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phecksel
08-07-2007, 09:25 PM
I'm still shaking my head, and really don't know where to begin.

My wife is on city council, been there for two years. City manager retired, and the search was unsuccessful, so one council member strongly recommended and encouraged another council member to be immediately appointed to the office. I'm going to put my wifes entire speech, including past audio on my web page later this weekend.

Here's a taste of what she read
Mr. Chedrau. You recommend the hiring of Mr. Mears to this Council, then vote against him being City Manager. Next, you verbally resign submitting your letter of resignation to the Mayor, and then ask for it back. You wrote and encouraged this Council to pass a policy preventing citizens from being on more than 1 major board, and then violate your own policy. You author a letter of support for Mr. Mears requesting it be signed by Council and read into the minutes, and 2 days later viciously attack the man. (Those present at the last meeting will recall the childish ďDid I sign it? Did you write it? Display) You sent an e-mail to Council stating that Mr. Mears is under investigation by the state police questioning if he should be allowed to continue in his duties, yet to date, there is no confirmation of any such investigation. You claimed Mr. Mears hiring was illegal, which our own attorney has confirmed was not. You have made highly inappropriate comments about Mr. Mears in chambers, in public, loud enough for me to hear at the end of this table. You have threatened to fire both this and the prior City Manager regularly. I question your professionalism when yelling is considered an acceptable form of communication. Of course, Mr. Chedrau, I am not an attorney, but suspect this could be construed as harassment. You continue to launch verbal hand grenades, then sit back smugly waiting for the fallout. Your tactics are disgraceful and an embarrassment to this community.

Here was what I had to offer
Iím reminded of a small town years ago where two children ruined lives with their lies and accusations. Eventually the state had to take over and stop the Salem Witch Trials. The children have cried witch
Looking beyond tonight, the city has a balanced budget. That balanced budget was achieved by unfortunately laying off city employees, including eliminating an open police officers position.
The budget was balanced on a city managers salary of $65,00 without paying healthcare benefits. Itís been pointed out the new Chelsea city manager would work for $65,000. Thereís no reason for him to have come to Belleville, Chelsea is paying him $78,000 plus health care, plus a car. Chelsea city manager gets a new car every three years. Where are we going to get $13,000 additional money in salary alone? We canít lay off anybody else without impacting the cityís operations.
Whoís going to manage the city for the next several months? Diana has an election coming up. Temporary city managers make $100-$150 PER HOUR. Typical city managers are paid way over $100,000. Clawson, near Royal Oak and Troy, a similar sized city pays their city manager almost $200,000
How will the budget be balanced with increased costs?
Itís fitting this meeting is taking place on school property, because the school yard bullies have won.

After the vote was taken, it was 3-2 in favor of immediately firing the city manager. My wife gave another speech essentially saying she was not going to be part of nor condone the lack of integrity of this council...and then walked out.

One of the local rags
http://www.bellevilleview.com/stories/080207/loc_breakingnews.shtml

Both Detroit/MI papers reported on it today too
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007708070418
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007708070403

This town only has 4,000 people. I guess there was a ton of people that really chastised the council after we left. About a dozen people chased her outside and kept us tied up for an hour, begging her to reconsider. City attorney apparently dressed down the council, told both the mayor and city clerk they have to get the only honest member of council back.

This is all about hidden agendas between two council members who needed the same intermediate step to achieve their individual respective goals. The swing vote, the guy wanted to eliminate the local controversy, and figuring firing the city manager would make everything happy. Sad part, now they feel empowered and have already started making ridiculous demands. Funny part of the whole deal, two members of the police department were working to help stir up the local community. One of which was desperate to get an early retirement, and he was going to get it next month. That has now gone away, because the govt will be in chaos for several months. The other police officer was in cahoots...or thought he was. He hadn't heard that George was demanding the city manager fire him immediately for campaigning for a resolution protecting the police department staffing while on duty.

Since my wife took on this responsibility, the tires on my car have been slashed, our kids have been followed walking to school, stuff written on the doorwall, threats made over the phone, etc etc etc.

The worst part of the whole deal, there was a developer that had started purchasing property for a HUGE multi block project. He has now pulled out, because he said if the city didn't have a stable govt, he would not commit the millions of dollars to the project. Even better, as part of the deal, he was going to build a brand new state of the art city hall, FOR FREE {for some critical property exchange}.

Supporting my wife, along with the rest of life has literally preventing ski time this year. Think I've been a whole three times, with one barefoot session. At least the boat is clean :)

Ric
08-07-2007, 09:32 PM
I have the same ski schedule this year hecks and I am farrrr from politics. ***

Slinkyredfoot
08-07-2007, 10:03 PM
I am sick of politics, and from now on I doubt if I will vote again...

peason
08-08-2007, 12:28 AM
That is a shame. I am sorry to hear about what you have been going through, your wife basically volunteered, most likely because no one else wanted to step up to the plate and this is how she and your family are treated. Sounds like you need to move! Good luck

milkmania
08-08-2007, 12:38 AM
I'm still shaking my head, and really don't know where to begin.
*snip

a lot of that goes on around here.....

over a 2 year period:

Chief of Police has city councilman's son arrested for finding drugs during a traffic stop...

Choctaw Casino wants the Chief to stop patrolling their city access road leading to the casino, and arresting their customers on drug related charges.

Chief eventually gets fired, only to be replaced by an officer of the Choctaw tribe.


POCOLA — A day after the city council’s firing of the longtime police chief led most of the police force and several dispatchers to resign and stage a walkout, city employees said not much had changed or would change in the town of about 4,000.
http://www.swtimes.com/articles/2007/06/14/news/news02.txt

phecksel
08-09-2007, 12:49 AM
For $1,000 a year, it is a volunteer job, especially the hours that she's put in.

Get this, and this has come 2nd hand from several sources, so it must be accurate, this young man was fired, not because he was doing a good job, but because he didn't have the appropriate education. {it's actually a lot more complicated, but that's the short story}. So, council without my wife there, makes the city clerk/treasurer the interim city manager too. Like she doesn't have enough work to do with the upcoming election...and BTW, she has no degree. At least he had a theology PhD. So, all the noise about having the appropriate degree was just a smoke screen. It actually was, and we know the hidden agendas.

Our phone has not stopped ringing. She has literally received over 100 phone calls begging her to not leave the council, and 0 against her. Apparently her speech got a lot of attention, and mine really made people think. i was a little concerned after my speech, because nobody applauded. Every other speaker received some applause, but not me :( Close friend that was there asked if I noticed that everybody was just staring at me. Nobody considered the implications of what was happening. Also, there were several people who chastised the council after we left. Heard my friend and kereen got into a very loud yelling match in the hallway. My fear was these two would feel empowered to do anything they want to do, and it's already started. I guess stay tuned, because I have a funny feeling all the shoes haven't dropped yet. Especially something one of the major papers said.

Ric
08-09-2007, 09:31 AM
hecks, between this run in and your neighbors and that story you posted awhile back about the city gov, maybe peason is right..... It's time for you to move

phecksel
08-09-2007, 12:50 PM
hecks, between this run in and your neighbors and that story you posted awhile back about the city gov, maybe peason is right..... It's time for you to move

I live on the friggin lake, it has been my life dream! I AIN'T MOVING, LOL. There are certain elemnts in society where people believe they can do anything they want, because 90% of the people won't sue. Like my neighbor. The courts will grant me "reasonable" replacement sized trees. I will spend almost as much in attorney fees as I would buying the same size trees. His risk is near zero, and he knew it. Same thing with the latest govt mess. Two council members know the young city manager doesn't have it in him to sue them or the city. They have no risk or repercussions from their actions. He was in their way from achieving their resppective goals. I wouldn't change the channel on this one, not quite yet.

The other problem, we make ourselves targets. If we just stayed away and never did anything, we wouldn't get attacked. ya stick your neck out, sometimes ya get hit. But, we both believe in living honest lives and doing the right thing. The one previous drama was interesting, because the suspect person who was following the girls to school and probably slashed my tires, was actually siding with my wife. He was all about intimidation, and was trying to force his opinion. The other one was better, as the guy actually was stupid enough to threaten her over the phone. She had prepared to file federal criminal charges against him, and somebody whispered in his ear. He suddenly resigned from all the boards he was on. Every once in awhile we hear rumors of he's making noise about recall, yada yada yada. She says, make my day, I don't want the damn job anyway, LOL.

Like I said, the shoes haven't all dropped. She's been on the phone all morning, it just won't stop ringing. Including a close friend of mine who talked to her for over an hour.

Ric
08-09-2007, 01:16 PM
I don't know how yall stand the drama. I guess that lakefront is worth it all huh?

Ryan
08-09-2007, 01:31 PM
I was seriously looking to put my name in for city council here...it's funny, I'm a little less motivated all of the sudden.

Maristar210
08-09-2007, 01:41 PM
The blog on the Detroit news creates a stir. Make his wife sound like she's out of line.

Glad I don't live there, good luck to you though.

Ric
08-09-2007, 01:44 PM
Uhhh I don't read the papers... what's the spread on the game tonight?

M-Funf
08-09-2007, 01:59 PM
I was seriously looking to put my name in for city council here...it's funny, I'm a little less motivated all of the sudden.

I'm looking for a Council seat in two years. I'm on a committee now, and getting recognition from Council for my work...We're in a city of 52,000. Our City Manager makes between $180K and $200K based on salary structure (he's leaving, and his position is open...my wife is thinking of applying). Council members make $10/unit (don't know what a unit is). City Attorney makes over $200K

hecksel,
I'm really sorry to hear what's going on in your town. Seems like local politics wouldn't be as much of an issue with such a small population, but that doesn't seem to be the case in your town.
With the threats, slashed tires, etc. I think it would be best for your wife to step down and let somebody else take the heat...

phecksel
08-09-2007, 11:30 PM
The blog on the Detroit news creates a stir. Make his wife sound like she's out of line.

Glad I don't live there, good luck to you though.

You mean the Free Press Blog? I saw that and seriously considered joining the fray, but to what end? Wrestling with pigs! What's sad, MJ and her husband travel 70+% of the time. They literally come back for the council meetings. I loved a letter to the editor that was sent in talking about how bad the near riot during strawberry festival was. THEY WEREN'T IN TOWN! She also talks about signing her name, but she doesn't mention the threatening anonymous letters sent to most council members. Her printer has a unique characteristic (flaw) which shows up on every letter. So she sends some signed stuff, and then sends anonymous threats. Then she doesn't understand ISP addresses and headers. Creates a throw away email account and then emails a threatening letter to Mears before he became city manager. Funny thing, exact same address that was on a letter both before and after the threatening letter. It was discussed with the FBI, and the decision was made to not pursue Federal Prosecution. It was made very clear during the next council meeting that Mears knew exactly who sent the email.

One local paper crucified my wife, unfortunately it's the gossip rag and they don't put their articles on their web site.

Here's a couple different takes
http://www.bellevilleview.com/stories/080907/loc_20070809004.shtml

http://www.journalgroup.com/Belleville/5609/belleville-city-manager-terminated
My wife started the blog on that article, paper called her, just to make sure it was really her.

I'm going to try and get the audio tapes on a web site this weekend. When people really hear what's going on, I think there's going to be some surprised people. There was some additional information provided today, that surprised my wife.

While politics has a tendency to generally get ugly, this area has always had really ugly politics. And the center of the ugly is always the local free gossip rag. One positive point, the twp desperately needed a public safety millage, and the focus on the city council didn't allow the paper to print all kinds of crap on the millage.

phecksel
08-09-2007, 11:39 PM
I'm looking for a Council seat in two years. I'm on a committee now, and getting recognition from Council for my work...We're in a city of 52,000. Our City Manager makes between $180K and $200K based on salary structure (he's leaving, and his position is open...my wife is thinking of applying). Council members make $10/unit (don't know what a unit is). City Attorney makes over $200K

hecksel,
I'm really sorry to hear what's going on in your town. Seems like local politics wouldn't be as much of an issue with such a small population, but that doesn't seem to be the case in your town.
With the threats, slashed tires, etc. I think it would be best for your wife to step down and let somebody else take the heat...

It can be a great pleasure to give back. I'm on the planning commission and the current team of people work well together. Mayor had specifically asked me to get involved to put the past chair in check. That wasn't fun, but he's the one that eventually made the mistake of threatening my wife on the phone.

If everybody is rowing towards the same goal, a team can accomplish a lot. My wife shook Emerson hand after the vote and sincerely thanked him for voting his conscience. She didn't feel he made the right decision, but it was his decision to make, and accepted that.

I've talked before about this area being a conflicted city {and township}. There's a lot of have's and a lot of have not's. IMO, the middle class is extremely small, basically an upside down bell curve. There's too many people that don't want to get along, but get on these crazy power trips.

Funny story, I talked to my wifes dad today, and he said "never known her to walk away from a fight", LOL

milkmania
02-08-2008, 12:00 AM
Gunman Kills 5 At Missouri Council Meeting

Police Shoot, Kill Gunman


POSTED: 8:30 pm CST February 7, 2008
UPDATED: 9:47 pm CST February 7, 2008
KIRKWOOD, Mo. -- A man rushed into a city council meeting in suburban St. Louis and opened fire Thursday night, killing five people and injuring two more before police shot and killed him.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that among the wounded were Mayor Mike Swoboda, council members Michael H.T. Lynch and Connie Karr and Public Works Director Kenneth Yost. It was unclear which victims had been killed in the attack. During a Thursday night press conference, a police spokeswoman Tracy Panus said the gunman had shot one police officer outside the Kirkwood City Hall and then entered the building and shot another. Both officers died, Panus said.

The shooter then entered the meeting room where the Kirkwood City Council was meeting and shot and killed three people, Panus said. He also shot and wounded two other people who were in the room.

They were rushed to an area hospital and their conditions were unknown Thursday night. Janet McNichols, a Post-Dispatch reporter who was at the meeting, said the shooter, who she identified as Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton, a man she knows from covering the council, was shot by police.

Police said the gunman died. The 7 p.m. meeting had just started when the gunman rushed into the council chambers yelling and opened fire with at least one weapon, McNichols said. He started yelling "shoot the mayor" while walking around and firing, hitting a police officer first, she said.

He then fired at the city attorney, who tried to fight off the attacker by throwing chairs, she said. The gunman then moved behind a desk where the council sits and fired at council members. Kirkwood is about 20 miles southwest of downtown St. Louis.

Monte
02-08-2008, 08:56 AM
Man Phecksel.. When there is a near riot at the Strawberry festival??? It is time to move.. Just my 2cents

SkiDog
02-08-2008, 10:54 AM
Our local Code Enforcement decided this week to give out tickets to a auto dealership that had American Flags hanging on the antennas! Talk about starting some dookie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm surprised this hasn't made National News!:mad: :mad: :mad:

Upper Michigan Prostar190
02-08-2008, 11:10 AM
Thats an internet myth Skidog. urban legend.

TMCNo1
02-08-2008, 11:12 AM
Thats an internet myth Skidog. urban legend.

That what they call me in my neighborhood!:D

Upper Michigan Prostar190
02-08-2008, 11:22 AM
Uhhh I don't read the papers... what's the spread on the game tonight?

Lakers by 6.

phecksel
02-10-2008, 12:33 PM
Man Phecksel.. When there is a near riot at the Strawberry festival??? It is time to move.. Just my 2cents
I would move, but the houses are not selling... big surprise, huh?

the geniuses have consolidated their power. They have come up with the ingenious idea of shutting down main street for almost a year. I talked to one of the businesses, one that is fairly strong, and he said it is unlikely to survive. Can't imagine how the rest of the businesses will do.

Then they have what should have been a great proposal for a huge development, with construction planned about the same time. This city can't get a small project through the system in 12 months, and they want to do a large one in 6?

County gave the city a million dollars to develop a water front park. Four years later, they barely broke ground and that was only after the money was taken away, and some begging got it back.

The three communities informally share a library, which is seriously inadequate. A proposal to develop a regional library was rejected by the city council. Keep in mind the city has less then 4k residents, and the two townships have about 40k.

Then to just tie the ribbon on the whole mess, they still haven't found a city manager, any city manager. Typical city managers make 120k. The one they fired made 65k without health care. So the geniuses figured out they could do their own search and recruiting {same process that failed before}, and they are only going to pay 55k. The second pass through resulted in 6 candidates for interview. I started to look at their qualifications, the first two I had checked had been fired, both for incompetence, one was under investigation by the state police. They finally extended one offer, but the candidate respectively declined. So, they are going through the same process all over again. The interim city manager full time clerk/treasurer is getting burned out.

I fully expect the city to be bankrupt in about 18 months. There is NO money in the budget, to hire a qualified competent manager, much less manage all these projects they have planned.

SkiDog
02-10-2008, 02:52 PM
Where do all your property taxes go?

Maristar210
02-10-2008, 05:19 PM
Man, still a nightmare huh Phecksel?

phecksel
02-10-2008, 08:14 PM
Man, still a nightmare huh Phecksel?
But at least we're not directly in it, at least not like we were. We've had zero property damage, zero threats, zero late night phone calls. So for that, it's all good. But, with our great mi economy and add in the BS, nothing is selling around here. It's going to get much worse before it gets better.