Do ethical lapses by a candidate for local office matter? It is easy to say, “Yes, of course they do.” But, what if there was a pattern of behavior that crossed the line?
What if a candidate exchanged angry email with the police chief and accused the police of being lazy? What if that same candidate made personal attacks on the director of transportation? What if that same candidate approached another member in the church Narthax before services and said “John, I am very disappointed (with) you, and then walked off.”
Some readers may recall Mayor Robert Mielke standing up to this person and the extensive lawsuit; and the culprit decided to settle out of court after making it clear that he just wasn’t responsible for anything. Technically.
The city staff set up a city podium and public address system on city property using city hall as a backdrop for his campaign announcement. A public announcement made on public property to inform taxpayers. Mielke’s opponent Katie Rosenberg reluctantly voiced an informal complaint in the press. The State Ethics Board flagged this as a violation and fined Mielke with the bare minimum of $100. The mayor apologized.
Mielke reported the progress of the city in the city newsletter and mailed them to everyone in town at taxpayer expense. This a standard operation and it has been going on for several administrations, then all of Wausau benefits.
Feb. 6, Chris Schock, the director of community development, reported to 81 business leaders in the community. The letter was signed by Mielke as mayor.
Then Schock’s excessive vacationing made “news.” The report was published in the WPR. Shrock responded with a letter to the editor. Chris wrote in his letter that he and his wife had been taking some time seeking positions in Arizona.
That brings us to the mayor’s interview with the City Pages last week: Schock would be leaving his job with the city at some unspecified point in the future, which had been announced previously, but now it was the new shiny object for Keene to go after.
What hampers Schock’s ability to do his job by announcing that he is a short timer? It would be understandable that he would have time to wrap things up before moving on!
The only way to make sense of the letter by Keene is to see it, revenge for a previous loss? In my opinion, the pattern of behavior is clear.
Winters hates to lose, he campaigns with a win-at-all-cost attitude.
John Enk of Wausau, Wausau Citizen’s for Good Government
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