***Update: Find discussion and comments in our Facebook group .***
When I read the other day the Daily Chronicle is still calling it a “rift” in describing what’s going on between the city manager’s office and me as city clerk, I realized I have to say more than I have before. It’s no longer a “rift,” if it ever was — that would imply equality of treatment. The relationship is more like I’m a punching bag for the city manager’s office.
To help illustrate, here are two of the latest email exchanges between the city manager and me. (I will also post copies of the actual emails at the end of this post.) Mind you, my emails addressed the city council only. I cc’d the city manager as a courtesy.
My message to the city council, December 6, 2019:
Dear Mayor Smith et al,
As some of you are already aware, in September I agreed to take on the process of preparing for the semi-annual review of executive session meeting minutes approval and release recommendations.
Having begun the process this week, I have discovered errors in the indexes that have resulted in executive session meeting minutes being released to the public that were not approved for release by council.
I have two requests to make to address these issues:
1. To remove, as soon as possible, published executive session meeting minutes from the City’s website until these errors can be corrected.
2. To amend the Council regular meeting agenda for December 9 by adding an executive session to discuss these minutes as provided for in 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(21).
Lynn Fazekas | City Clerk
City manager’s reply, December 6, 2019:
As tiring and distracting as the City Clerk’s fabrications and thinly-veiled charges against Ruth Scott may be, they are–more importantly—creating the basis for an employee harassment charge which will be substantial and embarrassing to the City at a time when we are within sight of some transformational growth. As your chief administrative oﬃcer and development director, I ask that we discuss these unfounded allegations in executive session where the truth can be dispassionately shared, and then get back to what the public has asked us to do.
As an historian and a keen observer of the American political scene since the early 1970s, I have been witness to many national public ﬁgures who have sadly appealed to base emotions by plucking some imagined dark thread of corruption and laying it on the shoulders of persons whose dedication is a constant reminder of their own inadequacies. Before January 1, I thought I had seen everything, and I also thought I would never see, on a local level, the conspiratorial thinking that animates the City Clerk. As there seems to be no relief from her presence until the spring of 2021, I trust that we will collectively ﬁnd ways to hold her to the duties that the Council approved on October 14, and also hold her to what is commonly understood as professional decency and discretion.
In the weeks and months ahead, I hope we can focus on the main thing.