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Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

More detail on the city administrator issue (Update 10 a.m. Feb. 10)

Posted Thursday, February 10, 2011, at 10:07 AM

While it's inaccurate -- as some people have claimed -- to say that Connie Latimer has no experience, it's fair to ask whether her experience is sufficient to qualify her for the job of city administrator. Because she has been a public official for years, there's a good deal of evidence for community members to examine. We've created a webpage that links to all the news stories she's mentioned in for the past nearly 10 years (which is as far back as our web archives go).

http://www.marshallnews.com/connielatime...

In response to our story about the Marshall City Council offering Connie Latimer a new contract and the news that she worked in 2010 without pay, one of the first comments on our website was from oceanlord49, posted Tuesday, Feb. 8:

"(W)hat are the reasons as to why a salary not given? (If she loves Marshall as she states, why not another year for free?) There certainly is a back story to this that should see the light of day."

I can't claim to know everything that's gone on behind the scenes, but here's what I learned during the post-council-meeting news conference:

Regarding qualifications, Connie Latimer's response is similar to the response she gave when she was appointed to the post last year. She was an active mayor -- practically full time -- for seven years. She worked closely with former City Administrator Charles Tryban and gained enough practical experience and knowledge about Marshall city government to compensate for lack of formal management education.

She has noted in the past that during her tenure as mayor she played a hands-on role in bringing funding to the city for several big infrastructure projects, notably the airport improvements, Eastwood bridge replacement and two intersection improvements on U.S. 65. She reports having good rapport with state officials and has experience applying for funding that has proven beneficial to the city.

Regarding the salary level, at $67,500 it's higher than what the council was willing to pay her last year ($62K) but lower than many other cities comparable in size to Marshall pay their city administrators, she said, noting that the low end of the pay range was about $72K. We did not get a list of the cities used for comparison purposes, but we'll inquire.

Regarding why she kept quiet about her decision to work without pay, she said a) she didn't think anyone really needed to know and b) no one asked. She suggested she didn't want to call more attention to the situation because it would have been a distraction.

Regarding the suggestion she go another year without pay, she said if she had it to do over again, she would again give the city a year of work, but she added that doing so was a big financial burden for her family and she couldn't manage to do it twice. She said she will definitely sign the contract approved by the council Monday.

I realize the timing of her original appointment made quite a few people suspicious about her motives and the city council's judgment. The city council is responsible for selecting a city administrator, and its members seem satisfied that there was no ethical violation in the move last year or in Latimer's decision to work without pay. The council has now voted twice to award Latimer contracts, indicating confidence in both the legality of the move and in her ability to do the job.

It's clear from our online discussions, however, that while some people strongly support the council's decision in this case, others are still not satisfied with the way events unfolded and still have questions about why things happened the way they did. We plan to follow up with city officials and will attempt to fill in some of the blanks.

As with all decisions made by our representatives, the wisdom of their actions in this case is open to debate and there's likely to be a good deal of spirited discussion representing a variety of perspectives.

That's what living in an open society is all about!


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Once again, the only qualifications seem to be "I love Marshall" and "I have friends on the city council."

I'm sorry, but being honorary mayor of Marshall for a few years does not qualify one for a city manager position no matter how you try and dress it up.

No education, no formal training, no experience in the job equals an unqualified candidate. Watching the last guy do the job is not qualification. How do you know the last guy was any good at the job? Looks to me like while Charlie was a nice guy and all, Marshall did not progress much during his tenure.

What Marshall desperately needs is some new blood and new ideas. More of the same will lead to what we have now. Plenty of poverty and all the associated bad check, alcholism, domestic abuse, and drug use that go with that. Plenty of slums for the poor folks to live in. No new job creation to attract and retain middle class folks. No new schools as we are taxxed beyond belief now for 911, Jails, Parks, Courthouse remodeling, and all the other things we were already paying taxes for but somehow it wasn't enough.

So all those who want new business, new schools, and all the associated benefits that come with that should really pay more attention to things like this when they occur.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 1:03 PM
ERIC CRUMP
This is just my perspective as a reporter who has covered Marshall city government off and on for five years. Connie Latimer worked closely with Charlie Tryban. She was in her office most of the time during business hours. Both were reliable sources of information for me in writing stories about the city, and both seemed very knowledgeable about the workings of the city. I think people may rightly debate whether her experience as mayor is sufficient, but I think it would be inaccurate to say she has no relevant experience.

One question, you say the salary now is 67k which is more than they were "willing" to pay her last year....so, did she go unpaid because she loved the city or as a protest to them not paying her enough? if they were willing to pay her 62k last year and she refused because she loved the city then why did Dan Brandt have to inform the council that she was going unpaid....shouldn't that have been in open business? im asking because we are discussing it now because it was open business, why was the contract and negotiations behind closed door last year, or so it would seem. Thanks for the info Eric

-- Posted by thisguy on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 2:05 PM

Mrs. Latimer sent over the wage survey used by the council to determine her salary. I haven't had time to look it over yet, but you can find it here:

http://www.marshallnews.com/files/mmlwag...

-- Posted by Eric Crump on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 3:59 PM

Connie said:

"Regarding why she kept quiet about her decision to work without pay, she said a) she didn't think anyone really needed to know and b) no one asked. She suggested she didn't want to call more attention to the situation because it would have been a distraction."

No one asked? No one asked?!How in the world would anyone ever know to say "Hey, you know that job you got through manipulation, are you gettin' paid for that?"

She didn't want to call more attention to the situation? Really? I'll bet she didn't! She thought it might cause a distraction? Gee..ya think! That is just a tactful yet transparent way to say "we wanted to keep this quiet."

They can spin this anyway they want but this is still wrong on so many levels. I will remember this next time council elections come around, not that it would make any difference.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 5:57 AM

If anyone is responsible for the lack of growth in Marshall, it is all of the negative, nit-picky people that believe there is some gigantic conspiracy of the "right" people. Are you guys kidding? When do the "right" people have time to get together and scheme against ALL the other citizens of Marshall?

-- Posted by Owl12345 on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 8:49 AM

AT CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS. or any other local political function. or over in their lil' money having enclave south of town where they tried to build themselves a new rich-kid-of-powerfull-parents school instead of renovating the many schools we have already.

-- Posted by BigFatGuy on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 9:25 AM
Response by ERIC CRUMP:
Just to clarify: In the past 10 years, the Marshall school board has proposed building new facilities at a northside site, a southside site and a southeast corner site. In each case, the school would have been for all students in the district.

Eric, nice of you to have become the defender of all things "Connie."

I find it surprising that a newspaper editor would allow himself to be put in this position but you seem to have taken it on willingly.

And by the way, you should dig a little deeper. The Eastwood Bridge Replacement and Highway 65 improvements at College and Vest were planned projects by MoDot along with the addition of the highway entrance for WalMart. Those projects would have happened regardless of who was setting in the mayor's or city administrator's chairs.

I have no inside track to who prompted the airport improvements, but I would be willing to speculate that ConAgra and Cargill were more influential, along with the airport authority and our local flyers, than the honorary mayor.

Also, on the subject of "active mayor." What exactly is that because in our city charter, the duties of the mayor are pretty limited. No one reports to or works for the mayor. All department heads report to the city administrator.

Let's be brutally honest here. Connie Latimer could not have landed a city administrator job at any other town above 8000 population in the state with the credentials she had at the time of her appointment to the job. All of her friends can say what a great person she is and I would never disagree or question their opinions, however that does not qualify her for the job that she obtained by pure and simple small town politics and insider deals.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 11:24 AM

Oh, I forgot, MoDot also planned and paid for the intersection improvements at Business 65 (Odell) and Morrow, which would have occurred regardless of who was sitting the the city offices as part of the Odell curb and gutter done a couple of years ago.

Most all politicians have a long history of taking credit publicly for things they really only attended meetings for or knew something about. I would think newspaper reporters and editors would be wary of those sort of comments.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 11:28 AM

Oops, it sounds like I said the Eastwood Bridge project was part of the Walmart entrance upon re-reading. Not so.

The Eastwood Bridge project was initiated at the time the bridges failed inspection. It just took a few years for the capital submission to be approved and the project to be designed and implemented. This project, to my knowledge, was initiated immediately following the bridges being declared unsafe.

Perhaps you should speak with MoDot officials, who no doubt will support Connie because no bureaucrat ever wants to upset a politician, to see if these projects would have occured regardless of who the mayor or administrator was, or not.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 11:32 AM
ERIC CRUMP
Here's a collection of stories that include mention of the project. Marshall Special Road District closed the railroad bridge after it failed a MoDOT inspect, but the city had to annex the bridges and apply for a MoDOT grant in order to fund the project.

owl12345 said:

"When do the "right" people have time to get together and scheme against ALL the other citizens of Marshall?"

...well, it was about this time last year when all of this came about.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 12:31 PM

BigFatGuy and What the f......,

The people of this town, I am convinced, truly are conspiracy theorists. I've been to all of those "CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS. or any other local political function[s]" and there is nothing as grand as the masterful stories you all crafting happening at those meetings/functions. There are no hushed back room deals--unless you consider discussing the snacks being served at the political functions topic of a back room deal. You also allude to a "lil' money having enclave south of town." Ms. Latimer lives no where near Stone Hedge or even the Town & Country neighborhood. In fact, she lives right next to the park. Her house is brand new, but I am sure it certainly did not cost as much as the homes in the Stone Hedge area. The people of that neighborhood are just like everyone else in this community--they are from rural roots (many of them grew up in poverty) and they care deeply for Marshall. If they did not, they could just as easily pack up their businesses and move them to areas that are not only more prosperous (and would increase business revenues)!

-- Posted by Owl12345 on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 1:59 PM

owl12345,

I never said anything about any money enclave.

That being said, if you were at all those 'CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS" then why are we just hearing about these latest revelations? Why were they not openly discussed until now and why would there be a need to SECRETLY not accept compensation for a job that someone is APPARENTLY qualified for?

Outside or inside a skunk still smells like a skunk. Maybe you were at the meetings. Connie resigns, Lorna is made mayor pro-tem and immediately Connie is given the job. Magically Lorna moves soon thereafter. I'm sure no one saw that coming. Then SECRETLY after LEGAL ADVICE Connie decides not to accept pay for a job everyone claims she is qualified for. After an exhaustive search and countless interviews (tongue planted firmly in cheek) Connie gets the job but declines pay for a year. Why? You want Connie's answer?

""Regarding why she kept quiet about her decision to work without pay, she said a) she didn't think anyone really needed to know and b) no one asked. She suggested she didn't want to call more attention to the situation because it would have been a distraction."

We didn't need to know - we didn't ask ans she didn't want to cause a distraction. I have a real problem with.

Connie may be your friend and you can defend this all you want but I have no trust in her or the council at this point and time. I also suspect they never even considered any other candidates.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 4:28 PM

Connie was not an honorary mayor.

She was elected, and was addressed as 'Your Honor'. Thought I'd clear that up, as there is a BIG difference.

-- Posted by Interested Too on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 6:22 PM

I am no friend of Connie's, but I do respect her as an individual, which is something that many people in these forums seem to lack.

-- Posted by Owl12345 on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 9:33 PM

Owl112345,

You see these as personal attacks. I see this as holding our government officials accountable for their questionable actions.

I feel what she and the council have done is disrespectful to the people Marshall.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 9:42 PM

In the paraphrased words of a reporter from this paper: Government should be open by default and only operate behind closed doors when absoultely necessary

this "election" or more of a "selection" is and was done in a suspicious manner.

if there arent good answers to the questions of why? and how? why should we then assume that every thing is on the up and up?

the people didnt foster this distrust of the government the ruling party did.

-- Posted by BigFatGuy on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 8:10 AM

Interested Too,

I suggest you do some research on the Council/Manager form of municipal government that is employed by the City of Marshall.

You will learn that the Mayor, in this system, is a mostly ceremonial position, with no authority to hire, fire, or manage anything.

The job of the mayor in a Council/Manager system is to attend business openings and be a 'front man" for the city. No real responsibility or accountablility, just political authority (meaning if you can get your name in the paper as mayor, somebody might listen to you).

Or better yet, read the city charter and find out exactly what the duties of the mayor are in Marshall.

If Connie was making decisions and commiting the city to financial obligions while mayor, then she certainly was overstepping the bounds of the job and potentially opens the city up for lawsuits as the mayor in these types of systems has no authority to commit resources or make deals. The city council by majority vote, or the city manager are the only ones authorized to do so.

Perhaps she was verbally authorized by the council to represent the city in negotiations or agreements, but that makes her more of a lobbyist than a mayor or manager and once again, would seem to be grounds for a lawsuit by a disgruntled contractor, employee, or business that felt she was performing in an "official" capacity.

Please to all, stop confusing the role of the mayor in a council/manager system with the role of the administrator/manager. It does not matter if she was acting like the manager when she was the mayor. The mayor does not have that authority in most all council/manager systems, which is the form of city government in Marshall.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 10:21 AM
ERIC CRUMP
Any contracts signed by the mayor are authorized by a vote of the council. If you have any evidence of wrongdoing, please contact me at ecrump@marshallnews.com or 660-886-2233. Insinuation of wrongdoing without evidence will be deleted from here on.

I never heard smartdog make any accusations, it was "if" and "perhaps". I never heard any actual insinuation of wrong doing. Are you threating to delete smartdog's post or is that just a general response?

-- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 11:17 AM
ERIC CRUMP
General alert. It's very easy under cover of anonymity to express opinions in such a way as to accuses, insinuate or imply that some public figure has done something wrong. The reputation of the person can be damaged with no consequence to the insinuater. It's a common problem we wrestle with in our conversations here, not just with this situation.

important point and well stated, Mr. Crump

-- Posted by BigFatGuy on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 2:12 PM

Eric,

My comments have been far too windy, but I fear that it will be difficult to explain my position in a sound bite.

I never said anybody did anything illegal. Ethics and honesty are the issue. Mostly this reflects on the council, and their decision, not the candidate.

I restate the question I posed earlier, which is one of opinion.

Do you, or anyone else, think that the candidate hired by the Marshall council could have landed a job as City Manager in any of those other cities listed in your table at the end of your earlier article, given the credentials and work experience of the candidate in question?

I have my opinion of the answer and based on that, Marshall was the only place where this candidate would be considered qualified.

For discussion sake, let's assume my opinion is true for a moment.

Then the process followed to arrive at the decision seems to have been either a) the council did not wish to go through the process of finding cnadidates and selecting one, or b)the candidate was selected based on other criteria, not experience and education, such as "nice person" or "friend".

So my concern here is not that Ms. Latimer was the choice, or even that wrong doing occurred.

What I don't like is that the job is funded with taxpayer money and no attempt was made to find the best candidate possible, or to openly and honestly make sure that proper procedures for hiring a public official (bureaucrat, in this case) were followed.

Heck, even the MO ethics commission finds this sort of thing a little shaky, what with thier suggestion that a councilman or mayor be out of that position for a year before accepting a position as city administrator.

All I have seen from any posters, or the newspaper, is a lot of attempts to find some sort of criteria that will make it sound like this candidate had the credentials for the job. Most are generalizations and "nice person" comments.

I rely much more on facts, prior jobs held, education, and related experience to base qualifications for holding a position.

So, this will be my last post on the subject as it has reached 'dead horse' status and nothing is going to change at this point in the situation.

What I do hope is that voters in Marshall, especially those who complain about why no growth, no progress, no new jobs, etc. will pay a little more attention to what goes on in these situations in Marshall in the future.

The old adage applies here. What people, or towns, have done in the past leads them to where they are today. If you want to change the future, you can not keep doing what has always been done, you must make a conscious effort to change the status quo and move in a new direction.

In my opinion, Marshall had an opportunity, however seemingly small, to try something new by bringing in some 'new blood' but instead it appears the council decided it would be best for all to keep things as close to the same as possible.

"If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you already got."

Or, as my favorite physicist said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 3:31 PM

smart dog,

you are so optimistic. to think that these things just magically happened.

a wiser man than me once said that if you want to find the corruption you simply need to look at the people who benefit from the current situation.

I`m not making any accusations but I smell a fish.

-- Posted by BigFatGuy on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 4:03 PM

Once again an old saying, from the Bible, has proven correct.

No man is a prophet in is hometown.

Now please, please don't correct me that this is not the exact phrasing from the Bible. I am sure it isn't. But you know what I mean, don't you?

-- Posted by red dog on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 5:00 PM

SMART DOG,

Re-read youR statement about the Mo Ethics Commission. They "suggest" no council persion or mayor to hold that position for a period of one year prior to accepting a position as city manager.

ONE YEAR!

This whole debacle came about ONE YEAR ago.

NO SIGNED CONTRACT...NO PAY...ONE YEAR.

Nothing "UNETHICAL" about that!

-- Posted by nouveaublogger on Tue, Feb 15, 2011, at 7:58 PM

And, of course, the key word there is "suggest."

Suggest: To offer for consideration or action; propose

That means that while they feel it might be a good idea, there is nothing to prohibit it, and in fact, as with most suggestions, there may be very good reason NOT to follow the suggestion. In this case, the council seems to indicate that Ms. Latimer's prior experience with the city, and her training with the previous administrator would override the suggestion.

-- Posted by koeller77 on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 9:14 AM

So, I conclude from these comments that, by law, the city was prohibited from paying Latimer for one year due to the nature of the situation surrounding her appointment. It had nothing to do with "a love of the city," or any other such thing.

Smart Dog, including your comment about Editor Crump being Latimer's defender, you've done right well at turning down the bedclothes for everyone to see what lies underneath.

Little towns, big cities, the national scene, they're all the same when people with agendas get a grip on the plush chairs in the government offices.

I'd like to see serious challenges to the imcumbents down at city hall in the coming elections.

-- Posted by Slater on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 12:17 AM

I love marshall too. give me half that money and I`ll conduct buisness from a 5 gallon bucket up-ended and a card table from my basement.

my agenda is as follows. buisnesses that keep money local, increased road safety, and for Gods sake revive our schools.

you can even pay me in cash in a paper sack and a 12 pack of coors light at the end of the week. I`ll even work 11 out of every 14 days.

-- Posted by BigFatGuy on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 8:40 AM

Actually, Slater - It doesn't appear that they were prohibited by law.

-- Posted by koeller77 on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 9:20 AM

So if you watch how a job is done that means you are qualified? Cause my husband used to work at the street department here and i guess that means by him working under the director of municipal services he is now quailified for that position to if he agrees to work for a year for free???? I also find it ammusing that she was offered 62k last year and said no. So with the extra 62k did the sanitation or street department get raises? i'm willing to bet they didn't other than a cost of living raise. While my husband is no longer working for the city because of the way things got done there and very poor pay (after just a little over a year and still not at even $10.00/hr he made the best decision and that was to leave this

-- Posted by missouriwoman3 on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 8:36 AM
ERIC CRUMP
I don't think it's accurate to say Latimer just watched the city being administered while she was mayor. She was actively involved in city governance.

You are probably correct she most likely had some hands on with Mr. Tryban...But that doesn't mean she is qualified for the job what kind of special education or training besides the hands on does she really have? And how do we the citizens know she is best for the job when they didn't even interview for the position.

-- Posted by missouriwoman3 on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 9:07 AM

Why didn't Mrs. Latimer sign a contract a year ago? Was she "sitting out" the one year period suggested by the MO Ethics board, working for free, with no one but the city council being the wiser. Surely the city council would have known if she had a signed contract unless they were in on this whole affair to give her the job, regardless of her qualification, or lack thereof. So, Mrs. Latimer worked for a year, without pay or contract to hold the job in place so no else could fill the position so she could take it a year later.

I agree with Missouriwoman3, just watching someone work does not qualify a person for a position. This is shameful and with the bringing in a contract, it seems the city council was aware of what was going on,

-- Posted by Red Witch on Sat, Feb 26, 2011, at 10:54 AM

a wiser man than my self once said that if you want to find the source of the corruption all you have to do is check to see who ultimately benifits from the situation. I am not making accusations. I am just stating an idea that may make some of you more comfortable.

or less.

-- Posted by BigFatGuy on Mon, Mar 7, 2011, at 3:22 PM

Is my nature to put my 2 cents worth in again,( Is about all I have left from the theft of my pockets )

With all my other post from beginning this was all done very wrong, and then we as taxpayers was not even informed or involved in making a decision on anything ( secretville ) why? because the city council get along gang makes the rules up as they go is not for the people is about the get along gang and heck with taxpayers we have the money we do as we want ......

So moral of this bogus way this was put together we are stuck and our concerns are not gonna be addressed just keep working so we can take more and more from you

-- Posted by momandgramma on Mon, Mar 14, 2011, at 2:42 PM

Regarding qualifications, Connie Latimer's response is similar to the response she gave when she was appointed to the post last year. She was an active mayor -- practically full time -- for seven years. She worked closely with former City Administrator Charles Tryban and gained enough practical experience and knowledge about Marshall city government to compensate for lack of formal management education.

My question with this was Connie paid full time wages within this 7 years? or part time pay ? Was she provided full benefits at full time while doing part time work for our city ? and her other time taking care of the plaza By Gosh I'm a taxpayer and I demand to know of these benefits and wages

-- Posted by momandgramma on Mon, Mar 14, 2011, at 4:37 PM
ERIC CRUMP
She was paid the mayor's stipend while serving as mayor. I can't find it in my notes, but I want to say it's something like $250 per month. No benefits other than an office in the city office building.

Thank You Eric,

Was The stipend $250 per month based on her part time work ? Or was that pay based on full time and she only performed part time?

So Connie never receives any medical benefits when she served as Mayor and now that she is City Administrator ?

-- Posted by momandgramma on Mon, Mar 14, 2011, at 9:22 PM
ERIC CRUMP
It's a flat rate. $250 per month. She worked nearly full time for what amounts to an honorarium. No medical benefits as mayor.

I have worked closely with a radiologist group of 10 doctors for 10 years. Before that I worked with a single radiologist for 3 years. Prior to I worked with various radiologists and radiology groups. I also worked with MRI techs, Ultrasound Techs and Nuc Med Techs. I know the basics of each modality in Radiology and could actually perform some, if not all of the tests that each modality conducts. I also know much of the information that doctors know based on my long term association with radiologists. Heck, there are times where I see a fracture that a radiologist might miss or some other type of pathology.

So based on the logic that the City is using for hiring someone without formal City managment education that states C. Latimer worked along side the previous City Administrator therefore she is experienced enough to run the city and perform the city admin job, I too should be qualified enough to step in and perform the duties of a Doctor, MRI, US or Nuc Med Tech and step into THEIR positions even though I dont have formal training and education in those specific jobs. Would that make you feel safe if the hospital or radiology clinic allowed an xray/CT tech to step into the role of Radiologist or that of a MRI, US or Nuc Med Tech?

I realize that many jobs that officially require a college degree can be learned "on the job" and in reality people can perform the job without the formal education from a University or College. That is why we have technical schools. However, with the down turn of the economy, with the long term potential for more double dip recessions or worse, with extremely high unemployment and the lack of job creation I would think you would seek out the person with the HIGHEST education and credentials to lend your city with the most credibility possible when seeking new employers to move into Marshall, or any city.

Just my thought...lol

-- Posted by mrxray on Sun, Mar 27, 2011, at 5:17 PM

My statement is not me being critical of Connie Latimer, but the process. Connie might be the best city administrator in the world. BUT the process and the lack of upfront transparency, the lack of an open job search where they have documented job applicants that they actually considered, and the good old boys and girls clubs that many people complain about would make me, were I to be in city politics, desire to be as open and honest and upfront and transparent about EVERY process and decision as possible, and I would immediately address concerns and complaints OPENLY and PUBLICALLY with full and detailed explanations when there was skepticism and complaints.

You never stop a conspiracy theory from circulating by hiding and keeping things quiet. Just look at Obama and the whole Birther issue... he wont produce the real full and signed birth certificate and he spends a ton of money to fight the legal battles that would force him to produce it.... so the birther movement grows and grows and more and more people doubt that our President was born as a natural citizen and instead as a citizen of some other nation, or even not in the US at all. A simple solution would have been to produce all documentation immediately and the birthers would have looked foolish... now Obaama just looks like he is hiding something.

Just as the City looks as if it is hiding something

-- Posted by mrxray on Sun, Mar 27, 2011, at 5:23 PM

What should happen is,"IF" this was all cut nice and neat as so they put forth then maybe we need higher authority, the right people not the people city council and the get along gang pick and thinks will clean up this little mess, and have this all checked so then we will see "IF" the Citizens of Marshall need step in and take care of business .......This needs be conducted in a honest & fashion way

-- Posted by momandgramma on Wed, Mar 30, 2011, at 6:43 PM


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Eric Crump is a former editor of The Marshall Democrat-News. He lives elsewhere now but still loves Marshall and Saline County. He's trying to catch up on all the stories he should have written while he was on staff.