Letter: Strange things are going on at city hall

The Shawnee News-Star

Dear editor,

Strange things are happening at City Hall. First, the Planning Director, during a presentation on parklets and streateries to the commission June 7, suddenly switched tracks and angrily accused Commissioner Bob Weaver of mistreatment during a previous meeting. She then shook her finger at her boss (the city manager) and publicly accused him of “doing nothing” for 11 months, then walked out of the meeting.

Fast forward to the June 21 commission meeting. During Citizens Participation, former Mayor Richard Finley was allowed over 3.5 minutes to publicly attack Commissioner Weaver for his “imagined” mistreatment of the Planning Director, although none of his accusations were true. Mayor Ed Bolt should have stopped him when it became clear his purpose was to verbally attack a commissioner, yet he sat silent and listened. Sec. 2-41 of city code clearly states personal attacks will not be tolerated during Citizens Participation. If anyone failed to follow proper protocol as Finley accused Weaver, it was Finley himself, the Planning Director, and the Mayor. Finley also accused Weaver of aligning with groups who give Shawnee government a bad reputation. I suppose he thinks verbally attacking a city commissioner in a public forum contributes to a positive image?

Insubordination like that displayed by the Planning Director should not be tolerated. Had I done this in my working life, I would have been fired on the spot. And the mayor needs to be reminded that no one, not even a former mayor, should be allowed to violate city code in this manner.

The attack on Commissioner Weaver was so out of context, I can’t help but wonder if he unknowingly interfered with someone’s personal agenda. Nothing else seems to make sense.

All Commissioner Weaver really did during that disputed May 17 meeting was simply bring up his constituents concerns about the city’s proposal to utilize storefront parking downtown for parklets and streateries. And he dared to disagree with staff’s recommendation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Commissioner Weaver should be commended for listening to and representing his constituents’ concerns. That’s what he was elected to do.

Kay Wheeler