Letter to the Editor: City decisions need to be made swifty, correctly

By Bessie Chronopolous

Impropriety must be dealt with swiftly, and correct procedure should always be followed.

Proper behavior and adhering to procedure are the foundation of good government. That is why a special meeting should be called immediately to clarify the events that occurred surrounding an alleged bribing incident. The Mayor and Council should speak directly to their constituency, and allow time for questions. I believe that the Mayor and Council should go further and take steps to hire a municipal law firm to, one, investigate how the alleged bribery issue was handled internally, and to, two, research the preciseness of the procedures followed in the drafting of and voting of Ordinance 2015-037. Swift and decisive action from our elected officials will provide the public with a better understanding of what has transpired. Start with a clean slate so that there is no question about either propriety or procedure. Then the community can address the very important issue of how it should deal with the University Village matter which involves complex issues of zoning, HUD involvement, sensitive social issues, and, most importantly, the human factor. Regardless of one’s position regarding this most important issue, propriety and procedure must be protected.

Based on the information in the Daily Chronicle story and City Attorney email to Mayor and Council surrounding this issue these are my questions/concerns/comments:

• I would think that upon receipt of the original email, the Mayor and Council would immediately have been informed whereupon they would have held a special meeting and directed their staff to notify the State’s Attorney and any State officials needed to begin an investigation.

• Exactly who at City Hall was notified? Exactly what were they told? Exactly when were they told? Did the City Attorney in any way become involved in anything that could be considered investigation? If the State’s Attorney was notified in June, what are the start and end dates of the investigation?

• Why was Attorney Frieders notified about an alleged bribe back in June by Security Properties as a “professional courtesy” instead of a higher authority outside City Hall?

• If City Hall was aware of this alleged bribe, why was the University Village issue not taken off the table until the matter could be thoroughly investigated?

Now is the time for Mayor and Council to stand firm and assure the public that impropriety will not be tolerated and that procedure will be followed.