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Friday, June 13, 2014

Council President Resigns

On Tuesday, June 10, 2014, at the City of Fruitland’s regularly scheduled City Council meeting, Council President, Richard “Lee” Outen Jr. stepped down from the council. He advised that he has recently purchased a home for his family outside of Fruitland City and will no longer be qualified to remain on the Council. The Council thanked Lee for his leadership in the many accomplishments the Council has achieved during his term, and wished the very best in his future endeavors.

Please see the attached for a statement by Lee Outen.
This vacancy on the Council will be filled in the scheduled upcoming October 6, 2014 City election. There will be 3 seats up for re-election and any qualified Fruitland City resident is strongly encouraged to file a petition of Candidacy between Monday, June 30, 2014 and 4:30 p.m., Monday, September 1, 2014.

I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to be on the Fruitland City Council and thank the voters for electing me and trusting in me to represent them.

In my tenure on the City Council, I have had the pleasure and opportunity to work with some dedicated individuals, such as my fellow Council Members, people in the community, employees that work for Fruitland and people that work in other functions of Government.
We have shared many accomplishments, some of which were goals set by the Council and some were situations presented to us that we simply tried to make the best of, after all, that really is all you can do
when representing the community, is make the best decisions you can. 

Some of the Council accomplishments include:
 Restructuring of the Water/Sewer rates to make it more fair and equitable for lower consumers and the discontinuation of the Front Foot Assessment, which were supposed to be phased out years ago.
 The restructuring and reorganization of the City Finance Department which has resulted in a much more efficient and user friendly process, as well as the reorganization of Public Works
that has decreased overall salary expenditures by consolidation of positions.
 The construction and completion phase of the Police Department building.
 The renovation of City Hall
 The annexation of Crown Sports Center, which has been a hope for Fruitland for many years that will result in additional revenue and add to the recreational “Theme” that has developed in Fruitland over the years. This also included the extension of sewer across Rt. 13 and land for a future lift station, an essential component of Fruitland’s master growth plan.
 Implementation of a two year moratorium on impact fees that will help to spur economic development and hopefully create jobs in the construction sector, which has been one of the hardest hit industries of the Great Recession.
 Reinstatement of nearly 2.5 million dollars that was taken from the Fruitland residents in a MDE required ENR upgrade to our wastewater treatment plant.
 The creation of the Morris Mill Urban Service District that will add nearly 10% more users , a new 500,000 gallon elevated water tower, and reconditioning of our existing tower…..all at no cost to the residents of Fruitland. The desire and determination by everyone involved to make this project happen in finding a long term solution to solve a public health hazard has reaffirmed my belief that Government does work for you. 

With all the layers of Government involved in this process, from municipal, to County, to State, to Federal… at first seemed an almost impossible task, however, what I witnessed was a roll up your sleeves approach, cut through the tape and get it done. This saved the local taxpayers and the residents of the Morris Mill community nearly 6 million dollars that were obtained in grant rather than loan.
As a member of the City Council, especially in my role as Council President come certain responsibilities that are to ensure doing what is in the best interests of the City and the residents. So while I have taken my responsibilities as Council President seriously, I also have a responsibility to my family- and simply put- we have outgrown our home (which was our first) and have purchased a new one. 

Unfortunately our new home is located outside of Fruitland.
In doing what is right, as I now no longer meet the eligibility requirements to be a Council Member, I must resign. Because our Charter stipulates that if less than four months remain in a term, a special election will not be required. I will continue to offer input and attend the last few meetings but from the other side of the table.
In closing, I would like to add that we all have a civic duty to be involved…. whether by voting, attending meetings, sending an email or calling your elected representatives about current issues that affect you.
After all….this is what it is all about. Those elected are there to represent YOU, so they need to know what YOU want. . I hope that the citizens feel that I have served them well as it has been a very
rewarding experience for me and I thank you for the opportunity.

Thank You,
R. Lee Outen

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lee did a GREAT job and will be missed.