To the Editor:
Beginning 2022, Piqua City Manager L. Paul Oberdorfer needs congratulated for his numerous successes since coming to Piqua one year ago. He has been notable in many areas, including fiscal responsibility for a town once ruled by elitists. Past Mayor Kazy Hinds’ administration told us annual financial reports were award winners. It was never explained why Piqua did not have an independent audit, but its figures were presented to a city-approved accounting firm where they received a subsequent annual award. Consequently, the finance director left soon after City Manager Oberdorfer arrived, and he began checking into Piqua’s finances.
Oberdorfer immediately realized Piqua’s burdened debt and began maximizing the effectiveness of the city’s budget, realigning city’s departments, reducing redundancy in city operations, getting the utilities’ and finance departments aligned and made self-sufficient, thereby, providing financially sound city operations, supported within its self-maintained city government; which is the function of city government and promoted in the City Charter.
Oberdorfer discarded the town’s reckless policy of Past Mayor Hind’s administration of Piqua venturing into real estate venues and projects with taxpayers’ money and no long term maintenance costs built into designs. Before Oberdorfer, It did not matter if those endeavors put a tax burden on the city taxpayers and town’s budget permanently or competed with private taxpaying businesses even if those new projects brought in no new industries, businesses, or employees to support the continuous extended debt to the city. Instead, Oberdorfer began promoting and managing a financially supported and self-maintained infrastructure.
Oberdorfer sought more community communications and business networking with transparency in a friendly environment, which has rewarded the community with more businesses and jobs locating here and not being driven out by over regulation as in past administrations. As a comparison, Past Mayor Hinds’ administration worked on city commission policy and rules designed to limit public input during public city commission meetings. Those who questioned operations were then called “malcontents.”
Past Mayor Hinds will tell you she was only one vote; however, the mayor is the representative of your community setting the tone, quality of life, and environment for the community you represent and serve.
Therefore, when the current Mayor Kris Lee and the commission hired City Manager Oberdorfer without outside interference from the elites in Piqua, but voted for citizens’ best interests instead of the good ol’ boys’ network; Piqua made a quality decision.
— Terry D. Wright
EDITOR’S NOTE: The city of Piqua has independent auditor reports included in its annual financial audit/report that is submitted each year to the Ohio Auditor of State. The independent auditor report was completed by the same company (Clark, Schaefer, Hackett & Co.) for 2018, 2019, and 2020. For 2013 through 2017, the state auditor completed the city’s financial audit. For 2008 through 2012, the independent auditor report was completed by Clark, Schaefer, Hackett & Co. For 2007, the independent auditor report was completed by Kennedy Cottrell Richards LLC. More financial audits are available on ohioauditor.gov.
The Piqua City Commission has also held executive sessions during 2021 for the purpose “to consider the purchase or sale of property for public purposes.”