City councilmembers and the mayor have requested a personal visit from Emergency Manager Cathy Square in order to get an update on where things are going.
City officials lost their authority to make financial decisions when Square took her position on July 1. Even though the council requested the state to appoint an emergency manager, Square has played it strictly by the law when it comes to meeting with the council — and that is, only when the law requires it.
It’s Square’s view that the only people she reports to are state officials, not the council.
Furthermore, Square has turned down requests to meet with the council on the grounds that councilmembers, at least in the past, have treated city officials badly and often berated them.
Square says she’s not going to play that game.
We don’t entirely blame her. Certain councilmembers have been abusive to city officials in the past.
But we urge Square to reconsider her position. Councilmembers are reaching out and are asking for some tutoring on why certain decisions have been made.
After all, they argue one day they will have to take over managing the city and they need to know how Square arrived at her management decisions.
This is a different city council than six months ago. There are three new councilmembers now, and for whatever reason much of the tension and in-fighting have disappeared.
At the very least Square should give this new council a chance. While it’s true that it will be at least another two years before locals regain full control, it would be a good gesture on Square’s part to meet city officials half way.