Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Service to courthouse over service to community

Like Dukakis riding a tank
When Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors ran for her post in 2007 she swore to voters that she knew "how to make the Metro Council work better for all of us." Over her tenure in the last four years she's spent more time making Metro Council work better for Rich Riebeling.

Among other examples of her confined governing focus is her draconian treatment of the Industrial Development Board a couple of years ago on behalf of Courthouse autocrats like Riebeling, who himself has shown little tolerance for people who don't go his way:

Industrial Development Board members leveled blistering criticisms at a special meeting today against Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors, for a letter she sent calling for their dismissal from the board last week.

Neighbors sent out a letter to Metro Council members stating legislation would be filed to vacate the IDB. The board is elected by Council members and serves to issue special financing for public, nonprofit and private entities seeking building projects.

Controversy has swirled around the board following a 2008 audit showing shady accounting practices, specifically around one 2006 lease purchase option.

Neighbors and Metro Director of Finance Rich Riebeling wanted to meet with the board on Jan. 23 to discuss the issues and the audit. But when no board members showed for the meeting, the vice mayor called for their dismissal.

As it turns out, according to all the board members present at a special meeting today, none of them knew about the Jan. 23 meeting. The members said Neighbors should have contacted them besides simply writing a letter, while also saying their reputations were damaged because the letter went public.

“Not only is it embarrassing, I just think it was handled 100 percent wrong,” board member John Hobbs said.

Added board member Aubrey Gregory: “We didn’t deserve what you did.” Col. Robert Whitworth said he felt like his integrity was questioned.

So, whether this was honest miscommunication or another Dean administration attempt to keep controversial actions off the radar, Diane Neighbors did not seem to be making Metro Council work better for all of us. She's going to win re-election anyway, but her feet of clay should not be forgotten.

No comments:

Post a Comment