Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Shawnee Shenanigans Part 1

In preparing to write about what happened last night at city hall I realized it could not be properly explained in just one blog post.  As such, this will be the first one. 

So, let's set the stage.  There were actually two separate city council meetings last night.  This is important because there will be two separate "summary minutes" and two separate audio/cd files.

The first meeting was the special council meeting.  This was the meeting in which Alan Willoughby was selected to replace David Morris as a Ward II councilmember.

The second meeting was the regularly scheduled council meeting.

During the first meeting councilmember Dan Pflumm inquired as to whether or not Mr. Willoughby was related to anyone on hte governing body.  Yepper, that is where it came out publicly that he is the mayor's uncle by marriage. Important?  Yes, because if the question was not asked would the info have come out?

Also, during that first meeting councilmember Michelle Distler made it a point that she could not vote for Mr. Willoughby because prior to the meeting it had been determined who would nominate him, second the nomination and who would vote for him.  A done deal.  Just as had happened two years ago with Jim Neighbor

Now, let's fast forward to the second meeting.

During business from the floor, yours truly asked why there had been no call for comments from the public duirng the first meeting as we did have them when Jim Neighbor was selected two years ago.  The mayor replied it was his decision not to solicit public comments. 

Also during business from the floor, resident Gregg Snell inquired, with reference to the first meeting, as to whether or not the mayor had had conversations prior to the meeting that were favorable to Mr. Willoughby's selection with members of the council.  The mayor confirmed he had voiced support for his uncle (by marriage).  I enjoyed Mr. Snell's comment that the selection meeting had been nothing but Kabuki theater.

So, what did we have in the selection of Mr. Willoughby?  A mayor who presides over a council meeting that selects his wife's uncle, and does not allow comments from the public.  Was the mayor afraid that maybe some of the 650 people who had voted for Mike Kemmling in the election (one of the other applicants last night) might come up and say something about why Kemmling came within 12 votes of defeating Neal Sawyer? 

Thank you Jeff Meyers for slapping democracy in the face.

More coming in part 2.