“Chicken Way Out”

Mayor Meyer Calls Out Council After Vote

At the March 27th meeting of the Common Council, the Council voted “yes” to deny funding to the Personal Development Center (PDC). The Council did not come to this decision easily and only decided after two previously failed motions.

Alderman Rebecca Spiros commented after the meeting, stating, “I think everyone on the entire Common Council applauds the work of the PDC and recognizes the work that they do. Tonight, we had to make a very tough decision. As elected officials of the City, we must understand the statutory requirements for health and human service fall to the county.”

Mayoral candidate Bob McManus agreed that the council struggled with this discussion.

McManus said, “You could see the Common Council struggled with this decision as their hearts were full, but their checkbook is not.  So they had to make a tough financial decision.”

Mayor Chris Meyer made a final comment to the members of the Common Council, expressing his disappointment with the decision.

“In ten years, I have never been this disappointed in a Common Council for completely failing to stand up to the requirements that they have in front of them. You are a governing body for a community that put money forward to build this facility and tonight you took the chicken way out and I am disappointed,” he said.

Some members of the Council were taken aback by this comment.

“While I recognize Mayor Meyer’s disappointment, the Common Council certainly did not ‘take the chicken way out,’ but instead made a tough, fiscally conservative decision, that undoubtedly was difficult for all of us,” said Spiros. “From a financial standpoint, it would be irresponsible for the City to draw our Contingency Fund balance down to nearly nothing with only a quarter of the year gone.”

OnFocus asked each candidate for Mayor how they would face similar challenges in situations where the Common Council might have beliefs that are different than their own and how they would direct Common Council.

McManus replied, “I don’t believe that is the time for the Mayor to tell them they ‘took the chicken way out.’  I believe that once the vote is cast and was denied that that would be the time for the leader to inspire all Council members to help and do what they can do to help raise funds in the private sector for this worthwhile cause.  It was just not the time to admonish the Council.”

At this time, Tom has not replied to request for comment.

As of 2:57 pm CST on 3/28/18 Tom replied –  “I know that Mayor Meyer is very passionate about this shelter.  I respect his concern and motivation.  I believe we need to support the fundraising efforts of PDC as they work toward opening the shelter now to serve the community.  This is a time to unite in efforts to raise funds rather than admonish those with whom we do not agree.”

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Council Says NO to Human Shelter