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home : opinions : letters to the editor
April 9, 2020

1/30/2020 7:30:00 AM
Reader wonders who will be chosen for city ethics board

To the Editor:

A new ordinance, which creates a code of "ethics," which will "regulate" the conduct of council members along with an ethics board made up of five community members. Really!

I am going to admit to being a pessimist. Another set of "standards" to live by seem to already be covered within "An Overview of the City of Rhinelander" under "Personnel Policies and Employee Manual" and basic "City Ordinances."

Members of the council (along with mayor and administrator) already belong to numerous organizations such as Scouting, Masons, Knights, their churches, even workplaces, to name a few, which have principles they expect the members to live by not just display periodically to impress.

Just who will be chosen, who can be trusted to serve on this board and make these judgement calls? Perhaps city clergy?

We have already had problems with standards of behavior when a letter is written but the composer will not step up, even when it costs another a job! When a closed meeting is illegally recorded and same turned over to out of town media and again, the person responsible won't step up and admit to it.

I have suggested that all recording devices be left at the door by persons attending council meetings (open or closed). It would have prevented a drama that took place during a recent meeting. One has to wonder why (when viewing on Facebook) a camera was focused directly on one council members prior to a member of the audience "suddenly" confronting them, and that camera never wavering, flinching in response to the "surprise" appearance and shouting. Perhaps the person filming wasn't surprised?

Plus, when you have such a "secret" it's not smart to share. Secrets shared never stay secret.

But most upsetting is the fact that the City Hall staff are still putting up with the "no confidence" issues they presented almost a year ago, which were just dismissed at that time. Does anyone who knows them, or who deals with them on a regular basis, truly think they were not truthful when they signed and submitted that letter? Are they not to be believed?

No confidence needs to be investigated, or working circumstances need to improve and now. To quote what someone once wrote to a city employee, "behavior and demeanor in the workplace must be pleasant, cooperative, and conductive to a happy, safe and productive job site."

What happens at City Hall and council meetings reflect on the community as a whole.

Being a council member or in a position of authority in the city is to be taken very seriously. It is not to be considered as a "popularity" contest.

Any impropriety tarnishes the name of Rhinelander.

Is it not understood that the actions occurring at public meetings or in workspaces are noted by our youth? Adults are suppose to set a good example.

Check out the Facebook pages of the present council members and those running for election.

You might be surprised by what you see. I was.

Kate White


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