than double that paid to Maumee’s prior city administrator.  It is also dramatically more than the $136,000 salary earned by Toledo’s current mayor who represents a population nineteen times greater than Maumee’s 13,810 people.

Patrick Burtch’s current employment agreement Link 6 calls for a $180,000 annual salary, 12% of deferred compensation ($21,600 per year), a car (say $10,000 per year), and 460 hours of comp time ($39,000 per year) for a grand total of at least $250,000 per year.

Burtch’s employment agreement was recently amended to increase his severance pay from 180 days to 260 days which could range from a $128,000 to $178,000 of severance depending upon what benefits are included.

Vote No for Barrow and Noonan.

Seven people are running for Maumee City Council. There will be a primary election reducing the slate to six candidates. Two incumbents are running: Gabe Barrow and Scott Noonan. Based upon the above information, we are not recommending either Barrow or Noonan since both have proven they are not independent thinkers and are simply “yes men” for Burtch’s failed policies and continued dysfunction in Maumee city government. They are the epitome of what is wrong with Maumee city government.

Maumee Needs You to Be Engaged.

More people need to be paying attention to what is going on with Maumee’s city government. Maumee has an autocratic city administrator that does not want to have citizen engagement in any decisions and a “stacked” and tolerant city council that lets him have his way. This has led to ordinances not being vetted by the public, rammed and jammed for passage after one reading, and a city administrator compensation package that is excessive when compared to those of similar or greater responsibility. Fortunately, Maumee has new options for city council members. Many who will be strong for Maumee and help to make city government more effective in the future.

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Post by Maumee Citizens for Common Sense – Bradley Reynolds, Treasurer

Exhibits

EPA Agreement

Ordinance 007-2023

Chapter 1141

Chapter 1136

Ordinance 016-2023

Patrick Burtch Employment Agreement