|A Few Words From A “Weak Man”|
The September 15th City Council meeting was one for the ages. That’s not to take anything away from any of the others, but last night’s meeting was full of surprises.
I would start with a well deserved Award and positive recognition of the HMB City Clerk, Siobhan Smith. Ms Smith was recognized last night by AFOG (Advocates For Open Government), with a well deserved (and beautiful) Award during the Public Forum part of the meeting. Ms Smith has served HMB with the utmost in professionalism day in and day out for over 20 years, and through 15 administrators; not easy, but she has and has done an exemplary job.
Shortly after that presentation, I addressed the Council with a prepared presentation. I had to struggle to get the opportunity as the Mayor had passed on my request (blue card submitted). After a brief back and forth, Mayor Fraser acknowledged my turn to speak with an “OK, quickly”.
It was then that I stepped to the podium and offered my presentation. Below, I have the presentation for those interested. I am posting it to help anyone interested to understand what happened shortly after my presentation; something so bizarre, so unbelievable that I think it important to provide all that transpired before the incident to help in understanding the incident itself:
There seems to be a problem here. Further, it seems to be a constant. I’d like to address it, in part, here tonight.
At the last Council meeting, I once again stood at this podium and pitched a softball in an attempt to get discussion and clarity on what many believe is a serious issue. My attempt was ignored, unfortunately.
The Review published an article on August 19th on the City’s failure to receive a $4.5 Million trail grant. The piece was titled: “City fails to apply for $4.5 million federal grant” / “Council authorized it but application never completed”
In the piece, the Review Editor states that the Department of Transportation, the grant provider, never received the grant request! Further into the piece, Council member Ruddock is quoted as stating that the City Manager told her the grant was “rejected”; “She told me the city’s application had been rejected.”
We all make mistakes; but that is not the point here. The point here, as most see it, is what is now being described as “TrailGate”, which is a spinoff of Watergate. We all remember Watergate, not as a break-in issue but rather as an abuse of power issue - one that brought down the President of the United States.
A mistake would be to not have applied. But this goes deeper than just a mistake.
The grant provider states the application from HMB was never received, yet the City Manager said the grant was “rejected” two months after the fact. It can’t be both ways.
At the last Council meeting, I stood at this podium as I have so many times before and pleaded with this Council to address the matter, to set the narrative and to clear up any misconceptions for the benefit of the public. The Council chose to ignore my request. Many wonder why?
So, I am here again, asking this Council to address the matter, again. You of course can just ignore my request again, or you can address it. Any attempts to sweep it under the rug will not lessen the loss of $4.5 Million, which is a substantial amount of money that would have benefitted both HMB residents and visitors, nor the apparent misinformation by the City Manager.
So, bluntly asked: which is it? - was the application denied as the City Manager stated or was the application never filed, which would mean the City Manager mis-stated the facts?”
“Perhaps you can also take this opportunity to shed some light on why our dedicated City Clerk hasn’t been in the office for over two weeks.
In closing, I’d like to recognize a beloved HMB resident and fighter for honest, open government; Ozzie Monteiro, who underwent surgery today to remove an aggressive cancer. My thoughts and prayers are with Ozzie and his family.
That concludes the presentation. Here is a link to the video of the meeting to supplement and enhance the developments: The presentation efforts start at about the 1:05+ mark.
Somehow, from these meager beginnings, “mayhem” (as someone called it) did in fact ensue. I will come back and continue with more later.