In retrospect, it had to happen this way.
The end would not come with any sound and fury. There would be no splash, no bang. Instead, it had to some with a meek and soft “farewell.”
Thus endeth the story of Georgie Porgie the Finance Director and his eight point two million blunder. Just like in the nursery rhyme, Georgie Porgie ran away.
Last refuge of scoundrels
It has become the predictable par for the course. Malfeasance and nonfeasance in the Hicks-Hudson administration is met with a shrug of the shoulders and a return to a rambling, bumbling status quo.
We have endlessly recounted the truck parts, oops, exercise equipment that turned into a paid vacation for the culprits. No swift sword of justice, no shock at the brazen refusal to follow established procedure. Just a paid leave, then an apology for the inconvenience.
Witness also the saga of Herr Robert Reinbolt, he of many and sundry administrations. PHH’s original chief of staff was supposed to step aside after the first year of her administration, to be replaced by someone fresher and less seedy.
Yeah, that didn’t happen, as PHH included money in her twenty sixteen budget to keep the Burgermeister on the payroll. Toledo City Council cried foul, and only agreed to keep him on for half the year to complete a report on how to extract major savings from the police and fire budgets.
June shaded into July and Herr Reinbolt was still on the payroll. No report, no problem for PHH. Council cried foul again, and Reinbolt was finally shown the door. If there was ever any report from that paid six month sojourn, it was never made public, and certainly never acted upon.
Want more proof that PHH can’t fire anybody? One of the bad hombres that turned truck parts into exercise equipment was recently involved in not one, but two traffic accidents while on city time. Both occurred under questionable circumstances. This time, we hear he was placed on unpaid leave. But months later, no further action has been taken.
Then there’s Dorothy Spurlock, erstwhile former UT employee. She found a safe harbor in the PHH admnistration, landing into a soft position as grants writer. It’s been a year and a half since she was hired, and we’ve seen little evidence of any actual grants she has secured for the city.
That would be expected, unfortunately. Like the Burgermeister before her, Spurlock could keep her position forever, even without results. But then she made a huge mistake. She agreed to actually take the lead in applying for a grant.
It was a biggun, over one million dollars for a youth job training program in partnership with two local non-profit agencies. But Spurlock screwed the pooch. She didn’t properly prepare the grant application and couldn’t get it submitted on time. The grant money was lost.
Was this the end? Did PHH bring the brimstone and hellfire? Was there finally a sorry, sister, see ya later?
Nah, Spurlock was just moved to that perennial dumping ground, the Department of Public Utilities. To write grants. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.
Home sweet home for Spurlock, albeit at a pay cut. Welcome to the happy hunting ground for the perennially incompetent. City employment in the PHH administration. And Spurlock learned her lesson, we expect. Don’t go trying to do yer job, Dorothy, it’ll just expose you as inept.
And did we tell you the one about PHH’s economic development department pulling the Southwyck development from a well-respected developer who has worked wonders at the old Jeep site? And the fact that the head of that department, a double-dipping retread, assured everyone that Southwyck would be in better hands? That happened at the beginning of this year. It’s now August, how’s that working out, Paula?
So long, it’s been good to know ya
Which brings us to Georgie Sarantou. Just last column we detailed his latest snafu, and opined that his days with the City were numbered. We had no idea how low that number was.
We figgered that PHH would never fire him. If truck parts and soon thereafter truck accidents don’t get you fired, how could a little multi-million dollar accounting snafu lead to a pink slip?
Little did we know Georgie would take the high road and resign. You’re a good man, Charlie Brown. Taking the fall because no one else had the guts to do it. So the City, and PHH, can put the nightmare behind them. Right?
We got news for ya, Paula. When you fill your administration with incompetent refugees, one itsy bitsy resignation doesn’t solve the problem. The house cleaning is inevitable. We just doubt you have what it takes to initiate it.
And we doubt you’ll be around much longer for us to find out.