Councilwoman Laurie Hernandez has voiced objection to my description, in last week’s Realities, of the condition with which she is struggling. I had characterized her problem as an “addiction”. The problem is more accurately described as alcoholism.
I agree with her objection. I also apologize for the inaccuracy. It was not my intention to emphasize a particular condition. My intent was to demonstrate a problem of judgment. A council member should have, among other essential attributes, good judgment. This problem, in my opinion, has impaired her usefulness on the council.
I also attempted to show examples of poor judgment on the part of each of the new council members. Councilman Brooks met with me this Tuesday, at my invitation, to express his displeasure with my choice of words referring to an alleged example of his poor judgment. I guess we agreed to disagree after a very civil discussion.
My criticisms of Brooks, Washburn, Walker, Hernandez, and now Mr. Bartels, are intended to show that a series of bad decisions by this group has led the city into serious, long term, trouble - fiscal, legal, and as far as city staff goes, psychological.
The deconstruction of city government has gone according to plan, perhaps much faster than planned.
We should remember that Roy Payne, Tom Ristau, Steve McClary and Barbara Smith, were all targeted by the new council majority. Now, due to actions by a thankless Bill Bartels (denying employment contracts), probably Director of Public Works, Bert Rapp, and City Planner, Kevin McSweeney will also be forced to resign. This is a clean sweep of all top management, an unprecedented, engineered disaster.
It’s clear to me that the new council’s search for a permanent city manager is pure theater – a public charade. They appear to have every intention of finally appointing Bill Bartels as city manager. Mr. Bartels, well educated gentleman that he is, is not competent to take on this demanding job. He lacks the essential management skills to effectively direct the daily activities of staff – this was revealed by Finance Director Barbara Smith’s statement that, “This gentleman doesn’t know what he is doing.” However, with his recent 10-percent raise, and the help of a $100-per-hour assistant, maybe he will last until the permanent city manager is appointed (himself?). Pretty nice plumb.
I leave you with my last prognostication: card-carrying Katzenjammer, Brian Sipes, will be appointed to replace Councilwoman Laurie Hernandez. Brian is a Councilman-in-Waiting. He has been warming-up in the wings for quite a while and friends on the Katzenjammer Council provide him special privileges, such as passes to attend employee meetings. As a person of interest he is interviewed by the Ventura Star and receives a full council agenda packet. Surely he is in the fast track to join Katzenjammer fame and council cluelessness.
To the council: Quomodo Una Nocte Facta Tam Turpis Es?