Thursday, August 15, 2013
What The Fu@k Is Going On In Mount Pleasant?!
It seems everything is just as nuts as before - only with a new cast of characters running the freak show.
Where to begin? How about Mount Pleasant board of trustee meetings where the trustees are supposed to vote to hire people...only they don't get to know who the candidates are in advance?
Seriously, when they ask - they get told they have to wait for the meeting where they are supposed to vote.
What's the problem? Calm down!
After all, Village President, Mark Gleason had already picked the finalist and has the votes of his minions: Dave DeGroot, Sonny Havn and John Hewitt to get what he wants...like good buddy Kurt Wahlen for Village Administrator and Stephanie Kohlhagen as Village Clerk.
No one was all that surprised when Gleason put the bum-rush on hiring Wahlen, but it seemed a little weird when Wahlen was waiting in a back office for the voting to take place. Wahlen is either psychic or already knew what the result would be. The Siren will let you decide.
Then came the need to hire a village clerk, after Veronica Rudychev resigned within a week of Gleason taking office. Another wild coincidence no doubt. Once again, trustees were kept in dark about the hiring process until the last minute.
(Never mind that more qualified applicants were skipped over - like City of Racine Assistant Clerk, Donna Deuster - who had far more experience, but was unfortunately not good friends with Gleason's wife.)
Kohlhagen's experience as a polling place chief inspector was more than enough for Gleason, DeGroot, Havn and Hewitt - even though she lacked the municipal certifications needed for the $60k a year job - we're sure she's a fast learner and Gleason's wife thinks she's cute as a button!
Ah, the reign of Gleason. It's becoming everything everyone feared.
The Siren has her hands full keeping tabs on the GOP at the state level - who cares about Mount Pleasant? We didn't, until we read about the weird suspension of Village Director of Planning, Ron Meyer.
First, the village came out and said he had been placed on administrative leave - he was not allowed to be in non-public places in the village hall with other employees and had surrendered his keys. Sounds serious. Then, they announced they would be discussing his employment in a special meeting. Boom lowered, all that was left was the formality of the meeting.
On the surface this looked like simple housekeeping, a shame that Meyer, after decades of service was going out this way - but watchcha gonna do? Gleason got voted in to do the hard work - even if his style was a little secretive.
If Meyer was doing something a little creepy or inappropriate he had to go - that is what everyone thought, right? Until the reporting came out from trustee meeting last night, that is...
Meyer didn't get fired - his voluntary resignation was described as an "amicable agreement." Really? Amicable?
No one was willing to comment further - not even Meyer or his attorney.
Let's do a bit of reading between the lines, shall we? When you get a harassment complaint and it looks like it's going to cost you your job, naturally you get a lawyer - or at least you should. That way you have the leverage needed to leave without it destroying your career - which readers should remember has been squeaky clean until now.
However, you don't get an "amicable agreement" unless you negotiated from a position of strength...like maybe the harassment complaint was either bullshit or faulty in some way. The trustees have been barred from discussing it - and it doesn't seem like it's to protect Meyer's reputation either.
We wonder how much Meyer's lawsuit was going to cost them before they agreed to everything he wanted to exit the clown car?
We've been around the block enough to smell a CYA maneuver - and this one seems rather ripe.
Now, Mount Pleasant residents could go to the next village meeting and discuss it or anything else on the agenda - except Gleason is barring the public from discussions on agenda items even though it specifically says in village ordinances they can.
Open meeting and village meeting ordinance violations and staff members jumping ship like crazy - what the hell is going on over there?!
Who does Mark Gleason think he is - Robin Vos?
The Siren loves her some political shenanigans and it seems like Mount Pleasant is ground zero. The open record requests are flying and the shizz is going to get good - we advise our kittens to get in on the action.
BTW did you know Village President Gleason still hasn't paid his 2012 property taxes? Yeah, nearly $6000 worth. Maybe someone should ask him about it at the next village meeting on Monday, September 9th at 7pm.