Loveland mayor refuses local PAC's call to step down

Posted at 12:13 AM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 00:14:09-04

LOVELAND, Ohio -- Mayor Mark Fitzgerald thinks the demands of a political action committee asking for his resignation are overblown, he said before a Tuesday night city council meeting.

Members of the PAC, Loveland Community Heartbeat, have accused Fitzgerald of opacity in governing. The focal point of their recent concerns is a January announcement that the City of Loveland planned to raze and replace its existing city hall with a structure that would include government, retail and apartments.

That was the first many residents had heard of the plan and its estimated $5-10 million price tag. Loveland Community Heartbeat members said they want more say in large community projects such as this one and feel railroaded by Fitzgerald.

"This is not right," said Dave Dickey, a PAC member. "He’s demonstrating he’s not the right person to lead us forward."

RELATED: Why Loveland's mayor will be asked to resign

Fitzgerald, though, had one thing to say of the residents who have accused him of being obstructive: "They're wrong."

He said the Loveland city hall project is in early planning stages -- blueprints have not been created for a new building -- and residents are welcome to attend open meetings of the city council and community improvement corporation to weigh in on its future.

That might not be enough for the members of Loveland Community Heartbeat. At the start of Tuesday's city council meeting, one resident called on Fitzgerald to resign. If he does not, the PAC plans to circulate a recall petition to remove him from office.

“If everybody who doesn't like me or disagrees with my policies asked me to resign, well, I guess i would've never taken the job," Fitzgerald said.