An Embarrassing Night in the Council Chambers Demonstrates Selfishness, Poor Governance, Lack of Ethics and Complete Disrespect
[see also the Nextdoor and video links at the bottom]
At last night's town council meeting, anger and frustration erupted as the normally ministerial, annual ascension of the Vice Mayor to Mayor was turned on its ear in a palace coup, with Councilmember Renata Sos leapfrogging Vice Mayor Woehleke for the Mayor's seat.
In a nutshell, Councilmember Onoda attempted to nominate Sos for Mayor out of the gate - before Mayor McCluer was even able to introduce the agenda item and explain the process - ignoring a decades-long tradition that has the Vice Mayor taking over as Mayor (and each role being based on election cycles and the number of votes from the public).
Our understanding is that it's the first time in the town's 47-year history that a Vice Mayor has been passed over for Mayor and only the second time in history any councilmember has been victim of the longstanding tradition being wantonly ignored.
The coup was an unequivocal, unwarranted blindside on Woehleke, and didn't lack drama, dysfunction or some of the unfortunate hypocrisy we've witnessed in the past. During what only can be described as a needless, public humiliation and after putting forth Sos' nomination and kneecapping Woehleke in the process, Councilmember Onoda (and later Councilmember Sos) essentially and with straight faces insisted on "no low blows" or "dirty laundry" during the council deliberation and vote.
Beyond the discomfort of the public ambush and subsequent, weak attempts at rationalization, what also was noteworthy is this: Onoda's rapid nomination attempt (later accomplished once Sos, Onoda and Makker voted "no" on Woehleke) and subsequent comments made it clear this was planned in advance, demonstrative of a "backroom deal" of the sort not unfamiliar to Onoda, who was involved in many others during her prior council tenure (see stories here and here and here for examples). Indeed, during Onoda's most recent election cycle we stated, "her leadership was a lesson in precisely how NOT to demonstrate financial responsibility, transparency or good governance." Sos now joins that unfavorable club with her.
Words of the day: unconscionable; ignominious.
More to follow as we continue to unpack this hot mess of governance at town hall.
Click here for a NextDoor thread discussing the matter.
Click here and go to the 2:11:40 mark for a choppy video that shows the whole group.
Click here and go to 2:05:52 for the improved and smooth/intelligible video, but only shows active speaker vs group.