As of Friday, March 9, 2018
To the editor:
I was disappointed to read last week how Mayor Steve Lawrence and city councilors bullied Councilor Darcy Long-Curtiss during a meeting to censure her for being "negative."
In most places in America, disagreeing with the mayor is just another day in democracy. However, The Dalles has become a place where a council member who disagrees with the mayor is publicly shamed and disciplined for "putting the council in a bad light."
In addition, if the public disagrees, they are told that the council isn't taking input from its constituents that night.
Mayor Lawrence admitted to lying to a city councilor to get her into his office, and yet says we should believe him over Long-Curtiss when he denies that the council doesn't circumvent public meeting laws by working together behind closed doors.
Previously, the mayor said that the city council spontaneously decided to vote together to fire the former city manager without any discussion beforehand, not long after the mayor accidentally emailed a "to do" list to The Chronicle that included getting rid of that exact city manager. What a coincidence that was.
The Dalles deserves better than this. It deserves leaders who appreciate open debate and free speech, leaders who think for themselves and leaders who don't condone bullying or intimidation.