Mayor’s action ‘conflicts’ with Huber charter, officials say

McMasters denies claims, says he is waiting for check to clear.

City Council approved 7-0 two pieces of legislation at its April 28 meeting for a new concession stand and restroom facility at Thomas Cloud Park, a project that had taken about two years to finalize. Council agreed to accept a donation from Brick City Sports Club and award a contract to Bruns General Contracting in the amount of $335,221.

McMasters authenticated the donation resolution April 30, but has not signed the construction contract resolution, saying he is waiting for the Brick City donation of $105,674 to clear. The Huber Heights mayor does not vote on legislation.

But city leaders said McMasters does not have the authority to disapprove a piece of legislation when it passes by a two-thirds vote, which makes it not subject to veto. A time frame is not specified, but it must be authenticated “forthwith,” according to the charter.

Legislation is available to be signed immediately after the meeting or the next morning, clerk of council Anthony Rodgers said.

“When we’re signing authentication, the idea is we’re authenticating an accurate and true representation passed by council,” Rodgers said. “(McMasters’) practice conflicts with what’s spelled out in the charter.”

McMasters denies it’s a violation of the charter, and he said he intends to sign the resolution once the check is received.

“It slows down the paperwork when I don’t sign it, and it really just means I’m calling attention that there’s an issue,” McMasters said. “I want to make sure they’re giving us a good check before committing money to building the project there. I don’t want to put another $100,000 of the city’s money into it.”

City officials have said construction will not begin until the city has received the donation.

“Typically, we wouldn’t act until it is authenticated,” Rodgers said. “No one’s going to do anything to initiate the project until we’re sure we have all the money in hand.”

According to the city, Brick City president Chuck Doran presented a check to council April 28 that was made out to Brick City. That check needed to clear with Brick City first before the actual check was given to the city, and that hasn’t happened yet, McMasters said.

“I’m waiting for that to come before signing the legislation,” he said. “The first (resolution) is accepting the donation. We will accept the donation when they give us the check. Awarding the contract has always been contingent upon getting the donation.”

Doran did not return a message seeking comment.

Councilman Mark Campbell said McMasters has worked against other officials.

“I’ve been patiently waiting for Tom McMasters to get on board Team Huber, and he has not,” Campbell said. “He continues to campaign against us. I wish he would take serious his responsibilities that he accepted when he was sworn in as mayor.”

The new concession stand and restroom facility is expected to be built later this year. The new facility will replace the one destroyed by fire in 2011 and be built southwest of the previous location — a proposal that has had baseball and soccer organizations at odds.

Huber Heights collected $185,000 in insurance money, and money from the water ($27,645) and sewer ($16,902) funds also will be used for the project.

In November, McMasters unseated incumbent and longtime city official Ron Fisher 52 percent to 48 percent to become the sixth mayor in the city’s history.