Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Castle v. Esslinger: Beyond Thunderdome

The Northwestern is starting to get letters re: the Esslinger/Castle Battle Royal, so let's look at what the cat dragged in:

One of the primary responsibilities of the city council is verify the accountability of the city manager position. This would include the management of department heads.
Alright, I'm with you so far ...

If Mr. Castle disagreed with Mr. Esslinger on his position regarding the city manager's handling of department heads, it should have been handled thru discussion and debate.

Sorry, that's not how it works. Castle wasn't "disagreeing" with Esslinger, Castle thought Esslinger may have committed a crime. When that happens, you go to the appropriate authorities (in this case, the DOJ).

Since, each councilor only has one vote, why would extortion charges need to be brought forth on what seems to be a basic philosophical disagreement?

I haven't the slightest fucking clue what this sentence means. The investigation was not the result of a "philosophical disagreement" over a professional issue. It was the result, according to the DOJ report, of a misinterpretation of Esslinger's intent on Castle's part.

What kind of message does this send to potential future city council candidates?

The message seems pretty obvious to me: conduct yourself in a professional manner, be mindful of how others might interpret your words and actions, and appreciate the legal consequences of those actions. That may seem like common sense to most people, but we are talking about Paul Esslinger here.

Mr. Castle, would you please provide an explanation to the voters?

Mike Murphy

Why? The operative word in that last line is "voters." Bill Castle isn't an elected official anymore, he doesn't have to answer a goddamn thing from anyone.

This is an important point. Castle has nothing to lose in this dispute. He's not going to end up having to pay Esslinger's legal bill. He doesn't have to run for re-election. The risk belongs entirely to Esslinger. Why he would want to drag this out is beyond me.

I doubt this is going to be the last will hear from Esslinger's supporters either in the NW or online. A little advice: get your facts straight before you start beating your chest in the op-ed pages and do try to come up with a more coherent argument. Better yet, stop pretending to be Emile Zola and put together a legal defense fund for Esslinger. You might want to make it a permanent institution here in Oshkosh with a president, a staff, maybe some interns, an annual black tie dinner, a golf outing, etc. That way Esslinger can do all the crazy shit that his supporters love to watch him do and have the legal team he so richly deserves.

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