Huber Heights council censures mayor

McMasters says he did nothing wrong in distributing fliers.

City council voted to censure Mayor Tom McMasters after he refused to retract information he distributed that accused council of taking money away from Bethel schools in Miami County.

“Because of the mayor’s refusal to retract, council is forced to make this statement to Huber Heights,” Councilman Mark Campbell said during Monday night’s censure vote.

Council, which voted 7 to 1 for censure, said it will not result in any punishment for the mayor, but is a show of disapproval of McMasters’ actions.

McMasters distributed about 250 fliers earlier this month in the Parktowne/Carriage Trails neighborhoods, claiming City Council “plans to divert Bethel School money into City coffers” by creating a new tax increment financing district in Miami County.

Council said McMasters’ claim is false and asked him to correct the information. Council passed a 30-year non-school TIF that does not affect the Bethel school district or the Miami Valley Career Technology Center on Monday night.

McMasters is opposed to the TIF and denied doing anything wrong.

“Just for the record, I have not submitted any untruth of any kind,” McMasters said. He added that when he distributed the fliers, the council was on track to adopt the TIF resolution under different terms.

Council disputed McMasters, saying the mayor misunderstood the TIF.

“I think it’s a sad day for the community when we have to censure anybody. I think it’s an even sadder day when the mayor advocates for the well being of another community over ours,” said Councilwoman Karen Kaleps.

“It’s not clear whether this is due to ignorance on the mayor’s part or a deliberate attempt to undermine the city’s well being,” Kaleps said.

Councilman Tyler Starline was the dissenting vote, saying he did not have enough advance notice of the censure plans.

The new TIF district would be the area directly fronting Old Troy Pike at Parktowne Boulevard — a total of 22.6 acres.

The TIF district would generate approximately $1.3 million in new TIF revenue over the life of the agreement, to be used to help fund a new fire station in the northern part of the city inside the TIF district.