Last month at the end of the New Buffalo City Council meeting, several council members took aim at me with self righteous indignation for what I write on this blog about the decisions they make.
At tonight’s meeting, I addressed them during the three minutes allowed to me during public input since even if I had been there when they berated me, they wouldn’t have given me an opportunity to respond.
Here is my response to them.
Mark (Council member Robertson), last month I missed your comments about me writing fake news on my blog. I quoted you word for word so that was not fake and through the authorization of the council to proceed with the sidewalk project without input at a public hearing or input by a licensed tree expert, the council is solely responsible for the outcome. You might be angry to hear it, but by allowing the mutilation of the roots of healthy mature trees, you are in fact responsible. It might take two to three years for the trees to die but as they die, it was due to the project going forward without proper vetting, the council’s responsibility.
Lou (Mayor O’Donnell), you accused me of delaying the beginning of the sidewalk project, costing the city a great deal of more money in the process then you read a letter from the Michigan Federal Highway Commission addressed to me. Had you asked Bryan Armstrong with the Michigan Department of Transportation, he would have told you that in the fall of 2016, City Manager Anderson had not submitted the engineering reports required for the project to begin and if he hadn’t by the end of the year, the funding would be withdrawn. This is what held the project up, not my complaints. I don’t give myself so much credit.
I might be guilty of believing you committed fraud by not complying with the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, but you actually did violate the Freedom of Information Act and it was proven through a lawsuit. Do you ever let the public know when you lose a case or when you violate the law? Why not read Judge Wiley’s ruling to the audience then post it on the city’s web-site. I have a copy here. Wiley’s ruling against the city If Kirkus had lost, it’s a given you would try to publicly humiliate him by reading the ruling and posting it but he was right and you were wrong, time to apologize to the public and Kirkus because for over a year you denied information to the public that cost thousands of dollars in legal fees that included the city paying $12,500 to Kirkus’ attorney. Order for city to pay Ray Kirkus’ attorney16-280 Order Granting MSD
And because of your decision to block distribution of public information, I ended up in a baseless lawsuit brought by Street Supervisor Ashbaugh, costing me thousands of dollars. As well as it costing the city thousands of dollars. (It most likely will be dismissed in December due to the allegations by Ashbaugh not being true).
Accepting responsibility for violating the law isn’t easy but trying to cover it up is even worse. But truth be told, if it wasn’t for me or my blog, the residents of New Buffalo would never know.