The Inside Scoop Online is an internet source of information, news, and commentary on a wide variety of national, state, and local topics serving the Delta region based in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Mayor Prematurely Shuts Down City According to Alderman Etherly
Here's the full text of Alderman Etherly's press release:
Today I received notice from the news media that our mayor was "shutting down the city" because he has issued a veto of the 2011 Budget that we passed in a special called meeting last night. Our new mayor is off to a bumpy start because he apparently understands neither parliamentary procedure, state law, or city code.
As a member of the city council, the mayor should have contacted me via phone, fax or email on such an important matter as vetoing a budget and shutting down the city. He did not. I would have told him that state law allows us to operate at least until midnight tonight on the 2010 Budget which was extended by the city council last year. There is no need, at this time, to shutdown the city except to draw attention to our community with negative press and to artificially pressure members of the council to see things his way.
Seeing things the mayor's way means at least the following:
Raising his salary from $48,000.00 to $75,000.00 after working 30 days;
Paying department heads with no experience and salty backgrounds $45,000.00 each and giving them nearly $10,000.00 raises after working 25 days;
Failing to pre-screen employees with appropriate background checks, applications, drug tests and the like;
Claiming the city is Bankrupt while providing no evidence of the same and showing a surplus of over $1 million dollars in his own budget proposal;
Firing staff and replacing them with new people at higher pay rates while claiming that the city is broke;
Threatening council members with "consequences" if they do not vote for "his" budget;
Engaging in profanity laced tirades about the council members being inexperienced and other less than positive language describing the personalities on the city council;
Permitting the city attorney a $20,000.00 pay raise after 30 days on the job;
Doubling the city treasurer's salary after 30 days on the job; and finally
On January 7th paying his new hires a full two week pay check, that started work on January 3rd and 5th, for a pay period that ended on December 29, 2010 which is an illegal exaction of taxpayer funds. These people should not have received one dime prior to January 21, 2011 because the pay period for that pay day was from December 30 2010 until January 12, 2011.
Therefore, as a part of our duties as aldermen, we must hold the mayor's feet to the fire and require that he follow settled state law and city ordinances.
Etherly said, "I live in Ward 5 and I am proud to represent this ward on the city council. I drive through this ward on a regular basis and I am familiar with many of the needs. I hope that the mayor will seek guidance and gain understanding as we move forward in this process."
Etherly encouraged citizens to remain vigilant and to stay close to a reliable and trustworthy news source.