You may have heard that Mayor Vini “I Love Montesano” Samuel recently sacked two deputy clerks. The alleged reason – “budget cutbacks” – doesn’t pass the straight face test. Not even in Mayberry. And folks are noticing. In fact, some peeps are downright peeved. They’re even – gasp! – asking questions. (Dontcha hate it when that happens?) Apparently they didn’t get the “Everybody’s just giddy” memo.
A parent of one of the clerks, Peggy Shultz, weighed in on the situation at tonight’s Montesano City Council Circus – er, council meeting. Here are her comments (‘Fize you, I’d listen up):
Let me start by saying I don’t have a legal background and this puts me at somewhat of a disadvantage in this situation but I am in the process of my educating myself on the legalities of this situation for future reference. That being said: I have come to this council meeting in hopes to get some clarification from you Ms. Samuels before I proceed.
*Firstly I am perplexed by the recent elimination of four positions in the city of Montesano. In particular two in the water department, the duties of these people who held these positions have not changed. They are essential to the operation of the water dept. You eliminated their positions effectively leaving them unemployed and unable to access their union for help. And at the same time you brought in people from other departments to fill those duties. So in essence admitting these jobs are essential and have to be done.
*Secondly you claim it is due to budget cutbacks but these two employees are paid from water dept. funds and the water dept. is self-sustaining and has more than enough money to meet its payroll and beyond.
-It is further hard to believe the budget cut back excuse when you walk in to City Hall and observe the major remodeling that has taken place since you took office. Removal of walls, the painting of new colors to please you. And the addition of new carpet. None of which were necessary maintenance or a good use of taxpayer monies.
-Another reason the budget excuse is hard to accept is Kristy Powell, the former City Manager until her retirement this year has received several awards for outstanding budgeting of the City, one in the last year. When she left her position she left the city and the budget in great shape. So why in the short time since you took office has the budget has taken such a tragic turn?
I will venture to say that most tax payers would prefer that good hard working people to keep their jobs instead of City hall being redecorated to your liking. Let me conclude for now by saying that these two people don’t have a single blemish on their records. They were exceptional workers and this is reflected in their files. But they were eliminated in spite of this.
One of these women (my daughter) you called at home the day after MAJOR surgery and informed her she no longer had a job and that there was nothing she could do about it. She was needless to say distraught because she not only lost her employment but her insurance as well. It is difficult to recover your health when you are facing the fact you have lost your insurance. She offered to take a pay cut and or benefit reduction if there was a problem with the budget. Your response again was there is nothing you could do.
This seems like a thinly veiled act of retribution to people that worked for and respected Mayor Estes. Wouldn’t it have been easier and more ethical Vinnie for you to earn the respect of the city employees rather than stripping them of their employment?
In a move that shocked no one – except maybe her media goon squad, but that’s another story – The Vinster trotted out the Blame Game. Again. But we must wonder: Why hire Anybody But Estes cheerleader Doug Streeter as the new CFO (at $110K/year) and fire two clerks? No payback here. No siree, rob! (That’s not a typo.)
Dang. Guess I’ll have to cancel that Ms. Congeniality award? Meanwhile, cue city hall Ziegfeld Follies. This oughtta be quite the floor show. Drum roll, please…