Letter: Mayor encouraging division, acrimony

From: Kenneth Fudge


At the last city council meeting, Jim Lienhoop has once again used his bully pulpit to do what he does best — attack those whom he disagrees with. In an effort to deflect from his own misrepresentations about the budget, he made unfair, belittling accusations of people who were respectfully addressing him.

While Lienhoop would like to come off as superior to us lowly subjects questioning him, in reality he came off as whining and bullying. He criticized Kristen Brown’s “small band of supporters” for disrupting city government and costing money. He specifically criticized me for making freedom of information requests for public information. Really? How dare he portray me and others who question him or ask for public information as mindless  Brown supporters? I am quite capable of independent thought and action.

I was at city council meetings protesting Lienhoop’s actions as a city council member when Fred Armstrong was mayor. One example is the sports complex and Lienhoop’s approving the bond to finance it before the project was even approved, costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. Another is the trash tax he voted for. At the time, I had never even heard of Brown.

Make no mistake, I am no one’s minion, but rather a concerned resident who is appalled at Lienhoop’s childish antics, questionable dealings and bullying behavior. What is most appalling is that he can’t see how hypocritical he is being. How many times as a city councilman did Lienhoop publicly criticize the former mayor at council meetings, often with sanctimonious prepared written statements? How much time and money did he waste throwing up roadblocks to thwart anything the former mayor tried to accomplish for the residents of this city?

By my count, the answer is countless. Lienhoop was the driving force for all division and acrimony the previous four years. In contrast, not once did the former mayor criticize him and his “small group of supporters” for disrupting city government operations because they just can’t get over the fact that Lienhoop isn’t the mayor.

He reminds everyone he won the election and implies that as a result he should go unchecked. His strong message to those of us who don’t like his lack of transparency, questionable dealings and intolerance for differing views is that we will be publicly flogged for expressing our opinions and asking questions and we need “to move on.”

Too bad for us he didn’t take his own advice the previous four years. Instead, he harassed the former mayor with potshots and roadblocks and sowed deep-seated division in the community, all for his own political gain.

Lienhoop continues to be the driver of division. He is the proverbial pot calling the kettle black.