A lying zing
over useless bling
Marion mayor David Mayfield’s deceptive attacks on council member Ruth Herbel seem to know no limit.
In a social media posting this past week, he claims Herbel “expressed concerns” about an “outrageous” purchase of city-branded clothing.
She did no such thing. It’s just another in a series of lies from a mayor not deserving of the title “his honor.”
Neither Herbel nor a news story about the purchase ever indicated that anyone was concerned much less that anyone thought the purchases were outrageous. They may have been a bit silly, but those sentiments never were expressed.
It simply was odd to see among bills that the city was being asked to pay purchases of a woman’s fleece jacket, a fleece blazer, a cardigan, a polo shirt, a “scorecard” T-shirt, and a “cocoon” sweater.
In reviewing those bills, Herbel did her duty and asked why the items had been ordered. She received an answer, did not comment on the answer, and voted to accept the bills. The newspaper likewise printed the answer without comment.
On social media, Mayfield suggested she should have asked before the council met. The bill was made available late Friday. The council met Monday afternoon. She would have had only a few hours to ask in private. And if she did, taxpayers who footed the bill never would ever have heard the answer.
Asking questions and letting citizens hear the answers is something called democracy. That’s apparently a foreign concept to Mayfield.
Now that Mayfield has made a thing out of the bling, the rationale for the clothing was pretty flimsy.
Why do people who sit in the city’s front office need to wear clothes bearing a city logo? The one I saw was wearing just normal business attire when I visited there Friday.
It’s not as if they would be wearing uniforms. Uniforms are, well, uniform. One person doesn’t wear a fleece jacket, another a fleece blazer, another a cardigan, another a polo shirt, another a “scorecard” T-shirt, and another a “cocoon” sweater.
These aren’t uniforms. They’re bling. And there’s nothing wrong with giving employees a little bling, if there’s plenty of money to do so.
Still, city hall doesn’t need to look like a convenience store or a gathering point for members of a bowling team. If anyone needed branded bling to represent the city it probably would be Margo Yates, who actually leaves the office to try to impress potential residents. But she got none of the bling and didn’t want any.
Throughout his term in office, Mayfield has shown repeated contempt for the people who elected him and who pay the bills. He instead has kowtowed to the interested of bureaucrats who live off that money and would just as soon the rest of us don’t know about it.
Unfortunately, Mayfield’s not alone. A potential candidate to replace him apparently was among the tiny minority of Marion residents who saw no problem with the council trying to use a charter ordinance to try to take away voters’ rights to decide whether to saddle the city with debt.
We’re hoping that this particular person, a Democrat, is willing to stand behind the concept of democracy for which his party was named. Otherwise, we’ll be replacing Mayfield 1 with Mayfield 2.
— ERIC MEYER