Two Crawford trustees, James Sorensen and Wanda Gofforth, read from letters they had written about the recall petition and their support of the mayor the petitioners want to recall. They also responded to the petitioners' claims in a letter to the editor in the Feb. 5 Delta County Independent.
Their comments were made at the public town council meeting last Wednesday night.
Gofforth said, "In the recall there was a mention of 'misuse of public funds.' Really, when the recall could cost the Town of Crawford upwards of $25,000 — I would say there are those who are proceeding with this recall that could be accused of this, not the Mayor Susie Steckel." She explained that the new speed signs for the towns and alleys were due to an ordinance "created to try and slow the traffic down in residential areas."
She continued that Mayor Steckel has had to control meetings. She cited an occasion before Steckel was mayor when Ziegler "basically threatened everyone in the room and was allowed to carry on with his rant."
Gofforth pointed out that the petitioners for the recall "have not been to more than a few meetings and one party as far as I know has never been to a council meeting. I don't see how that party can sign off on a recall when he has little or no idea of what has actually gone on during the meetings."
She added that Mayor Steckel had not misrepresented her or the council as alleged by the petitioners.
Regarding the controversy over possibly establishing a municipal court, Gofforth wrote, "Unenforceable ordinances are just a book full of useless paper."
She concluded, "I would like to apologize to Mayor Steckel for not saying more than I did at the meeting in January. My only excuse is that I was in shock that this could actually be happening and that we are losing the best town clerk that we have ever had during my time of living in Crawford. The way the law is written for recall is definitely in need of changing but that is not something we can address here in this community. But we as a council and community can stand with Mayor Steckel and fight this battle with her."
Sorensen also mentioned the petitioners — Jay Ziegler, Carl Page and Casey Williams — lack of attendance at council meetings. "Six combined out of 48 meetings qualifies these individuals how to judge the whole of Mayor Steckel's office? Unfortunately six out of 48 meeting attendance seems to be enough to cost this town real money (your tax dollars), and the loss of an exemplary employee and great town clerk, Jackie Savage. The very real money that this debacle is going to cost the town, (I have heard over $25,000 consisting of time, special election costs and legal fees) is going to force us as a council to make some very tough decisions about what we can afford to do in the next year. What will we have to cut? Will it be a sewer repair? Will it be not making needed donations to meals or home repairs for senior citizens? Will we have to cut back on snow removal? What will have to be cut because of this scenario? We won't know until the final bill is in. I do know as a member of this council, I at least have to suggest we stop any further spending on anything we haven't already committed to at this point. To do otherwise would simply be irresponsible."
Sorensen also quoted from a letter to the Delta County Independent from March 2013 in which Jay Ziegler complimented Mayor Steckel and the town council on their exploring of the marijuana issue. "We, as residents, owe a tremendous debt to this council. If any of you see a council member, or our mayor, please take the time to thank them for their hard work. We are most fortunate, as voting Americans, that these are the people who represent us," Ziegler's letter states.
Sorensen then recounted the town council meeting where Ziegler stated, "What is easier to clean up after, if I pull a gun or if I pull a flower?" Sorensen added excerpts from letters or notes sent to Mayor Steckel and councilman Chris Brown laced with obscenities.
Sorensen concluded his letter, "It is my opinion that these accusations against our mayor are false, misguided, misleading and are completely without merit and intended to cloud an already contentious issue based solely on personal profit and malice, not the betterment of town government or really any positive outcome."blog comments powered by Disqus