Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Once More, With Feeling

Let me get this straight ... In his post today, Jonathan Krause spends his first paragraph railing against spending by the city government, then -- presumably with a straight face -- suggests the city should pick up Paul Esslinger's legal tab:

While they won't discuss it tonight, the Council at some point will likely take up Paul Esslinger's claim for re-imbursement of legal fees he incurred while defending himself in a state investigation. For those of who living under a rock, the investigation stemmed from former Mayor Bill Castle's allegation that Esslinger was "blackmailing" then City Manager Richard Wollangk to force the firing of Development Director Jackson Kinney. I think the city should foot Esslinger's bill. What he did happens every day in corporate America. If the "he goes or you go" ultimatum is illegal, then there are more than a few sports owners who should be sitting in jail.

If Esslinger was just doing his job, why can't other city employees be compensated for doing their jobs? You can't say that the city should stop spending so much money in one breath only to say the city should pony up for a loud-mouth's indiscretions -- remember, Esslinger was given legal advice that he subsequently ignored -- in another.

A municipal government is not "corporate America." Esslinger has a responsibility to abide by transparency and ethics rules that every council member must recognize. This is not simply a debate over whether Esslinger was making a proper inquiry into a personnel decision, the argument is whether Esslinger was abusing the power invested in him by the voters of the city. This is a huge distinction and a serious issue.

I've recommended to Esslinger that instead of pursuing legal action, he think about holding a fund raiser. Mr. Krause, Mike Murphy, Kent Monte, and Carver Siewert should now be the first four people you speak to about putting something like that together.


Cheryl Hentz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheryl Hentz said...

I couldn't agree with you more, JB, both on your position on this latest Esslinger controversy and the fact that his ardent supporters should either organize a fundraiser for the legal defense he CHOSE to get or pony up the money themselves. Let's hope the city's insurance carrier rejects this claim as quickly as it was filed.

Of course, the biggest supporter he has in cyberspace seems to be Kent Monte. Monte's proclivity for continually defending the embattled Esslinger has more than a few people in the community wondering when and why Esslinger apparently became incapable of speaking for himself. It might be admirable if it didn't occur so often and if he actually knew what he was talking about. His latest rant is a perfect example of Kent Monte having the facts wrong and being lost in his own bias. But even if he was right, I'd rather be up to my neck in something than have my head so completely buried in the sand that I can't see anything, including the forest for the trees.

netfarah5 said...

I choose to agree with JB and that the supporters of Esslinger controversy should organize the fund raising for legal defense as he was just doing his job.There should not be any action taken for the controversy of Esslinger and that is the height of disrespect for a bringing the law in such little things. The biggest supporter he has is Kent Monte.His four other supporters are Mike Murphy,Kent Monte and Carver Siewert are the people to speak to putting something like that together.