From: Mike Kirschmann
Fran Edstrom’s 2/21/10 “Postscript” was right on the money. As one who was intimately involved in the annexations of the latest Wilson Township lands, I appreciate the opportunity the “Letters” column gives me to expand on Fran’s comments and share my own observations and opinions.
I don’t and won’t blame the annexations on Jason Phillips. He is just a young man that took a risk on his dream. In my opinion he was used to carry the water and break the ground for a couple of other interested parties (one from outside the area, one local and still hiding their intent) who preferred to remain in the background. They were happy to let Phillips stir the pot and take all the heat.
One of those interests, the known outsider making the biggest promises, dropped out of the annexation effort early on which left a huge hot steaming platter of egg on the faces of the mayor and city manager. From then on, it appeared as if the only thing driving City Hall was the enormous egos of the mayor and city manager. They weren’t going to let a bunch of country folk outsmart them, at any cost. After all, they had a seemingly endless supply of money from city taxpayers to bankroll their hostile takeover of rural township lands. Today, all city taxpayers get to pay the consequences of their [the city manager and mayor] ego quest.
Whether the mayor directed the city manager in the annexation, or the city manager was directing the mayor, is still unclear. While it’s true that the city manager has certainly been the author of his own reputation, the mayor has also proven to be as much or perhaps even more crafty (just look at all the committees he appoints to divide and conquer public opinion). But I suspect that over the years the city manager has taken much heat because of backroom decisions and directives that were not of his own making. After all, a city manager works for the mayor and council and they shouldn’t hide behind a manager’s skirt. I hope the City Council remembers the responsibilities of their position of authority when a new city manager is hired, and before another pipe to nowhere is funded on the backs of city taxpayers.
Kirschmann is a former
Wilson Township Supervisor