"I will share with you what Mat told me that he would get in exchange for his vote on the City Manager bill. He told me that he wants to go to a 14 week training school to become a US Marshal. Being gone for that period of time could allow his council seat to be in danger. He told me that Josh told him that if he cooperated and voted with Josh against the City Manager bill, that Josh promised to cover for him and say that while Mat was out of town that Mat was an active member of the City Council and that Josh would say he spoke to Mat daily about City matters. This Josh said, according to Mat, would preserve Mat's seat. Thus are the self serving and devious ways that we decide how our City will be run. Is decency and honesty an impossible dream for our City? Trudy McFall
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Former mayoral candidate Trudy McFall says that Alderman Matt Silverman may have been coerced or otherwise compromised in voting independently on the recent bills concerning the structure of city government. The background is too complicated to recap but it has all been covered here and in other media. The bottom line, at least to CP, is that Silverman campaigned on the platform of supporting a council-manager form of government. That put him squarely in the McFall rather than the Cohen camp and MsFall supported Silverman in his campaign.
That came about after CP and others had to explain to Silverman in detail, what the substantive differences were between calling someone a city manager and actually having a council-manager form of government wherein the alderman, including Silverman of course, and not the mayor alone would hire and fire the chief executive officer of the city. In other words, Silverman and his colleagues would have a lot more power in a council-manager form of government, while that of the mayor would be weakened. One can only guess at the behind-the-scenes politicking that may have gone around, but Silverman admits to being contacted by both Senator John Astle and candidate for delegate, Judd Legum to support Mayor Cohen. McFall contends it was worse that that and wrote in:
Silverman denies any such quid pro-quo as does Cohen, but Cohen has been implicated before in a similar situation during the campaign. Silverman did admit to a discussion with the mayor in which he was told the mayor would support him any way he could as alderman. Silverman, a county police officer, may be accepted into a 14-week law enforcement training program in Georgia, but feels it would not preclude him from serving as an alderman during that time. Considering the specialized nature of a Federal Marshal's job, which includes tracking fugitives, transporting prisoners and protecting officials and witnesses, one wonders how Silverman, 30, could handle such a position and remain an alderman. I think that it would be wrong for Silverman to leave for 14 weeks while serving as an alderman, and that it would be wrong to expect that he could fulfill his duties if he had to leave for such a period.
Silverman does admit that he campaigned in support of the council-manager issue but then changed his mind, as he feels that Cohen needs a chance to get things in order and that now is not a good time to make such a change. He may support it later. He did not feel any regret about having backtracked on a campaign promise.
In a conversation with Silverman on that and other topics, CP asked what his intentions were regarding the budget. Silverman does not want to see anyone lose a job and he does not want to see a tax increase. I asked what are the alternatives. He said it was to "cut programs" and I asked him how he could cut a program without cutting a job and he offered no answer. I asked what programs he would cut and he replied, "Can I get back to you on that?" Why he had no ready answer during the budget process was troubling, but he has not yet provided any response.
After this conversation, I am thinking that perhaps 14 weeks away would not have a major impact on his ability to serve after all.
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Posted by Paul Foer at 5:31 AM