LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Truth should matter
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
I try to live using the wisdom of Mark Twain. “It’s not what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It is what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
I know I was originally a very strong supporter of former Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht. I realize I know nothing about the current kerfuffle at City Hall.
In her letter on March 25, the former mayor seems to be channeling Kellyanne Conway and using “alternative facts.” As mayor, Albrecht approved hiring Flaherty and Hood in 2019. Cost: $14,071. Now she complains when the current council does the same thing.
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As mayor, she failed to lead and honor our tribal nations by getting their flags at City Hall. This council (plus Dan Jourdain) got it done. Under her leadership, the Sanford Center was a money pit. This council has made changes and turned its performance around.
It was her administration that caused the “Mayor term” fiasco. The city manager has spent $11,237 on a consultant to measure morale in one department. And it appears the elected officials cannot view the report. It is the city manager and city attorney who are ignoring the open meeting laws.
Under Albrecht, the city had to reschedule a special election when it failed to comply with legal notice requirements. It was Albrecht who failed to lead and get an opinion on a serious conflict of interest issue.
It was Albrecht who referred to the previous council as “Luddites” when they voted down roundabouts. It was during her administration the new wellness center was shelved. The current council has taken it off the shelf and it is moving forward with a much improved financial model.
And it was Northern Township that withdrew from the JPC; not the city. I would love to “un-annex” and simply pay for water and sewer. The city should annex everything around the lake and mandate sewer and water hookups.
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She concludes with an intended compliment that is actually the worst insult you can make about a leader, saying the city will have trouble functioning if one person leaves.
To imply that one person alone hoards information and works so much without sharing that projects may fail if they leave is the ultimate insult to a leader or manager.
I guess my opinion of the city staff is much higher than the former mayor’s. And now she is actively involved in the Ward 1 contest. Truth should matter.