“Once again Ms. Murray’s issue is with individuals, not process, need, nor objective evaluation,” Johnson said. “Her only argument against both issues is who serves and who has served in past years on City Council.”
In that story, Murray told the Times,”I am opposed to the city manager form of government here in Portsmouth until, and unless, changes are also made regarding the City Council.”
In reference to the proposed six-tenths of a percent increase in the income tax, Murray also said, “I have seen absolutely nothing out of this government to address the real issues and problems of how the money has been spent. And, until they start addressing those problems, which are largely employee benefits, I cannot and will not support an income tax increase, When those issues are addressed, yes. And when they are properly addressed, yes, I will support an income tax increase.”
Johnson said her tenure in office produced no better results.
“As for specifics, the budget she presented Council in March/April of 2010, did not change the $1 million in salaries and benefits paid from water fees, but this is now an issue for her. Nor did her proposed budget come close to being balanced.”
Johnson said Murray has some good ideas.
“She does,” Johnson said. “Which is why I worked hard while she was mayor to separate in my mind the quality of her ideas from how she related to people — a disastrous ‘my way or the highway’ imperial management approach which voters, and often City Council, soundly rejected.”
Johnson also agreed with Murray that the city should already have had a plan in place to replace aging water lines.
“However, there are many plans that our city should have prepared long ago; from economic development, addressing the condition of Spartan Stadium, fixing roads, replacing our decrepit city hall. The list is endless,” Johnson said.
Johnson said there is another roadblock to developing plans.
“One cannot, however, develop short-term or long-term plans when various groups of people continually, with a response similar to Pavlov’s dog, and seemingly with relish, oppose each and every plan put forward by anyone else in this city,” Johnson said.
Johnson also criticized the Daily Times for publishing the story.
“I continue to be amazed at how often the Portsmouth Daily Times has to print a headline about some individual or group ‘campaigning against’ something. It is certainly easier to be ‘against’ anything and everything than it is to be ‘against’ anything and everything than it is to work ‘for something,” Johnson said.
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or email@example.com.