Frightmore and Morrow
As City Manager of Morrow I felt the need to clarify a few things of importance, given the press coverage of the Frightmore location and your recent opinion written on October 3, 2012, but to answer your headline question, no you are not the enemy at least I don't think so. I can only speak for myself and as a public official I do not have a problem reading the truth or what happens when you actually report the truth and what happens in its entirety, not the bits and pieces that make your story more sensational. You call it reporting the truth when in actuality, at least in this case, your paper reported half truths.
We all know with any story there are two sides and unfortunately the author of the Friday article in News Daily never approached our Planning and Economic Development Director, Michael McLaughlin, or me for the City of Morrow side of the story. You failed to report crucial facts and that's misleading.
The story in this case is not what the City requires, the story is the fact the Mr. Rayl thought the requirements were so unnecessary that he is willing to put his customers, which may mostly be children, at risk. The story is Mr. Rayl believes he is so special he doesn't need to follow the rules and meet the requirements but only request special treatment and tell his false statements to the media, but the free publicity is good right?
To address the statement that was made by the owner of Frightmore, that Frightmore was not wanted in Morrow. What Michael McLaughlin told Mr. Rayl, as Mr. Rayl worked to corner both elected officials and employees at 8 p.m. after a community meeting, only two days after he submitted his application to city hall, in a parking lot, was he does not want him here (in the parking lot) discussing business. If he didn't want to follow a process he could go two blocks down the road where it may not be required.
Anyone who knows Michael knows he would never make such a statement, it is not how Michael speaks. We have a simple yet professinal process to follow, but Mr. Rayl has decided he would rather complain about the process than actually follow it. This is his M.O. He did this last year and the Mayor and Council granted him a favor regarding his sign banner so again this year he believes he is special. A few old adages come to mind, give them an inch and they will take a mile and no good deed goes unpunished. Mr. Rayl now states that it is like magic, once the article ran, he received his CO. There is no magic. He simply completed the assigned task. If he hadn't he would not have opened, article or no article. Seven business days from application to CO is very good service given what was needed. If the owner had spent more time doing and less time complaining his CO most likely would have been issued even sooner.
Our process revealed Frightmore did not meet the basic requirements to open. We needed items such as a fire sprinkler inspection report (does the system work), a fire alarm inspection report (does the system work), proper location and mounting of fire extinguishers, an access key for a knox box (in case our FD needs access), compliant emergency lighting, and proper documentation on his plans are just a few. Mr. Rayl also made changes to the maze like set (the structure inside a structure) which caused our Fire Marshall concern for the public especially the coverage of the sprinkler system. Mr. Rayl somehow believes what happened last year is related to this year and it is not. He runs a temporary business, only opened a few days a year so when he vacates the building and returns 11 months later the process begins for him each year as a clean slate. We started the One Stop Shop to streamline the process, to make permitting easy; however, when
applicants bypass the process, make calls to numerous employees and elected officials and create chaos the process is not allowed to work properly.
What is really disappointing is certain people have now taken it upon themselves to bad mouth the employees of the City without knowledge of the facts. What is sad and disappointing is we actually have to spend time and effort responding to this silliness.
Finally, we as public servants could ignore the rules and requirements and look the other way for the sake of ease. Now, imagine if a child were to get hurt from the collapse of a wall, or a crowd of people were not able to locate the exit quickly because the emergency lights were not working, or an electrical fire broke out and the functioning fire extinguishers were not available, then where does the liability rest? Upon the first sign of a problem that could have been prevented, the press, the public, and the attorneys would then pounce on the government employees for not doing their jobs. We are guilty of doing things right to ensure the safety of the public we serve. We did the right thing by requiring codes to be met. Today we did the right thing again and tomorrow we will repeat the process. How you choose to report the truth either in part or in whole places your credibility on the line. Our employees deserve thanks for looking out for the safety of the public, not ridiculed for doing so.
Jeffrey A. Eady
Morrow City Manager
Old Person Pride
I never really liked the terminology "Old Person" but this makes me feel somewhat better about it.
Actually, it is not a bad thing to be called old as you will see.
Old people are easy to spot at sporting events. During the playing of the National Anthem, old people remove their caps and stand at attention and sing without embarrassment. They know the words and believe them.
Old people remember; World War II, Pearl-harbor, Guadalcanal, Normandy and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Jet Age and the moon landing. They remember the 50-plus peacekeeping missions from 1945 to 2005, not to mention Vietnam.
If you bump into an old person on the sidewalk, he will apologize. Old people are courteous to women.
Old people hold the door for the next person and always when walking with a lady makes sure she is on the inside for her safety.
Old people get embarrassed if someone curses in front of women and children and they do not like any filth or dirty language on TV or in the movies.
Old people have moral courage and personal integrity. They seldom brag unless it is about their children or grandchildren.
It is old people who know the country is protected not by politicians but by the young men and women in the military, serving their country. This country needs old people with their work ethic, sense of responsibility, pride in their country and decent values. Their wisdom is or should be invaluable.
We need them now more than ever.
I was taught to respect my elders and did for my first 80 plus years, but now it is getting harder to find them.
Thank God for old people.
William E. Mitchell