FREE WHITEWATER

Daily Bread for 10.21.23: Councilman Allen’s False Denial

 Good morning.

Updated, afternoon of 10.21.23 as noted below — 

Saturday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 59. Sunrise is 7:16 and sunset 6:02 PM for 10h 46m 18s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 43.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

  On this day in 1805, a British fleet led by Lord Nelson defeats a combined French and Spanish fleet under Admiral Villeneuve in the Battle of Trafalgar.


On the agenda of the October 3rd Whitewater Common Council session, Item 25 was listed as “Retaining an outside law firm to advise the common council on employee discipline and termination matters – Allen/Attorney.” Longtime politician and councilmember Jim Allen denied that he had requested an agenda item that included the word termination.

Allen’s denial was false, and demonstrably so. As one can plainly see below, either Allen lied (spoke falsely and knowingly so) or he spoke merely falsely (suggesting he cannot recall what he emails in an official capacity from one month to the next). 

Embedded immediately below is a recording of the council session, and a transcript of Allen’s false claim.

Council President Allen 1:52:48

All right. We’ll be back in session then. Let’s move on. Rounding the

corner here. Retaining an outside law firm to advise council on employee

discipline. And uh I have here what I gave personally to [aside] John you’re

rolling your eyes what’s going? To Karri at a meeting with she and John and

said for employee [emphasis] discipline. It didn’t say termination. So I

don’t know how termination got put on the agenda. But there it is.

City Clerk Anderberg 1:53:19

From your email.

Council President Allen 1:53:20

This is right here.

City Manager Weidl 1:53:21

You sent a follow up email to both myself and Karri stating that you

disagreed with our opinion that it was a closed session item and you prefer

it to be an open session and provided new language which included

termination.

Council President Allen 1:53:31

I did not include new language.

City Manager Weidl 1:53:33

We have the email.

Council President Allen 1:53:35

Okay, I’d like to see. Thank you. I didn’t provide new language.

See Transcript and Video.

Allen did, in fact, propose language specifically requesting the use of the word termination, exactly as Item 25 appeared on the agenda:

From: James Allen <JAllen@whitewater-wi.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2023 1:58:53 PM
To: Karri Anderberg <kanderberg@whitewater-wi.gov>; John Weidl <jweidl@whitewater-wi.gov>
Subject: Emergency request for agenda

Hi Karri, I have an emergency request for an agenda item for next week. It shouldn’t involve any extra work by any city staff. Let me knitter [sic] if you can accommodate us please and thank you.

C-?: CLOSED SESSION. Adjourn to closed session, TO RECONVENE, pursuant to Chapter 19.85(1)(c) “Considering employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility” ” and 19.85(1)(e) “Deliberating or negotiating the purchasing of public properties, the investing of public funds, or conducting other specified public business, whenever competitive or bargaining reasons require a closed session.” Item to be discussed: (1) Discussion of an authorize retainer amount and hourly rate for the common council to retain an outside law firm to advise the common council on employee discipline and termination matters.

C-?: Reconvene into open session

C-?: Possible action on retaining an outside law firm to advise the common council on employee discipline and termination matters.

Emphasis added above, screenshot below.

Updated with a second public records example:

From: James Allen <JAllen@whitewater-wi.gov>
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2023 2:37:48 PM
To: Karri Anderberg <kanderberg@whitewater-wi.gov>; John Weidl <jweidl@whitewater-wi.gov>
Cc: JonathanMcDonell <jm@hmattys.com>
Subject: additional agenda item request

John and Karri,

I believe that this request meets the requirements for closed session but since you disagree please add it to the end of the agenda in open session.
Thank you,
Jim                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

CLOSED SESSION. Adjourn to closed session, TO RECONVENE, pursuant to Chapter 19.85(1)(c) “Considering employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility” ” and 19.85(1)(e) “Deliberating or negotiating the purchasing of public properties, the investing of public funds, or conducting other specified public business, whenever competitive or bargaining reasons require a closed session.” Item to be discussed: (1) Discussion of an authorize retainer amount and hourly rate for the common council to retain an outside law firm to advise the common council on employee discipline and termination matters.

Emphasis added above, screenshot below.

Allen asked (at least) twice for language including the word termination. 

(One would have expected that a long-in-the-tooth councilman would understand that a resident might by right under Wisconsin law seek public records in this matter, but then some of these men are shortsighted.)

And look, and look — these matters are not ones simply between different members of the government. They have become matters of residents‘ principles and values. There has never been a time, and there never will be, when this libertarian blogger will represent the government. Never. (Government has enough people to play that role.)

A few special interests in this town have now opened a conflict that is, fundamentally, between residents.

What is this conflict about? This — For a year, Whitewater’s special interests, using their operatives and stooges, have embarked on a campaign to ensure that they continue to control economic development in Whitewater. They view a public institution like the Whitewater Community Development Authority as their private property and will not accept the direction of the current city administration to establish professional, public development as other communities do. A few landlords and bankers in Whitewater will not accept a city that is not under their thumb. That’s what this conflict is about. All the rest is pretext and lies. 

This conflict will not, now, end with a change of personnel. It will continue long after even a particular change of that sort. As with the false claims of these men, so it will be a false hope for them that there will be acquiescence. 

A reminder: Whitewater deserves better from its common council majority; this city is better than its council majority. Whitewater deserves better from its community development authority’s majority; this city is better than that authority’s majority.


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House of Strong Opinions
4 months ago

One notes the particular phrasing “you can accommodate us please and thank you.”

A resident could rightly be concerned by repetitive use of plural phrasing. Certainly this resident does.

Reader
Reply to  JOHN ADAMS
4 months ago

Disturbing and the complete opposite of transparency.