Board member says he was asked to resign


A member of the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board alleges he was asked to resign his seat earlier this week.

Lucas Ratliff, in an email sent to Delaware City Council and The Gazette, said Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle spoke to him on Wednesday. Ratliff alleged Riggle told him, “you’re either for the City or against the City and it’s clear you’re against it.”

Ratliff admits he was opposed to the roads levy the city proposed. Under the levy, the city’s income tax would have been raised from 1.85 percent to 2 percent, with the 0.15 difference used entirely for the maintenance of existing roads and transportation improvement projects.

In the Nov. 8 General Election, residents defeated the levy by 3,500 votes, or a 60-40 percent margin, with only 2 of 27 precincts supporting it. During the City Council meeting following the election, City Manager Tom Homan said of the loss, “It was very unfortunate, but it happened.”

City Councilwoman Lisa Keller was one of the more outspoken supporters of the levy.

On her Facebook page, Keller wrote of the levy increase, “That is the equivalent of a Starbucks coffee every month for the average citizen in Delaware. For that cup of coffee, you will be able to get through the city faster and with less congestion. If you need help in an emergency, help won’t be stuck in traffic somewhere. It will allow us to stop wishing we had the money to fix our residential streets.”

In the same post, Keller said she was offended that the levy opposition had used a drawing of a cigar-smoking pig driving a bulldozer loaded with money to characterize her and her fellow council members.

Keller responded to Ratliff on Thursday in an email.

“I did not recommend your removal from the Parks Board due to any opinion you had regarding the levy,” Keller said in the email. “I recommended to the Mayor (and asked fellow council members for support) for you be removed because you created an entirely new Facebook profile for yourself and used an image of me as your profile picture … It demonstrated an extreme lack of professional judgement and was conduct unbecoming a representative of our city.”

In a subsequent email, Ratliff denied Keller’s allegation.

In his original email to council, Ratliff wrote, “I will not voluntarily resign either of the positions I currently serve in (on the board and the Hidden Valley Golf Course Advisory Committee).”

City Community Affairs Coordinator Lee Yoakum said Thursday Ratliff is still on the board and committee, and it would take action by council to change his status.

By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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