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Tue, Jan. 21

Ben Kramer resignation is ‘poto-poto’

Editor:

Wed., Sept. 25th, 3 p.m.…It was a sad day in Clarkdale watching the dysfunction of the town council.

In Swahili, we say it was “poto-poto”, a big muddy mess! The newest member of the council, appointed some months ago to fill a vacated position resigned.

Oh, yes, and he had just run successfully in the August 28th primary and been elected to a new four-year term of office. But wait, Mr. Ben Kramer’s resignation effective Sept. 25th was only for the remainder of his present appointed term ending November 13, 2018.

Although Mr. Kramer had announced he would not take the oath of office, the mayor said he could still take the oath of office after the November general election. So, we need an appointment process for the remaining term of Mr. Kramer, September 25, 2018 – November 13, 2018…AND then another appointment process if Mr. Kramer does not take “the oath of office?” Power to the mayor, power to the council, confusion for the people, unnecessary waste of time, energy and resources of the town and town staff!

But, as the mayor said, “This is a representative democracy; we were elected; we will make the decisions; we will choose the process; we will appoint the people.” Mr. Ben Kramer, your opaque actions and timing of ineptitude or naivete or confusion or political manipulation is reinforcing the mayor’s power base, his arrogance, and his condescending attitude as he implies that he and the council, rather than the voters, know what’s best for Clarkdale. This is truly “poto-poto”.

Mr. Kramer, if you are as clear-thinking, insightful and thoughtful as the praises sung at your resignation Wed. by your council colleagues, you would have withdrawn you council candidacy before the election and allowed the voters to decide from the remaining candidates. You did not do that.

The least you can now do is to not only resign from the several months left of your present term, but to renounce your successful election, state categorically that you will not take the oath of office for a new term, notarize and deposit copies with the town lawyer, council and post it in the paper…if you are truly a man of your word. You can self-nullify your election immediately.

You are not forced, as the mayor suggests to have to wait till Nov. 14th. You can quickly clear up this “poto-poto” which you have caused.

Mr. Mayor Von Gausig and Mr. Kramer, allow the other candidates who ran for town council in the primary election to be placed on the general election ballot and let the people decide who will fill the remaining vacant seat on the council.

Yes, it is a democracy, let the voters choose ... Do the citizens of Clarkdale really wish a controlling mayor to dominate the council with an “I know best” mentality and continue filling vacancies by appointment… not once, not twice, but three times in succession?

Mr. Mayor, since the council can determine the process to fill its vacancy, make that process the ballot box! Clean up this “poto-poto”.

Phil Dirksen, MD

Clarkdale

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