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Meticulous management needed by city

Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST

I was not surprised to see that Shawn Ortgiesen would have no charges filed against him. There was no policy he had broken.

While the new policy covers the use of city credit cards, the guideline indicates uses be handled “in a timely manner.” What does “timely” mean? Within the week of use, the month, the quarter, the fiscal year? So much for transparency.

Shawn’s actions were then said to have been pre-approved. By whom? Certainly if Shawn was not guilty of misconduct, it was because his continuing behavior was endorsed by … who?

To that point, Mayor Burke was recently quoted as saying the city funding should not be “micromanaged” by the city council. Funny, I always thought the function of the mayor and city council members was “good stewardship” of taxpayers’ funding.

I guess we have learned no lessons from Rita’s or Shawn’s escapades. When I attended the first meeting of the commission appointed by Mayor Burke to recommend what form of government was best for Dixon, I made a brief presentation of the importance of a professional human resource director as a policy watchdog.

I was saddened to hear the newly-elected chairwoman Marilyn Coffey tell the group that too much professionalism was not a good thing because it would take the “heart and soul” out of Dixon government.

Heart and soul like $50 million-plus for Rita, pre-approved personal uses of city credit cards for Shawn, and use of city credit card and government discount for a birthday gift for a commissioner by his wife.

Sorry, I digress; after all, citizens shouldn’t micromanage.

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