So Ronnie VanFossen is in the paper again, this time claims of sexual harassment. Blog readers need to understand this has been a problem for years down at City Hall, and one administration has tried to grasp. Unfortunately, our local elected have stood in the way.
What am I talking about? Folk’s I am talking about the supervisory capacity (or lack of) of a public employee position that makes some good bucks. The Council Assistant does the letters, phone calls and such for our elected. But there is no supervision or accountability.
The last council assistant (Robin) had a “relationship” with then Alderman Tappendorf (must be something about the 1st ward water), and really came and went as she pleased. I am told by good sources that two years ago, prior to Ms. Webb’s employment, City Administrator Malin pleaded with the council to redirect that position with-in Administration. Lead by Barney Barnhill, the request was quickly rejected.
You see, it’s all about accountability. Ms. Webb (and before that, Ms. Linville (Robin), never wanted to be accountable to anyone. Heck, it’s easier to have ten bosses that come and go, then just one. And some elected view this as the last wall or fortress between the elected and administration. Just think about it, if administration oversaw the council secretary, who will make the coffee? Worse, how will the secretary drive alderman “A” here or there?
Some important questions to ask here! When was the last time the ten elected council folks sat down and gave Ms. Webb a job evaluation? Which alderman knew about the allegations from Ms. Webb, and what did they do from a supervisory position. And finally Ms. Webb, how can you sit down at a bar with your supervisor (also a married man in a struggling marriage) and not view this as a really bad idea?
Folks can’t have it both ways. And that’s the problem down at city hall. Maybe Mr. Dolan was correct, with his observation of Monica Lewinsky. It’s difficult to play footsy with your boss, and not have people start to judge and talk. Foolishness (even unintended) seems to bread when a lack of accountability is prevalent. Only ten elected officials have the ability to fix this.