Why should the city replace a successful boss?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 25, 2012

What would it be like for an entrepreneur to take over a business that has been struggling for decades? The opportunity would be exciting I am sure, to one who had a vision.

That must be what it is like for someone to have a vision to run for mayor of a city in Ironton’s condition.

You run for the position of CEO and you have four years to evaluate your company, cast a vision and turn that company into a profit.

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In four years, the board of directors hold an election and you have a chance to campaign for your job. If you lose, you have one month to find another job and support your family.

However, if you win, you get the task of continuing to build on the vision and take that company to new heights.

Now, let’s say you have done well and four years later the company is doing very well. All of the sudden … you are fired.

This is where you hear the record player scratch the record. Fired? Why? Because you can only hold the job for eight years.

I guess it would be fair to say that Ironton has bigger problems than a term limit rule in its charter. However, I have believed for some time that it is now, and has been, a problem.

Mayor Rich Blankenship is the CEO of our town. The voters of Ironton put him there. They put him there twice by large margins.

However, the citizens of won’t be able to do that again.

There is a rule that basically says that no one shall hold the office more than two complete terms or a total of 10 years.

I find this very stifling to any real progress that can be made. This viewpoint has nothing to do with how well Mayor Blankenship is doing and in fact this has nothing to do with who the current mayor is.

It has everything to do with giving our leaders the ability to cast a vision and go all out in their attempt to turn our city around.

With term limits in place a second-term mayor is now what is referred to as a “lame duck.”

This means that no matter how well they are doing, they will need a new job in four years. In today’s climate does that concern anyone else? It sure does me.

With this rule in place a successful one-term mayor may opt out of re-election in order to re enter the private sector to provide for their family.

Who could blame them? You only have one month after your term is completed to find another job.

I would like to see our leaders propose a change in this system. It may never prove to be enacted. However, for a “business” that is struggling like Ironton, if our CEO can get us on the right track, shouldn’t we citizens or “board of directors” have the right to keep the “boss?”

Why do we need term limits anyway? They are already in place. It is called an election and it is held every four years.

Ironton has struggled mostly under the mayoral system of government. How about we take the handcuffs off and invite the boss to dream big?


Jay Zornes is an Ironton resident, business owner and member of the Ironton school board.