Former Councilman Allen Payton left a few easy assumptions out of his article. Primarily the relationship of the City Clerk to the public, which was never discussed by the Council while they only looked at eliminating one more position. That roll is of a neutral, trusted fiduciary. The Clerk not only registers people to vote, regardless of party, accepts and files all candidate papers, submits ballot issues to the county elections board, send all public notices, prepare agendas and vital to our system of freedom, provide the public with records and document when requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
Even when public requests for information appears to be nothing more than political harassment, the Clerk is still sworn to preform her duties without the influence of Councilmembers, a strong Mayor or a City Manager. The elected Clerk cannot be fired by a City Manager that has already eliminated every other department head in the City.
What this Council has done in an attempt to eliminate the position has been to reduce the salary of an elected position to a paltry amount and instruct that the Clerk herself is to work only one day a week. What better way to reduce or even eliminate the Clerks relationship with the public.
As to the Councils refusal to rename “L” Street, that has been proposed for many years, and even though I might disagree on the renaming of ‘A’ and 2nd Streets, you missed the one that would have cost “nothing”. Those of us that have been heavily involved in the History of this community and the republishing of the Diary of Rev. Williams Wiggin Smith, ask that Roger’s Point be restored back to the original name of “Smith’s Point” as it had been the long standing homestead of Smith until his death.
As there is currently no signage, other than “Keep Out”, and the property and area are not currently being developed, no signage would have been required at this time and no real cost associated with changing the name. From our records the property was not identified as Roger’s Point until the Rogers family (local insurance agent) took over in mid century.
Although we felt this was a non issue and we had council support, much to our surprise the Mayor felt he needed to ascertain the feeling of the Roger’s family. All the members of the Roger’s family that ever lived there, including their daughter Virginia Rogers Calessesi, have passed away.
This simple issue has exposed this Councils inability to advocate for issues brought from the public. On another issue one councilmember expressed to me that the council believed they needed to wait for the election to allow new council members to have input on an important issue. This was stated to me last March.
I don’t know about the rest of the public but I don’t vote and elect Councilmembers so they can wait 2 years to give the next group input. I elect people to make decisions now, while they are in office. Those that fail to advocate for issues, weather I agree with them or not, and those that fail to make the decisions they were elected to make, will not have my vote in the future.
Former Mayor Pro Tem and Councilmember