Editorial: City manager decision shows the process works

Democracy in action is a beautiful thing.

Tuesday we were reminded of that from a Rogers City council meeting in which Joe Hefele was selected as a part-time city manager. Hefele will share his city manager experience with Onaway and split time between the two communities.

First, let us congratulate both communities for an innovative and creative solution to fill their needs. Embarking on such a decision was not easy, nor should it have been, but we believe it is a solid decision that will pay dividends for everyone moving forward.

Second, as evidence by the 3-2 vote Tuesday, there was some concern about this direction. Frankly, there should have been some concern, and we were glad to see those concerns aired publicly to provide for more discussion and contemplation.

While it might seem odd, we are glad to see there were dissenting votes on this issue and ultimately, we think people will agree with us. Decisions this important should not always be unanimous or rubber-stamped through without good debate and opportunity to consider all sides of an issue.

What this vote tells us is that council had that good debate and discussion and that people voted the way they believed was best for the community. This was an unusual situation and somewhat controversial, so a divided vote only confirms how sensitive it was. In explaining the “no” votes after the meeting, there was good reason why each was made.

We appreciate the process Onaway and Rogers City undertook to make this city manager-share a reality. We appreciate the way councils in each community carefully considered the pros and cons to this approach.

Ultimately, we believe this will work, and work well for these Presque Isle County communities.

For now, we’re proud of how the process worked.