By The Peoples Mayor
This morning I sent an email asking the city council a number of questions regarding recent events here in the city. I will post any and all responses here for the public to see.
from: Thomas LaDuke
to: Joseph Nichols
I was very happy to see Governor Snyder visit the sinkhole site yesterday and offer his assistance to the county and the city to get things rolling even smoother than they have since Mrs Miller has taken over Jan-1-2017.
I do have some questions in and around this.
* Why was the FULL council not informed that the Governor of our state was visiting this site? Joe was notified of this and Matt and Yvette I’m sure were informed through Joe. Why were the two Mikes, Patrice and Kathy not informed through a email? Is this professional?
* How much did the P.S.A. announcing a Special Meeting featuring Joe talking about something related to the sinkhole announcing a special meeting cost? Was this used with taxpayer money? Being we are all well aware of Joe’s aversion to social media this was done by someone with knowledge of video, graphics and audio.
*Last calendar year this council held 23 meetings. You have already held 10 meetings this FISCAL year and you have had one this month already with another 3 scheduled. Why do we need TWO meetings scheduled on the sinkhole when the Jan 1st press conference cost the Fraser taxpayers ZERO in terms of council expenditures. The information at that presser was a much more effective way to get information out and does not tie up city employees and the contractors during a critical phase of this project.
I look forward to answers to these questions. Also any and all answers will be posted on PUBLIC social media site so all the citizens of Fraser can see what you the elected officials of Fraser think. In your own words.
That is truly being transparent….not just saying the word.
Check over at FRASER MAYOR all week for many more posts.
Host Of “Bourbon On The Rocks”
Matt Hemelberg’s Fav “Low Budget Podcast”
Matt Hemelberg has responded and below is my response to that.
I for one was not informed by the Mayor about this meeting. I myself along with other members of council have been at multiple meeting every week to keep informed of what is going on with the sinkhole and all of our displaced resident. I have help out in every aspect I could. I was even there Christmas eve and Christmas day, delivering our FPD, DPW and the workers cases of pop and water. I attended meetings there on Christmas day, New years eve, New years day taking time away from my family. I myself have taken every possible step to make sure I have had information on what is going on with our City and our residents. I as a member of council don’t feel I should have to take additional time away from my business and my family to inform other members of council what is going on. I have seen all but one member at meetings. They took the same oath as I did and should be putting forth a little effort to keep informed. The city has a link or information tab on its website for all who want updates. Many of us have spent countless hours out in the rain and cold to keep informed while others have sat in the comforts of their homes and complained about being informed. All members of council have the same luxury of going to the headquarters and sitting in on the meetings. I have met many families and many good people there.I have recieved much great information by attending. I refuse to spend extra time to inform the ones who have never spent an ounce of energy to get informed and depend on others to provide the information to them. We are all in this together and I think if members want to be informed they should put the effort forward to get informed. Being a councilmember requires more than just one thurday meeting. If taking time out of your day to get the information needed is to much, maybe its not the job for them. Just my feelings. Anything else I can help you with Tom feel free to reach out to me anytime. Like I said before there is a link on the City of Fraser website for anyone interested in the sinkhole progress. I hope you had a great holiday season. Have a great day.
City of Fraser
Getting back to my original point than who informed YOU of the Governors visit?
I understand the time it takes to be out there asking questions of the people who are actually responsible for doing the work but a visit from the Governor is a pretty big deal. I know it took all of 2 minutes for me to answer this email and I would think that even though we are “Guys” we can at least multitask on letting others know of a important visit. Literally…there are no virtue points for going to meetings and not passing along this info.
See this has zero to do with you and how much time in the rain and cold doing X and getting in camera shots. This has to do with the info passed out to all elected officials. This simply looks petty. Very. Petty.
Also I just looked at the city website and county website and they both have no mention of this so once again to make this look like it is not You, Joe and Yvette just playing favorites again, playing politics. How did you find out about the Governors visit if it was not through Joe?
Matt gave a response to me later Mon night after the sinkhole meeting. Posted below this is my response
There was talk at the meeting friday at the headquaters. I heard Candice mention the governor might come out to the site. I seen on facebook channel 4 site (I believe 4 or 7) that he was comming in on sunday early afternoon. I went to the site and talked to AEW personnel and they told me he was but they were not for sure the time. I believe the Governor didnt give a certain time due to security reasons. I went there twice yesterday. We I went at noon there were people from governors office there( including security ) I asked when he was comming. His representative told me approx 1:00 p.m.
As I stated to you before Tom. If Kathy Blanke wants to be part of this she needs to get out and get the information. Letting her and the others know what is happening is not my job. They can’t just sit back and expect the rest of us to provide the information they should be searching for. If they tried getting invloved maybe they would learn something and have insight on whats going on. I have no need to call and inform them on issues they should be researching. Mike Lesich does a great job keeping social media sites up to date. He has been to just as many if not more meeting than I. If the news and everyone else knew that Snyder was comming I find it hard to believe Mike and his crew had no idea that Snyder was comming. If they were informed by an email why weren’t any of the three of us ( Mayor,Yvette and myself) also informed. You accuse us of hiding information. If it was sent to them and not us then maybe someone else needs to inform all of council. It’s a two way street. Apparently they have issues with communication also. In my eyes this is just another pathetic attempt to make it look like the Mayor, Yvette and I are hiding things and not being team players. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Maybe you should foia everyones emails and see who sends out emails to others and who has never really sent an email to any of us three. Like I have said before, if councilmembers are not informed on the issues of the sinkhole it’s definately because they have not put forth the effort to serve the community that they took oath to serve. I know you are totally one sided on the issues with this council as it shows on your podcast. (A.K.A. Matt Hemelbergs fav. Low budget podcast) as you signed on your email. Lol. But the best way for the member to get answers is SHOW UP and get your answers. Dont sit on the couch and wait for those who actually put forth the effort to run and give it to you. Just as it was said tonight that it wasn’t important to have this meeting. Well tonight we had more people than we ever have. ( as we did last sinkhole meeting). Many people recieved answer to their question and recieved help that they so deserved. That to me is a good reason to have a meeting. Providing answers to the questions asked. Serving the residents is what we on council should be doing. Also easing residents minds during this tragic time and giving them the answers to help them thru this event. If thats what it takes then I approve of these meetings. These meeting will be billed to the county along with all the resources we have provided since day one. It might not be paid tommorrow but I believe it will be taken care of. Sorry if my email is not 100% Tom but I am typing this from my phone. Have a great night.
City of Fraser
Good Morning Matt,
First off kudos to responding yet again. I’m glad you caught the tag at the end of the my signature being your drop is a highly requested one. See…….I’m not such a monster after all.
So as I am often to do as you well know, I like to give political advice from time to time. You always ignore it, but I will attempt once again.
Stop being a DI#K
I asked a question of why Joe did not email ALL of council on a visit by OUR Governor. Now being you are telling me that you found out at HQ in random conversation I guess that will suffice for now. I find it odd though that Joe did not let you know. Really. Odd. Also aside from you and Yvette there are four other council people and a city manager. Just seems to be the courteous thing to do. You know…on of seven votes.
As the picture that was sent to me ( attached below) from someone that works on the site with daily notes from last week ( This person read the post yesterday at Fraser Mayor and sent it along) clearly shows that Joe “Firmly” noted that ALL questions related to this project go through his office. I would think that it would be incumbent on him to take 3 minutes ( 5 with spell check) and let all city officials know in a email. Being he must have known FIRMLY that the Governor was coming before all of his colleagues. Leaders do that stuff.
Now as for your diatribe about Kathy. I know Kathy has been under the weather as I think you recall from the Jan 3rd meeting.
Yet I will add this.
Kathy Blanke has done more in this town to help it’s citizens and the community than you or I could do in 10 lifetimes. She has always worked behind the scenes, not looking to get credit and jump in front of a TV camera and you damn well know this. If you don’t, than once again you listen to the wrong people and dont know the town you represent all that well. Why you would bring her up when I asked a question of why at least FOUR council people not just Kathy, were not given the courtesy of a heads up is just plain rude on your part. Hence the advice at the beginning of “Stop being a DI#K”
I will check with “Mike and his crew” to see if they sent emails on this and thank you for the F.O.I.A. idea. You gave me a interesting idea.
As for the meeting.
This could have been done at ZERO cost to the Fraser taxpayer and everyone of those questions could be answered.
Holding the meeting not as a official city council meeting means though that you dont get paid as a council. As I stated in my previous email, after 23 meetings in 2016 with a aprox cost of 70K these things add up. A press conference would work better, get all the questions answered and save the taxpayers money. Win / Win.
Even if as you say, that the county will pick up the bill ( Where has that been discussed? ) it is STILL TAXPAYER MONEY. Being you have never voted for a city budget claiming to watch the taxpayers money so close…..why not do that? Just remember that no matter if it is local, county, state or federal money that is yours and mine. You could have done this at no cost but some politicians need to get paid.
I know that my podcast is one sided, ENUFF is ruff and FAIR is not fair…yada yada yada. Social media is sooooo bad except when you only control the message. Sorry that the 1st adm doesn’t work that way and just provide safe spaces for politicians to only get out THEIR view Give this idea a whirl in that head of yours. If you had another side that had valid, sensible points, why are you afraid to express them in ANY venue? I get questioned all the time on what I believe and never fear the conversation. I also back my view up with links to numbers which usually lead to solid facts. Saying anything is one sided and not backing that up is just intellectually dishonest and I abhor that in politics and public servants.
In closing thank you once again for the F.O.I.A. idea. There are some groups in D.C. that are looking to test some things out and Fraser might be a interesting test case. Candice has worked with some of them so that might be a interesting combo.
Also for the remainder of your last 10 months in office actually try to serve the public and don’t just be the Gilligan to Joe’s, Skipper. If you actually have to list the stuff you are doing for the sinkhole while being “seen” maybe you are not going about this right. In fact….you aren’t.
One last thing. Don’t hug a guy who is a elected official that you just met. Looks just #awkward on T.V.
Host Of “Bourbon On The Rocks”
Matt Hemelberg’s Fav “Low Budget Podcast”