On June 14, I wrote to The Mountain Mail detailing a nasty, threatening anonymous letter I had received in April via USPS. I challenged Salida City Council to condemn it. On June 18, they condemned the letter by voice vote.
I appreciate this response, but there are two things about how this was done that bother me:
1. There was no acknowledgement that the author of the anonymous letter supports the council majority and their policies. This was glossed over, as was the fact that this letter was penned by an actual living, breathing person who apparently walks around all day consumed by hatred.
Even if council did not initiate the letter, they bear at least some responsibility, since this attack dog was trying to support them. Couldn’t you make a personal appeal to your own supporters, telling them this is over the line?
This letter also invoked a former mayor, three former councilpersons and current Councilman Mike Bowers, wishing they had been the subjects of some sort of retroactive abortion. Mike Bowers was sitting next to you in this meeting. Would it have killed you to acknowledge him and apologize directly for one of your supporters who referred to him in this way? That would have been the civil thing to do.
2. Councilman Dan Shore attempted to ameliorate his vote by stating “I don’t agree with much of Mr. Phillips’ positions.” Couldn’t you just condemn the terrible letter and move on? Apparently not. However, it occurs to me that Councilman Shore does not actually know much about my positions on local government, so I thought I would share my views here. I believe:
Our laws should be followed openly and transparently.
There should not be illegal votes taken in executive session.
There must be equal treatment under the law, not favoritism for friends and supporters.
There must be disclosure and recusal from voting or other attempts at influence if an official has a conflict of interest.
Domestic violence is real and should be taken seriously.
If fate puts you into a position to take an official stand against domestic violence, you should do so.
Perpetrators of domestic violence need treatment, not high-paying, stressful jobs supervising large numbers of people.
A person with a recent history of substance abuse/violence should not have been granted the broad executive and financial powers enjoyed by Salida’s city administrator.
Female employees of Salida deserve to be protected by their elected officials.
When senior female employees reported troubling behavior, an investigation should have been launched, not a purge followed by a cover-up.
My tax money should not be used to provide a legal defense fund for an unsupportable hire.
After a thorough review, based on his public stances and voting record, I am forced to conclude that Councilman Shore indeed does not agree with any of my positions.