“Citizens of Silt!”

In case you haven’t heard, we have a shadow government.

I missed the February 22 BOT meeting because I was feeling poorly. The next day I ordered a video copy of it, which I picked up on Wednesday. The only thing on the video was the first hour of the meeting during which a guy named Carl McWilliams gave a “speech”. Nothing else. I really did want to see the first reading of the Animals Ordinances, which I heard was passed.
The Paper also published an article about McWilliams’ speech.

Silt man warns trustees of ‘town charter crisis’

It’s the talk of the town. McWilliams took us all out to the woodshed. Now everyone can watch the video of McWilliams’ speech on the You Tube (30 minutes).  It’s like a drinking game. Take a drink every time he says, “Citizens of Silt!” Warning: Don’t drink a whole shot each time. You’ll get really, really drunk.

In spite of the histrionics, he made some valid points about the town’s budget deficit. However his argument about Ordinance 1, Series 2010, which allows the Town Administrator to hire the Police Chief, Judge, Treasurer, and Town Clerk, lacks an historical perspective.

Because McWilliams has lived in Silt for less than 2 years, he may not know that Mayor Dave faced a recall election in 2008, because he had interfered with and threatened staff members’ jobs. Trustee Doug Williams had resigned rather than face recall for the same charges. The voters decided by a narrow margin to retain Mayor Moore and they voted in favor of this ballot Question 2:

Shall the Town of Silt Municipal Charter be amended so that the Town Administrator shall be responsible for handling general Town business and internal personnel matters, allowing the Board of Trustees to handle Town policy and governance matters?

The Board and previous Town Attorney Cindy Tester interpreted those election results to mean that voters did not want to remove the Mayor but they did want his powers restricted. The original Ordinance 13, Series 2008, which allows the Town Administrator to hire the Police Chief, Judge, Treasurer, and Town Clerk, resulted from the outcome of that 2008 election. At the time, because of those election results, the Board had no other recourse with which to reign in a Mayor, who was behaving recklessly and without authority, and whose actions had proven to be a detriment to the town. Was Ordinance 13, Series 2008 in violation of the Silt Home Rule Charter? Probably. What choice did we have back then?

This new Ordinance 1, Series 2010, is based on Ordinance 13, Series 2008. Is it unconstitutional? It may very well be. But the issues behind it are far more complex than the black & white picture McWilliams painted. Rather than pontificating from American history, he should have spent more time examining recent Silt history. Mayor Dave and Doug Williams are not the heroes he made them out to be. While spreading the blame around he left out the two most important characters – Dave and Doug.

Though I must confess I bristled at McWilliams’ finger-wagging blame at the “citizens of Silt!” I battled the town government for 2 years. Tod served in town government for 12 years. Dozens more of us worked hard to recall Mayor Dave and hundreds voted for it, but we were unsuccessful. Even after the recall, Tod remained a Trustee as long as he could and made an effort to change things but he didn’t get any support from the Staff or the Board – not even from Mayor Dave. The point is, a lot of people know exactly how we got here. The problem is, not enough people take Silt politics seriously.

Well, it’s election time again. We have a town election coming up in April. And Dave is running for Mayor again. Most people think he put McWilliams up to making the speech because of all the praise he heaped on Dave. They think it’s a campaign stunt. Even though Dave won the recall election, people don’t trust him and he’s still not very popular. Weird.

I have to admit I was kind of suspicious when McWilliams said the town checkbook should be in the Mayor’s hands. What a scary thought … 

Rumor has it McWilliams has filed a formal complaint for professional misconduct against Town Attorney Gene Duran with the Colorado State Supreme Court. I’m not a big fan of complaints so I’m not impressed. In his speech he said he intended to file a lawsuit. I’m not a big fan of lawsuits either. If Ordinance 1, Series 2010 is declared unconstitutional and overturned by a Judge, which wouldn’t surprise me, that still won’t address the matter of dealing with a Mayor or Trustee who interferes with the town staff. 

Instead of complaints, lawsuits, finger-pointing, and dire warnings, the “citizens of Silt” might be better served if McWilliams got involved. Ran for office. You know, that whole become part of the solution and not part of the problem thing. Citizens of Silt don’t need to be warned and scolded. Citizens of Silt need action. And we sure could use some help.

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Thanks Ema!

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One Comment on ““Citizens of Silt!””

  1. William Andrews Says:

    Give it up Peggy – yur politics is about to go the way of the T Rex – You lost before – yur party is about to handed its political head as it were – starting with Boo Bac Obama – who is soon and be “one and done!”

    All politics is local – your politics stinks to high heaven.
    They make meds that can improve your life. Its called Viagra.

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