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Letters From Our Readers
January 22, 1999


Thursday, January 22, 1999
Section: Opinion
Page: A13
Column: Readers' Forum

Some activities not managed by Council
Some bad habits die hard.

That was evident at the Jan. 12 Richmond City Council meeting. Under discussion was the North Richmond ballpark. Part-time council members Tom Butt and Nat Bates used the proceedings to tell the public and the city manager how to run a baseball league and manage our tax dollars. It sounded as if they were talking to the prior city manager, Floyd Johnson.

A simple call to the new city manager, Isiah Turner, or to Jim Teixeira, the acting director of Richmond's Recreation and Parks Department, would have saved the public from another debate on who is responsible for managing the city's affairs. And the call would have answered their questions and concerns.

Instead, they chose to use our tax dollars to air their private agendas. Both are up for re-election this year.

A simple call by Butt and Bates would have eliminated the preparation and presentation of another unnecessary report by the city manager and his staff. These reports divert time and money from projects already approved by the City Council.

Our city manager is very accessible to all Richmond residents. He and his staff are and have been committed to giving honest, straightforward answers.

The last thing this city needs is part-time council members involving themselves in the design and running of recreation programs, whether it's baseball, swimming, the overnight basketball program or senior activities.

The council has hired a city manager to run the city. Let him run it.

Council members have their role, too, but managing the day to day affairs of the city is not one of them.

Joe Brown