A Sad Day for Local Democracy

Dear Friends

Today I issued the following statement to multiple local media outlets.

“Monday, April 22, 2013, I attended the Sunbury City Council Meeting and I am still reeling from shock due to the tone of the meeting. There was a fever pitch of anger so intense you could have cut it with a knife. It was utter chaos! Bullying at its best. The only thing that was accomplished was an exhibition of anger and the utterance of unkind remarks, certain to fragment our sense of community spirit.

“It is unclear to me, why Mr. Persing or any council member present of said meeting did not request that everyone in council chambers remain calm so that each person could voice their concern in a respectful and objective manner.

“The chorus of angry voices was in response to documented concerns presented by Mr. Drake Saxton, regarding the procedure of code violation enforcement in Sunbury. The crux of the matter is that the Code Office would appear to have taken a probable hard and fast line of code enforcement with some citizens or businesses of the community and a mere slap on the wrist for other citizens or businesses.

“The media or any interested party can arrive at their own conclusion in this matter either as an attendee of current and past council meetings or review any and all of the recorded council meetings on YouTube. Either of these methods will validate that June 2012 is the timeline when Mr. Saxton began to present his concerns of code violation practices during council meetings as well as in writing.

“Here is the $50,000 question? Why would Mr. Saxton place himself in a potential legal snare if he does not have substance to back his claims and concerns of code practices?>

“This debacle has been raging on for the last 10 months with no end in sight; however the voice of reason would say there is a solution to resolve this issue.

“Has there been?

“Has there not been?

“Issuance to some, and completely avoiding the issuance to others, of warnings or citations for code violations by the Code Office, therefore reflecting a practice of targeting citizens and/or businesses?

“If the answer is yes, all personnel of the City Administration involved in the matter must issue a factual public statement that there was an error in judgment in the execution of code enforcement. Fix it. Review and revise the protocol, and assure all interested parties it shall not happen again.

“2) If the answer is no, all personnel of the City Administration involved in the matter must provide and make available to the entire citizenry, businesses, or interested parties, copies of the documents as a proof of absolute compliance of code enforcement.

“As the Wild West barroom style antics raged all around during the council meeting, I turned to see Lisa Persing and her grandchildren sitting in the rear of the room. What lesson did these children take away at the conclusion of this disgraceful scene, and could such ill tempered public behavior be a contributing factor to bullying? Clearly, professionalism and courtesy were absent from this public gathering, and it is certain the anger and the utterance of unkind remarks fragmented our sense of community spirit.

“In conclusion, encouraging the expressive artistic passion from each citizen of a community driven goal or project, in an effort to engage others to participate, will foster a community spirit therefore realizing a sense of pride, and would be the beginning of reviving the heartbeat of our community.

“A well balanced combination of fun, family based values, ethics and professionalism will be the utmost importance for my administration as Mayor of Sunbury.”

Julie Brosius

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"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson