July 31, 2018

Warning: Political post incoming.

Having been reading/listenting to the goings-on at city hall since April’s shitstorm has left me rather.. disappointed? disturbed? I’m not sure how to put it, but whatever it is – it is not good. People have been asking for the city council to be more transparent about things, but rather than making efforts to do so council members have balked or even seem offended that their word alone isn’t sufficient. Personally, why should I believe someone who has given me no reason to trust them? You say one thing but then fail to back it up through your actions. The council says they’re going to build a new public safety building, yet over 10 years later – no building, not even dirt work done.

At the council meeting on June 18th it was revealed that the Mayor/IT Director (yes, you read that right) disclosed the passwords to the police department’s email accounts to the county attorney and county sheriff. When asked why this was done he seemed to try to dodge the question, only to finally answer “because I have personal reasons”. If I as an IT person did that in any job I would be subject to disciplinary action, likely up to and including termination. What he did was inexcusable. Second, his explanation makes me question his ability as Mayor to do what’s right for the community instead of simply pursuing his personal wishes.

Also on the June 18th the Mayor and several city council members insisted on revisiting the idea of putting a computer in the police vehicles “to improve officer safety”. Now I can understand proposing the idea, but when the officers say it won’t do what the council thinks it will do, why keep insisting? Also it was revealed that apparently nobody can seem to find the chief’s contract. How do you lose a department head’s employment contract? Or is the city’s record keeping just that pathetically poor?

And then there was the Facebook post on the “Madrid Mayor” page on June 30th. I’d link to it, but the page has since been largely deleted. However someone grabbed a screenshot so I will quote from it:

 "Saturday's educational information for those that feel strongly sitting behind a computer screen clamoring for live feeds
 from the council meetings via from what I understand a YouTube channel."

I really do not care if it’s just recorded and uploaded later versus live streamed, as long as it is posted. Since I work in Des Moines and the council insists on meeting in the middle of the afternoon it makes it impossible for me to attend a meeting in person. But apparently the interim-Mayor thinks that since I work outside the city I do not have a right to know what is going on in city hall.

"Right now we are averaging only about 10 views per council meeting."

How can any one watch them when as far as I can tell they either a) do not exist, or b) are not published anywhere that they can be readily found.

Frankly at this point, as far as I’m concerned any claims about transparency from the current mayor & council are empty and meaningless. I don’t know who I’m voting for on the 31st, but at this point it won’t be either of the two current individuals.

I am tired of the empty promises. Don’t tell me you are going to do something, or that you support something, show me by your actions. Shut up and do it, maybe then I will start to believe you.

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