Letter to the editor: It’s about ethicsI am writing to express my concern about the manner in which your council appears to operate.
Dear Two Harbors City Council and Mayor:
I am writing to express my concern about the manner in which your council appears to operate. My concerns are as follows:
One basic tenet of every public entity such as a city council is that the process – of meeting, of discussing, of hiring, of deciding – occurs under the public eye. To me, this is sacred ground. This is what protects us from corruption.
This vital safeguard puts substance into your promise to serve us – the people – who are ultimately your supervisors.
When I hear about public information being withheld and hirings made without the required public disclosure and transparency or due consideration of all options (as occurred, from all appearances, in both the hiring of the Costley Law Firm and the hiring of Tracy Pearson), it not only raises questions about these particular hirings, but calls into question your ethics.
Did City Administrator Lee Klein actually refuse to let our local paper see the job description or the budget package for hiring Tracy Pearson, even as the vote was happening to hire him? What possible grounds does the city have for withholding this information?
Furthermore, isn’t this illegal?
My hope is that this was just a poor choice, but I cannot ignore the possibility that it is actually one example of many questionable practices lying below the surface. Do we really want to put the Costley Law Firm and Tracy Pearson in the position of working for the city under such dubious circumstances? If I was one of them I would not. I would want the process to be clean and fair so that I can look people in the eye afterwards.
I am asking you, the city council and our mayor, to take a hard look at the way you do business, to take into consideration the many complaints and concerns you have heard, and to see what needs to happen to ensure that your process is more open, fair, and holds your constituents as the highest priority in all items, large or small.
Two Harbors deserves better. We need a city government that will move with the courage and ethics that its positions mandate. Your leadership under the current scrutiny will determine whether we are blessed with small-town vitality or plagued with small-town politics.
From Katya Gordon, Two Harbors