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LETTER: Desire for openness

By Staff | Nov 26, 2008

To the editor,

Many of us who were present were very disturbed with the process used to select a replacement for Carla Johnston at the Nov. 18 City Council meeting. The sole related documentation available to the public prior to the meeting were the applications submitted by the two candidates. Armand Ball outlined in detail his experience and reasons for applying. Marty Harrity submitted a “one-liner” requesting that he be considered.

The agenda for the meeting indicated that interviews would be conducted in public to identify the relative merits of the two candidates for the position. This never occurred.

How could this be allowed to happen? Without further discussion or a single question being put to either candidate, paper ballots were distributed to the four council members. By a vote of 3-1, an individual was selected who had been rejected for this office by the voters in 2005.

The traditional desire for openness in council decisions certainly did not apply in this instance.

Paul Andrews, Dick Calkins, Jim Hanlon, John Harries, Louise Johnson, Susie Marks, Wayne Ponader, Larry Schopp, Edward Sieber, Allan Silberman, Karen Storjohann, Yolande Welch and Bob Winters