Newark Country Club Retreat: Our Final Actions

Our efforts had an effect last Monday in raising opposition to the Newark Mayor’s country club retreat to “educate” Council members on how to do the job they were elected for.

A motion was made to table the idea until the council and public could hear more about the objective, set a council-driven agenda, and hold a council vote on the measure.

That motion should sound entirely reasonable to any common sense American.

Unfortunately, four council members still voted in support of the City Manager’s orders and this outrageous idea.

Here are the four council members who betrayed the public trust with their bad votes last Monday night:

Mayor Polly Sierer
Todd Ruckle (District 2)
Margrit Hadden (District 4)
Stuart Markham (District 6)

And even Luke Chapman (District 5), while he reluctantly voted to table the retreat for process reasons, still supported the idea of it.

But it gets worse. Much worse.

Two minutes on Google would have served these four politicians well, because the consultant that the City Manager hired has a long history of controversy —

— which includes being chased out of the position of Borough Manager in Quakertown, PA under a cloud of investigation for improper bidding procedures and purchases.

Even the watered down report from the private investigative firm noted that employees from all borough departments had paid for goods or services in violation of laws governing such deals under David Woglam’s stewardship.

They confirmed a series of improperly awarded contracts and found a way to blame the council for a “level of complacency and misplaced trust” in the actions of disgraced Manager Woglam and his staff.

This is the person Newark has hired to “educate” our council members on relations with the City Administration.

This meeting should not happen for the following reasons:

  1. The meeting is being driven by the City Administration staff instead of council. Council should be providing the direction to staff, not the other way around.
  2. This meeting was never voted on or discussed by council prior to scheduling. Instead, it was imposed by the City Manager and her agenda.
  3. The hired consultant, David Woglom, was a 20+ year municipal manager who left office under a cloud of controversy — for the same improper behaviors being experienced in Newark today.

The Newark City Council needs to call an immediate Emergency Meeting and vote to stop this country club retreat in its tracks.

What you should do:

Call for an end to this meeting. Contact these council members and demand that they call an Emergency Meeting to VOTE NO and CANCEL this retreat:

Luke Chapman    302-293-7369
Margrit Hadden  302-983-9087
Todd Ruckle     302-893-1601

Spread the word. Let the residents know their voice can only be heard when their elected officials follow the direction We The People set for our community, not an unelected City Administration’s agenda.

We have activists walking the streets and handing out fliers right now. You can help by handling even one street.

Download our “SAY NO to Retreat” flyer and put it in the hands of like-minded neighbors and friends.

If they fail to represent you, attend the retreat. Hold council and staff accountable and be in attendance to hear the version of Council-Administrative government that the City Manager is teaching your duly elected representatives.

The Newark City Manager has been caught working behind the backs of the council on the controversial power plant deal, the council has called her out, and now she and the Mayor want the freshman council members to understand city government the way former Manager Woglam does:

“A municipality is a business, a unique business, but a business nonetheless and the municipal manager is your CEO.” – David Woglam

Call those council members today and tell them that we expect representative government, not a corporation of “yes” men and women following a CEO.

Demand an Emergency Meeting to cancel this retreat today.

In Liberty,

Brett Zingerelli
New Castle County Coordinator
Campaign for Liberty

P.S. Newark Mayor Polly Sierer, and council members Todd Ruckle, Margrit Hadden and Stu Markham thumbed their nose at the citizens with their votes to move forward with the Mayor and City Manager’s country club retreat.

The “training” retreat is being paid for with taxpayer dollars, without any vote or input from the council, and is still scheduled for this Saturday, June 21st, from8:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Newark Country Club.

And to top it all off, it’s also being led by an embattled and controversial former municipality manager who was run out of a town in Pennsylvania for the same problems we are facing in Newark.

Call these council members right now and demand they call a Special Meeting and strike down the Mayor and City Manager’s country club retreat:

Todd Ruckle, District 2
Margrit Hadden, District 4

Luke Chapman, District 5