Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Anyone else sick of this?

I'm really sick of the crap going on. Its all a big sideshow and none of it has anything to do with making Davenport a good place to live.

Somehow we've gotten from blaming Alderman VanFossen to blaming Craig Malin. As I said on a lower post, who's at fault here shouldn't have anything to do with whose political side you're generally on. Instead we have people who are thrilled to direct attention away from their no-voting Alderman and towards the evil city administrator.

VanFossen needs to resign, that's pretty much agreed upon by most people around here. Can anyone explain to me why he hasn't done this yet?

Ms. Webb needs to explain how the things she is doing help anything. Does it make her feel better to bring all of this out to the media? Sending the "letter to legal" to the media smacks of revenge. Revenge for what? No one has ever said on ANY of these threads what city staff could have done about the alleged sexual harassment. They offered to move her desk, and she refused. City staff can't "fire" an Alderman; its the other way around. I could potentially change my entire opinion on this issue if someone could explain what action the CA was supposed to take.

According to today's Times article, Ms. Webb now wants no contact with VanFossen or Dolan. The HR guy isn't probably an integral part of her duties, but how is she supposed to do her job as council administrative assistant when she can't talk to 10% of the council?

This has just turned into such a mess, and its just not a good thing for Davenport. Malin's getting screwed, and the public manner that its happening is only going to hurt Davenport's chances of ever getting a quality replacement when he someday leaves his position. Who is going to want be Davenport's city administrator after all this? I guess the thing I'm most mad about is how any of this helps the "victim," Cyndi Webb. Does creating a giant controversy and making Davenport look like even more of a joke help anyone?

This is about my worst-written post in months, but I don't really care. I'm tired of reading new scandals every day in the paper, especially when Davenport has bigger problems that need addressing. I'm just sick of it.

42 Comments:

At 3/07/2007 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like all of us, VF needs the insurance.

 
At 3/07/2007 7:19 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Maybe he should have thought of that before he made a fool out of the city and the 1st ward.

 
At 3/07/2007 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I would like to know how this sexual harassment claim became public in the first place? Who leaked it? I understand only 4 people knew about it.

 
At 3/07/2007 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its public record when the claim is filed. I too am sick of this QCI, and the solution is to get rid of an inept CA. I know you're all gung-ho over this idiot, but its only because you love what he has done for your interests...the downtown. The rest of us suffer from this bozo in form of paying more for his flawed handling of personnel issues. Its time for change. New true leadership is needed, and maybe these problems get resolved before they hit the media. Get it?

 
At 3/07/2007 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever thought about getting rid of the CA all together and going with a Strong Mayor/weak Council form of government? Right now DAV has two competing forms of Government in place. In a Strong Council/weak CA government the council is to focus on big picture and policy issues while the day to day operations are handled by the CA but in DAV the council has never been able/willing to stay out of the day to day and our Current CA definitely is pushing big picture/policy issues. So we are running the city with a Strong Council and a Strong CA; while nobody knows who is in charge.

 
At 3/07/2007 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great ideas (to some) does not equal great leadership!

 
At 3/07/2007 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole controversy is a "big picture" problem QCI, don't you get it.

 
At 3/07/2007 8:54 AM, Blogger ialawyer said...

So if Van Fossen would have hit the lady with a brick in the workplace, would that be a different situation. Or is this just you passing judgment on what is right and wrong in the workplace.

 
At 3/07/2007 9:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What kind of scumbag attorney would send a copy of a letter of this type to the local newspaper? Probably one that has a weak case and hopes for a quick settlement from the city based on the hazards of litigation.

And then the Quad City Tabloid (Times) makes front page news of the letter and makes another attempt to try the case in the paper without getting both sides of the story. I doubt if this letter would have even been printed in a class paper like the Des Moines Register.

 
At 3/07/2007 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI: If these allegations are true, then they are very serious for us and the city in general. Malin should know better. He is our leader and should know better.

 
At 3/07/2007 9:32 AM, Anonymous Joe American said...

As Ronald Reagan once quoted " It's going to get worse before it can get better" Maybe a new CA is the right path to take. I know its a gamble but from what Malin's being paid, there's bound to be others interested in the job. We just can not turn our backs anymore on behavior like this. Without a strong foundation, no building or city can stand proud.

As for Ms. Webb, remember that she is the one claiming to be harassed and she is the one filing the lawsuit. Ms Webb may not want all of this attention either, she's got to be feeling like a "rape victim" about now with all those passing judgement on her.

 
At 3/07/2007 10:41 AM, Blogger Snarky Chick said...

It would be the mayor's job to call a meeting of the council to decide on action against Van Fossen. It would have been Malin and Dolan's responsibility to inform the mayor. Interestingly, he(Winborn) is to call the meeting "immediately", not after they find out if they need the alderman's vote to push through a meeting change.

"The mayor shall report to the city council all vio­lations or neglect of duty on the part of any officer which comes to his knowledge, and when he be­lieves the city funds or property are liable to be lost or injured, or in any manner endangered, he shall immediately convene the council for the purpose of taking action in relation thereto."

 
At 3/07/2007 10:43 AM, Blogger Snarky Chick said...

And yes, I am sick of this. We have better things to do than to follow the soap opera. I'd really like to know why Ms. Webb and her attorney felt the need to drag this out into the public. Reeks to me of someone who doesn't have faith in the evidence of their own case.

 
At 3/07/2007 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I don't believe this becomes "public record when the claim is filed". Who leaked this??

 
At 3/07/2007 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many billable hours did Meloy charge for the letter to Thee?

 
At 3/07/2007 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that Webb had the same problem at the Police Department when she worked their. She sleeps around, and then cries fowl!

 
At 3/07/2007 2:31 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Come on now, I think we can still avoid those kind of accusations around here.

I've said this before, but everything here is based on what one side is saying. Would Malin have come out and told everyone if an investigation was taking place? Probably not, so how do we know that there wasn't one?

Also, last time I heard, Strong Mayor is not legally allowed in Iowa. Its a terrible idea anyway. I would think this incident shows more than anything that the voters are capable of making large mistakes on election day. Do we want people like VF truly running the city's day to day operations?

No, we want professionals.

You folks accuse me of defending Malin just because I like his philosophies, but you guys are going after him because you don't like them. I think we could do a lot worse, and probably will do a lot worse with our next CA.

 
At 3/07/2007 3:11 PM, Blogger sensible sally said...

QCI,
I think you must know Malin personally. I know that he's mentioned you before in a council update. Is there another reason why you unswervingly defend him against all of the scandals he's accused of in the media? For someone whom I assume has not been a party to the complaints about Malin, you seem to always "know" Malin is never at fault. Be honest, what relationship do you have with Malin?

 
At 3/07/2007 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI, It may be time to use you "veto" power to rid so of the slanderious blogs. Just a thought.

 
At 3/07/2007 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And then the Quad City Tabloid (Times) makes front page news of the letter and makes another attempt to try the case in the paper without getting both sides of the story. I doubt if this letter would have even been printed in a class paper like the Des Moines Register. "

Yeah, we'd all be much better off if any impropriety could be swept under the rug.

And just because one side is stubbornly sticking to "no comment" doesn't mean every opportunity was there for them to "set the record straight."

And you can bet your ass the Register, if it had documents as the basis of it's reporting, would be ALL over this story.

 
At 3/07/2007 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing was going to be swept under the rug, I believe it's called due process when both parties have the opportunity to present their evidence before a judge in a court of law, not to have their case tried in a newspaper.

When the Register blew the whistle on the CIETEC scandal they had the facts, not only volumes of written evidence but also interviews with the involved parties. The QCT just wants to pick up on anything that smacks of sensationalism, the facts be damned.

 
At 3/07/2007 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI,

If Malin had an unwitnessed conversation with Webb concerning her complaint against the advice of the legal counsel will you admit Malin screwed up?

I expect to see a post when all of the above is confirmed.

Suffice it to say that I believe a person in the private sector would be fired for this action.

 
At 3/07/2007 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conservative Demo here:
Six months ago or whenever the heck it was that Malin last was in doo-doo that we need to get another one (or not, that'd be fine with me, I don't like that form of government) and offer a strong contract that lays out the exact pay, that there'll be NO golden parachute, that he gets a certain spercified amount of vacation use-it-or-lose-it, a specified amount of sick pay NOT PAYABLE IN CASH UPON LEAVING THE EMPLOYMENT, that he'd be an EMPLOYEE SUBJECT TO FIRING, etc.

It's time to say it again.

 
At 3/07/2007 5:28 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Oh, there's no question Malin has made mistakes here. Confronting her was almost as dumb as VF breaking his protective order. Its just bad PR, and hurts your credibility.

I'm just appalled that suddenly we're talking about Malin again and not the original cause of all of these problems.

In the private sector, VF would have been let go a while back (or never hired) and we wouldn't have gotten to this point. That said, I do think a boss would probably fire the whole mess of them for creating such bad publicity.

If I thought we could get a new CA as good as Malin I might be taking a harsher view of him, but I'm afraid we're only going to do worse.

 
At 3/07/2007 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duh. Meloy leaked all of this. If you know who his former employer is you may be able to understand his motives. He has become a kind of municipal ambulance chaser. I suppose he thinks he has an axe to grind for being fired for cause.

 
At 3/07/2007 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI -- Clearly the fact that this is being played out in the media is deplorable. Team Webb is responsible for that. But 5:11 is correct. Let's assume for a minute that there is nothing to the original Webb complaint of harassment since we've only heard that side of the story. Malin was named in that complaint. For him to have had an unwitnessed conversation with Webb after he was aware of the complaint was stupid and wrong. For him to have tried to talk her into dropping him from the complaint during that unwitnessed conversation is incredibly stupid and wrong; and independent of everything else it will cost the city. This behavior from a self-professed personnel expert (see Malin's resume). Malin has now handed Webb a complaint on a silver platter and that action alone demostrates his ineffectiveness as a city administrator.

 
At 3/07/2007 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it was "unwitnessed" how do any of you know what was said? You are going to take Meloy's word?

 
At 3/07/2007 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given all the various characters involved VF, Webb (an experienced complaintant), Meloy ( a clear motive for retaliation considering how many times the City has kicked his butt) and the obvious frenzy this has created, it would be reasonable to assume that this has been very much planned. Don't get me wrong I think Malin may have stepped in it, but only after being provoked. Judging by the blogs many people want Malin out. They don't care if it is by legitimate means or not. I find those people more offensive than Malin. It is interesting how he has become the target instead of Shawn's buddy VF.

 
At 3/07/2007 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meoly did not leak this, it was someone at city hall. You all are stupid to assume anything - especially that Cindy is at fault. I would hate to have you all on my jury.

 
At 3/07/2007 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI, To think there is not a single person better than Malin for his job is laughable. There's ALWAYS someone better for ANY job. Get over this guy already!

 
At 3/07/2007 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Mike

 
At 3/07/2007 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI - I fear that you just do not get it. Sexual harassment is serious and what makes you assume that Malin did nothing wrong. The law says that if the employer is told about the problem, they have to address it. Furthermore, they cannot retaliate against the employee that reported it. SO, even if the reports turn out to be false or unsubstantiated, Malin just exposed the city to tons o' liability for possibly retaliation and threats to Webb. DUMB DUMB DUMB DUMB!

 
At 3/07/2007 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is management 101. Malin should know better.

He is the common link in all of the issues at city hall,.

 
At 3/07/2007 9:12 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

How do we know he didn't "address it" privately? Things like this are supposed to be private, remember?

And 8:40, that wasn't at all what I was saying. I just don't think that many great CA candidates are going to come looking for a job where the last person was attacked from multiples sides and lynched in the press. Who is going to read all the anti-Malin comments online and say "there's the job for me!"

We'll end up with someone less good, or end up paying a lot more. Maybe both.

 
At 3/07/2007 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We'll end up with someone less good, or end up paying a lot more. Maybe both."

You haven't met enough city administrators. They ALL think they have the answers and want to ride in on the white horse and save the city. And, oh yeah, pick up about $150,000 a year to work their magic.

When and if Davenport goes city administrator shopping, it will have no problem finding attractive and capable candidates.

 
At 3/07/2007 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI, you are Davenport's own Sean Hannity.

 
At 3/08/2007 11:10 AM, Anonymous Joe American said...

Want to bet that Malin is back surfing the web for jobs? One could get very rich from that bet.
I bet he is gone before this even gets to trial.

 
At 3/08/2007 8:14 PM, Anonymous former d-porter said...

A few comments from someone sad to see the current events:

1) I don't know how you all get all of your information about Malin, but from OUTSIDE of the quad-cities, he looks impressive. All of the changes that have taken place in that town since he came and the positive PR nationally and statewide that Davenport has garnered (despite the recent flare-ups) looks fabulous from afar.

2) From some experience, Malin was in a no-win situation with Webb. What do you do when an elected official harasses? You have NO good options. I've seen a strong mayor (responsible for day-to-day operations of a city of some size) bully and sexually harass and no one -- staff, HR, other elected officials -- have any options other than to wait it out until he resigns or is not re-elected.

3) Malin screwed up having his "private" discussion with Webb. Whether there were no good options or not, it was irresponsible of him to leave himself and the City in that position.

4) BTW, strong mayor still exists in Iowa...and it is nowhere near an improvement on what you have now. Imagine, all you Malin-haters, if you had a strong mayor in there running things and you absolutely cannot fire him for four years regardless of how bad things go or how many potential lawsuits he subjects the City to.

5) No doubt a City with Davenport's size and positive momentum would attract quality candidates for Admin if Malin left/was fired. The question is: Would anyone new be any better or would that person just start with a fresh slate from all the Malin-haters...for a couple of weeks until he/she makes a decision they don't like.

6) Davenport is its own worst enemy. There are so many other cities fighting for what you want and all you do is walk around pointing fingers at each other. The enemy should be outside; not inside. Come on people, get it together!

 
At 3/08/2007 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post Craig. Funny how you list yourself as a former Davenporter.

 
At 3/08/2007 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People keep saying that because VF was the start of all of this we shouldn't be focused on Malin. Webb's complaint named VF, Dolan and Malin; thus, Malin cannot engage Webb in a private, one on one discussion. What's even more eggregious is that he did that to try and convince her to drop him from the complaint. He put his own personal interest (getting himself removed from the complaint so he would not get any more bad press, especially a sexual harassment complaint) ahead of his duty to the city (not exposing the city to liability for his attempt to convince Webb to remove his name). Instead of letting the complaint play itself out through proper channels he attempted to talk the person who made the complaint about him to drop him from the complaint in a private conversaton. In the private sector this guy would already be on the street. In light of the foregoing, how can Winborn, Brooke, Howard, Frink and Dumas continue to support this guy? If they cannot see that Malin put his own interest ahead of his obligation to the citizens of Davenport then no one should vote to re-elect them.

 
At 3/08/2007 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of thoughts:

1.If it is possible that Webb is not telling the truth in her original complaint-it also possible that Webb is not telling the truth about the private conversation-that's common sense. Why do you all (even those who think Malin's hands were tied with the original complaint) assume that he acutally had a private conversation?

2. Civil Rights complaints under investigation are not public which is why the Director could not provide information. In fact, no one, not HR or City Administation, can give that information out to the public while it is under investigation. Ask yourselves again, who "leaked" the info-my guess is the complaintant and her lawyer-so why? If I am a victim of harrassment, why would I want that information to be public at this point in time? At the height of my discomfort and need for safety?

If Webb is telling the truth, there will be and should be some "boy who cried wolf" consequences. She aint that hot, but somehow finds a way to be sexually harrassed at every organization she works (County Sherriff, Davenport Police and now City Hall). Are there that many people in line to grab her ass?

 
At 3/09/2007 6:15 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I don't think we should resort to blaming the victim, especially without all the facts.

This whole thing is just a mess though. I mean... it could be that city legal, who also isn't a fan of Malin, could have leaked the memo. There are just so many layers to this, and while some of the layers might not be present without Malin, he's not the whole problem here. There are too many people willing to do anything and use anything to make things hard for the CA.

 

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