Milestones (OPINION)

By Miles H Barber Publisher

Playing possum was a fun game as a kid.

You laid still, didn’t move and pretended to be asleep.

Over the past several months our Charter Review Committee has been meeting to discuss changes to our City Charter. This was primarily focused on creating new districts for our Council elections to comply with current law.

However, there were a couple of trial balloons floated by the Committee Chair to test the reception of eliminating our elected Chief of Police and our elected City Clerk.

It is no secret that our Mayor has wanted to eliminate these two elected City offices and make them appointed positions like other cities. It would also add tremendous power to the position of Mayor.

This would heighten the power of the Mayor and Council to virtually control every important position in our City. Apparently, our founding fathers were frightened by such foolishness and fortunately forestalled this feature from the final forms.

Now here is something we found to be interesting, amusing and frightening.

During the discussion about making the Police Chief an appointed position, our Acting City Attorney Brian Doyle, told the Committee he would like to step down for a moment as the City Attorney and speak as a private citizen. He was allowed to do that by the Chair.

This is when Doyle stopped playing possum and uncovered his true colors.

Essentially his comment was: As a private citizen I think the idea of an elected Chief of Police is stupid.

While the Committee, to their credit, didn’t buy into the idea, the very thought that our Acting City Attorney would try to influence a vote based on personal opinion is reprehensible.

Since when does the Legal Officer of the City have the right to take off his “robe” in an official City meeting and express a personal opinion?

He is being paid to represent all the citizens of our City without bias and with objectivity. He is employed to interpret the law and render thoughtful objective legal counsel.

Brian Doyle was no longer playing possum. He exposed the real reason he was appointed to replace Ren Nosky…to influence decisions on behalf of the Mayor.

Members of the Charter Review Committee mentioned on the record that they felt they were being “directed.” Others expressed that they felt they were being “politically used.”

The Weekly has made numerous public record requests to the City. These requests are governed by law and require a response within 10 days. When the Weekly requested records on the Mayor’s activities involving Banner Public affairs, they sat in the City Attorney’s office for weeks. You would have to wonder why?

Were these records being sorted, selected or scrubbed?

Did we receive all the records or are there more that have not been released?

There is no longer any doubt…playing part-time possum is past.

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