Filing for political offices ended June 5 but the campaign season already may be in full swing.
First was a tense exchange at the May 26 council meeting regarding the May 2008 firing of City Manager Bill Elliott between county resident Patricia Allen and Councilor Susan Lorenzen.
That was followed by a tense exchange at the June 8 meeting between Mayor Laura Dubois and Councilor Walt Schubert, who preceded her as mayor.
When Dubois asked if
anyone wanted to add an item to the night's agenda, Schubert said he would like to discuss how the council takes public comment.
When the council got to that item on the agenda, Schubert said, "I'm a little concerned about how we treat people who come before us to make public comment.
"There was a woman who was treated badly at the last meeting and Don Hall deserves an answer regarding support for the Border Patrol, because silence is wrong," he said.
At the May 11 meeting, Hall said the council should express support for the U.S. Border Patrol, which has been the target of recent protests.
Hall is a former councilor who lost his re-election bid to Lorenzen in 2007. Now Hall is running against Planning Commissioner Mike East for the Position 3 seat being vacated by Paul McHugh.
Interim City Manager Linda Herzog told Schubert a written response was going out to Hall.
Then Schubert continued, "Our response should not just be no answer. When you four were elected, you said the council didn't listen to the public."
Then Dubois said the council would try to respond to future speakers.
Schubert is running this year for a third full term on the council against Planning Commission Chairman Ted Miller.
Dubois is not up for re-election to a second term until November 2011. She is one of four new councilors swept into office in the November 2007 election, along with Lorenzen, Ken Hays and Erik Erichsen.
After the meeting, Dubois refuted both of Schubert's assertions.
She wasn't at the meeting where Hall spoke but a response is being sent out to him, Dubois said.
She also didn't think that Allen was treated badly, Dubois said. There was a back and forth exchange between Allen and Lorenzen, which isn't the purpose of the pubic comment session, she said.
"I totally disagree with him there. I believe Councilor Schubert was campaigning from the dais, which is an advantage he has over the other candidates, which I guess he can do," Dubois said.
"You can read the minutes. We didn't treat her badly and we did respond to Don Hall," she said.
Reach Brian Gawley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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