To my surprise and ultimate disgust, our City Council has decided to once again forbid citizens from serving this city on any committees simply because they don’t like them. I once again filled out an application with the city and answered the call to fill a vacancy on one of the committees. There were two vacant seats that needed to be filled that the city advertised asking for help of citizens to step up and volunteer. Only two of us answered that call.
Last Tuesday night, City Council publicly announced the names of the only two people who volunteered. It would make sense to vote in two volunteers for two vacant seats, right? Especially that they have been advertising these vacant seats since last October and the fact that they only had two to volunteer. But no, since they don’t like me and the other gentlemen, they tabled the vote and said that they were going to get more volunteers. Mayor Shewmaker was the only one that voted to approve the both of us. But I’m afraid that our newly elected mayor is going to have a lot of 1-6 votes over the next few years.
This wasn’t the first time that they blackballed people that they don’t agree with either. A few years ago, after a hard fought City Council run and only losing by 8 votes in a run-off election in Ward 2, I swallowed my pride and volunteered to fill a seat that they again were asking citizens to volunteer for. I was shocked that I was denied by Council. They even left the seat unfilled rather than approving my appointment. Why you ask? Because I ran against them. I simply voiced my opinions against the decisions they were making.
I have in all been voted down on 3 committee seats in the last 2 years since my campaign. Is this what we want for our city officials? To blackball those that run against them and speak out against them? I don’t, and I’m sure that you don’t either.
Would it interest you that there are two committee members that represent you that don’t even live in the city or have a business here? Would it interest you that the Council has elected one of their husbands to be on the Elections Commission? Would it interest you that they also have elected a sitting Councilman’s daughter to be on the A-TAX committee? So, what happens if this councilwoman runs for re-election and there’s a run off and it goes to the Elections Commission to determine the results, as my election did two years ago?
This Council is content with and has approved that a member on that commission could vote on the outcome of an election for his wife??! And this isn’t a conflict of interest? Nope, nothing to see here! Business as usual!
This is how our Council has been running things for years. No one can question them or you’re blackballed. I for one, am not done. I will continue to fight them as long as they are in there making these kinds of decisions. I am again considering running in two years for Ward 2 and if I do, I will need your support.
Ms Kelley has her own issues with just showing up for meetings, but we’ll save that for another day. I will work with the mayor to stop these unethical decisions that this Council has been doing for far too long. Maybe with enough fighting we can get this city back operating both ethically and responsibly the way cities should be run.
Stay tuned for more and God Bless! – Aaron Rupe