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October 28, 2013 | 04:14 PM
Where I give Mike more credit than the majority on council is that he is standing up and saying that he made a mistake and hired the wrong guy. What is more irresponsible than hiring the wrong person--I would say it is continuing their employment!
I have had an extended dialogue with Randall Johnson beginning this summer. Where I began to realize that the investigation was overtly political was after seeing how the majority in favor of the investigation have lined up in "silence" behind John Kachmar. I may have mentioned that at Randall's urging I did speak to Bob Wilson. I've read the entire 28 page report, footnotes and all and I can tell you I think it is a shameful, political hatchet job. As I told Randall, the proper process was turning things over to the DA for criminal charges and/or a formal ethics investigation.
The method they chose (Bev, Randall, Karen, Ivan, Brad) seems to me the most political of all choices designed for maximum political effect.
I, too, wish Mike had done some things differently. We have no perfect candidates. But, having been in the midst of a lot of the conversations I feel the problem is more squarely on the shoulders of the council and Bev.
The central issue to me is that we need to re-examine the nature of these public-private partnerships. The CH2MHill "hold" on the city is the real problem.
I think the source of tension was the move from a strong Mayor/weak Manager model to a weak Mayor/strong Manager model. Understandibly it caused tension between the Mayor and Council as his role was very much changed and lessened. I am sure all the players on both sides wish for a few "mulligans".
I think CH2MHill was clever in getting the charter changed and Kachmar was brilliant in getting things changed so he no longer can be fired by the Mayor. He now must be fired by a majority of the council.
What should really concern people is that unelected and largely unaccountable CH2MHill employees really have the power over each of our lives. The citizens need more power!
The citizens should demand more control. If we do not like the ways things are working we need recourse. With our Mayor and council we can vore them out. If we have a private company and their manager running the show with the mayor and council as merely a rubber stamp, then what ar the peoples' options--I can tell you they are not good!
The real tragedy I feel is this: The real power in the city is CH2MHill. They really could care less who wins or loses or even if John Kachmar stays or goes (they have a stable of city managers and will simply put another one of "their" boys in the job)--the council and mayor (whoever it is) needs to reclaim their power so that the citizens have more ultimate control over their own city.