So much time and energy has been wasted by the Stevensville Town Council on items that are being brought forward by someone other than themselves that we can no longer remain silent.
This was never more apparent than at the most recent council meeting. One item in particular stood out to us. The agenda item was “Discussion/decision to restrict access to the Town of Stevensville work areas” and was placed on the agenda by council members Bob Michalson and Stacie Barker. When Michalson read the material out loud, he could not pronounce a number of the words and at one point even skipped over a word and said “whatever.”
The motion to approve that item was subsequently withdrawn. The next item, a companion to the previous, was “Council discussion/decision draft review of proposed Access Control Resolution.” This one was also placed on the agenda by Michalson and Barker. Michalson also read this proposed resolution. The town attorney recommended the council not pass the resolution as written. The item was then tabled.
What’s troubling is that these agenda items, as well as many others, appear to have been written by someone other than the council members who are bringing them forward. While this is not illegal, it is certainly unethical, especially if the council members in question don’t understand what the words mean. Or whether the proposals are legal or not. The laundry list of misguided, and some probably illegal, proposals that have been placed on the town’s agenda recently that have been withdrawn, tabled or rescinded after being hastily approved, is telling.
If you look at the outcome of the April 25 meeting, it’s evident that the majority of agenda items being brought forward are primarily designed to trip up, or chastise, the current mayor. Even after all this time, the council still doesn’t appear to understand what the law is regarding the authority vested in the positions of council members and mayor. So those issues come up over and over again as various agenda items, having to be clarified by the town’s attorney, over and over. At one meeting, a council member even went on record to say to the mayor, “We are your boss,” a statement that is entirely false. This has been further compounded by members of the public who have been spreading misinformation about the mayor’s authority.
Basically, the council sets policy and the mayor implements it. What that means is that the mayor is responsible for the day to day running of the town. For some reason, this council just doesn’t like the way this mayor is running the town, and seems to resent that he has that authority. They have said that he doesn’t communicate with them, but they have also said they don’t pay any attention to his communications. We have to wonder if they even listen to his executive reports, which give a recap of the work he has been doing between meetings.
Perhaps if the council accepted that this mayor won his seat fair and square, and the previous mayor lost his seat fair and square, they would quit listening to the loser and start working with the winner. If that could happen, the town of Stevensville would be a lot better off.