Sam Kooiker Says: January 12th, 2012 at 6:53 am
Greetings and Happy New Year.
Andrea’s recent articles and your Blogmore post implies that I am some sort of a mastermind who was, as 1 member of a 10 member council, able to: control a human resources department and a police department, a city council (6 of whom voted to censor me), a previous mayor (who was my opponent on four ballots – 2 general elections and 2 runoffs), multiple grand juries, a state’s attorney, DCI and the Attorney General.
So let’s do a brief recap. On 12/22/2009, The PW Director (Robert Ellis), City Attorney (Jason Green) and Mayor (Alan Hanks) held a press conference announcing the revocation of Fish Garbage’s license. I was not present at the press conference nor was I invited to attend. As you may be aware, the previous mayor was not one of my biggest fans. The previous administration signed off on Meidinger’s dismissal from employment. My predecessor’s sudden amnesia in the recent RC Journal article is fun to read about, but perplexing.
At the 2/1/2010 City Council meeting, Fish declined to attend their public hearing prior to the vote on revocation of their business license. The city attorney and mayor at the time recommended revocation of the license. It was unanimous on the Council as well. I simply had a meeting (at Culver’s) with Warner and Dee Dee Ghere in May 2009, at their request, and asked for their concerns to be looked into. This is now a matter of public record and was reported by the Journal in February 2010. The Gheres said they’d heard I was someone who followed up on things, and I did. I have taken a beating for it, but I don’t regret following my oath of office and bringing forward the concerns. I was first told there wasn’t a problem and accepted what I was told. In late July 2009, I discovered there was a problem (later evidenced by a 2006 memo which you have seen and is public), and in talking to another city council member about it, Ron Weifenbach, he indicated that he had brought the issue to Alan Hanks in 2007.
So Ron and I asked for it to be investigated, and the Journal’s own story from Feb 20, 2009 does a good job of covering this. Did I question Alan Hanks’ handling of this during the election? I sure did. So did Ron and so did many others in the community. Pointing out that there were serious issues in the previous administration is not the same as trying the criminal and civil cases in public.
You’ve seen the emails, and you have known about this since the Censor when the emails were first released (Andrea reported in May of last year that I had sent 5,500 emails on the landfill, but it was only about 20.)
The civil case has recently been expanded (unanimously by the council on 10/3/2011) to address additional information which has been discovered and continues to be discovered.
Regarding the election, I recall you saying you didn’t vote last summer. If that’s the case, I hope you support me twice as much as you did last time if I run for re-election.
And before you come up with another post that beats me up or picks this post apart, at least give me some faint praise in the first and last paragraphs for being willing to engage you in a discussion on Blogmore.
PS. I am still up for a Culver’s lunch (and perhaps a small food fight) whenever you, Severson and Fleming are up to it. Severson can even bring his 6 recruits. You guys have my number. Maybe afterwards you can write a blog post blaming Culver’s for the whole thing because that’s where this all started. Shame on them for having such good burgers.
Sam: Thanks very much for responding. I give you a lot of credit for engaging here. Regarding Alan Hanks, if he’s a candidate for mayor next year, I wouldn’t expect him to attempt to use the Fish issue against you. He certainly wouldn’t have much political standing to do that, as other, fresher candidates might. Looking back, I’m guessing he might regret the way he handled Fish. Others may have regrets as well. I wonder, do they include you? Looking back, do you wish you hadn’t used the word “fraud,” before any allegation had been proven? Do you wish you had looked into the matter more thoroughly to assure government wasn’t unfairly damaging private business and private citizens? Or did you just presume the local government system and its processes, which you seemed to have challenged regularly prior to that, was thorough in its investigation and absolutely right in its allegations? Do you argue that Fish wasn’t prominent in your campaign? It seemed to me that is was. And at this point, could you explain to me what your feelings are about the value of proceeding with the civil suit? I have to respectfully tell you that I’m puzzled by that. I’m always up for lunch. I don’t have a clue what Severson and Fleming are doing these days. But they’re welcome, too, especially if Fleming buys. Again, thanks for engaging here. Not all elected officials are so willing, especially when the issues are touchy. I’ll try to provide further opportunities here for you. K.W.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
And Sam Kooiker says...
But first, in a thread below moderator Sanborn predicted: "Kooiker's not likely to chime in on this or any other blog." Well he did chime in, on Blogmore, of which you are probably already aware, but I will post his entire comment and Woster's add-on right here, right now.