On being logical and levelheaded
Last updated 1/10/2017 at Noon
At the Nov. 23 City Council meeting, over 40 concerned citizens were present to hear why the alleged, and again alleged, perpetrator, City Manager Rebecca Polizzotto was not being investigated when numerous long-time city employees, and alleged victims of the manager’s insinuated abuse, have left our city’s employment.
Councilperson Mike Todd (to paraphrase) said: The council, city manager and city directors “are like family.” Apparently this is why he was against having a neutral fact-finder selected to investigate if “his family” (dysfunctional family?) was responsible for City Hall’s possibly hostile work environment.
As noted in my Dec. 2, 2016, DARNWRIGHT column: “Why is our city having such a brain drain? Courageously at the Nov. 23 City Council meeting, Donna Michelson was the only one to ask the august group to investigate why one out of four paid staff members have left the city.
Why was she the only councilperson who stood up to be counted in supporting Mill Creek residents’ call for a fair and impartial investigation? Also, this courageous woman was the only councilmember who refused to sign a letter of support for Polizzotto.
Maybe, just maybe, the answer is that six of our elected representatives see their group “as a family,” then of course what family would want an independent investigator going around looking into their underperforming close-knit group? Their mantra seems to be: “Right or wrong we must protect our family at all cost.”
As a supervisor of a State of Washington Probation and Parole office, and to protect the state from a lawsuit during many different training sessions I attended, an assistant attorney general (AAG) would ask our group of supervisors and managers one important question.
Then when this same group of state officials received training from defense attorneys on how to protect ourselves and the state from lawsuits, they too would ask that same crucial question.
Then, if I went in front of a judge to justify my actions and told the judge: “Yes, your honor, there where 12 independent, possible victims who complained about one alleged serial perpetrator. And yes, your honor, I did discount the 12 victims’ complaints, and I did write their possible abuser a supporting letter, without knowing what the victims had to say.
In response, that magistrate would ask me that all-important question: “Mr. Wright, in your situation what do you think a ‘reasonable, prudent person’ would have done? In other words Mr. Wright, would a fair and logical person think your actions in this case were reasonable?” Then, how I responded to the jurist’s question was the foundation to determine if my actions were well-founded
To protect our city, would a reasonable, prudent councilperson sign a letter in support of the city manager without even having an independent investigator assess what, not just one, but numerous alleged victims had to say?
Would a reasonable, prudent councilperson want to know the facts surrounding why a large portion of noted, competent and many long-term city workers resigned from the city’s employment rolls?
Would a reasonable, prudent councilperson, who has a proxy vote from each of the Mill Creek voters, burrow his/her head in the sand and not want to support an independent process to find out what problems the city manager may be causing in the work place?
Would a reasonable, prudent councilperson NOT be neutral by stopping any movement to search for the truth about our “River City’s” possible problems?
Would not a reasonable, prudent councilperson want an independent review so that if the city manager is doing the #right# things, then they can rightly come out collectively to support the city manager?
Responding as a reasonable, prudent person is the best way to serve and protect the interests of Mill Creek. It is sad to write that, at this time, the only reasonable, prudent person on the Mill Creek City Council is Donna Michelson, because she seems to be the only councilperson who does want to know if there is or is not or if there was or was not a hostile work environment at City Hall.
Darn right, to protect the city’s image and its security, each city councilperson must ask him or herself this basic governing question: “Am I acting like a reasonable and prudent person in trying to find out the facts behind the many complaints that have come to the forefront at our City Hall?”
With what a reasonable, prudent person would do as a road map, maybe 2017 will be the year we really do have an open government, and our council will serve not “their family” but rather will be dutiful toward the residents and the City of Mill Creek.