Troubles in Manzanita

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Friends and Neighbors,

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking”
George S Patton to his troops

The troubling developments of the last few weeks in Manzanita have citizens worried. Our deeply rooted, well-regarded and honorable Mayor felt the need to resign her position, this, subsequent to the resignation of two city councilors this year and the sudden ‘retirement’ of a long term city hall employee. What is going on in Manzanita?

An opaque employee complaint emerged this year and an investigation has been ongoing, for months, with the citizens footing the bill of $139,000.00 and counting. Citizen requests for investigation findings have been stonewalled. If there has been wrongdoing we need to know about it. This investigation is a public record and subject to disclosure. The city council has not been transparent about the issue furthering distrust. Citizens remain in the dark.

My conclusion is that there have been no findings of wrongdoing by the Mayor and the council is covering it up. The power of ugly innuendo has served its purpose resulting with the Mayor’s resignation. Had there been any wrongdoing you can be sure that information would have leaked all over the place. Who is responsible for this expensive mess.?

Our Mayor was elected by hundreds of voters and sought to represent them by asking tough questions. She pushed back on spending matters for which we applaud her. She pushed back on ‘group think’.
The failures of this council to cultivate diversity of opinion is costly. Some seek unity in the community, but unity is built on trust and that trust is absent here.

A minority of loud activists appears to be calling the shots while hundreds of grassroots petition signers have been ignored. It is time to act inclusively and respect and include diverse opinions.

The council has demonstrated a pattern of overlooking smart, experienced citizens to fill vacancies on the council (despite their repeated efforts) and this further erodes trust – goodbye unity.

It is time to root out the anti-diversity, anti-inclusive mindset that dominates the current city council. The damage done so far is enough, the body count too high, the fracturing of the community too sad.

Linda Ballard
Manzanita Homeowner