Letter: New Brighton city officials ‘owe’ an apology

To the Editor:

 

Mayor Val Johnson and Councilmembers Burg, Strub and Jacobson owe the people of New Brighton, Councilmember Gina Bauman and the former city attorney a public apology.

After the election last November an ordinance was illegally passed. You heard this was about a council vote changing elections from odd to even years; it was about much more. They voted to lengthen the mayoral term and shorten councilmember terms. Mayor Johnson says she was not in office at the time yet she supported the vote and led the charge for vindictive retribution toward a fellow councilmember who dared to stand up for the law. Their malicious display of personal and political behavior has negatively impacted the image of our city.

With council’s refusal to reconsider the illegal ordinance, Councilmember Bauman and I circulated a ballot petition obtaining almost 400 signatures to let the voters decide. The city clerk rejected it.

With all options exhausted, we had no choice but to file a lawsuit to force the city and clerk to follow state statutes. Judge Marek agreed and vindicated our argument. She ruled in favor of the people of New Brighton, striking the illegally passed ordinance and chastised the city for rejecting the ballot petition.

Residents deserve a mayor, city council, city manager and city clerk that respect the people and the law. It isn’t easy to fight city hall. It is overwhelming and expensive. Demanding honesty, transparency and accountability from our elected officials is a win for all of New Brighton.

 

Susan Erickson

New Brighton

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