Letters to the Editor

July 31, 2014

Council may need to revote on Christmas market

The German Christmas market is the talk of the town. We have a divided city on this issue.

The fault lies in failed communication and the buck stops at Mayor Mark Eckert's door. The concept was rushed through committee and the City Council with admitted absence of detail.

The council endorsed to proceed with the concept, me included, by a 12-2-2 vote. It was done with emphasis that there would be further discussion with the merchants who have concerns.

The mayor conducted a meeting on July 15, instructing his secretary to inform the aldermen with a notice that includes the statement: "While this is not a special meeting, if more than four aldermen show up we would be in violation of the Open Meetings Act." This is poor leadership and lacks transparency. The City Council establishes policy. If a meeting is to be held at City Hall, it should have been advertised so all concerned aldermen, merchants and the public could attend.

Per the BND story, it now appears that the mayor has lost confidence on St. Elizabeth's Hospital staying in Belleville and believes the German Christmas market will be a downtown savior?

Since I voted in the majority, I have a right to motion to reconsider this issue. That may be in order.

I asked for a detailed written report of the July 15 meeting. I have yet to receive one.

The cost to the public is my biggest concern. Poor communication is the leading downfall to failed consensus governance.

Joseph W. "Joe" Hayden

Alderman, Ward 5 Belleville

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