By Donna Westfall – August 27, 2016 – Remember when contracted City Attorney, Bob Black, helped the City of Crescent City develop a Code of Ethics in early 2009? Remember in September of that same year in a 4-1 vote (Schellong, Slert, Murray and Burns) voted to CENSURE Councilwoman Donna Westfall based on the Code of Ethics? And did so without an investigation into the questions asked about whether or not former Public Works Director, Jim Barnts, was getting kickbacks from some of the sub-contractors on the wastewater treatment plant job?
Recently, Kymmie Scott, who holds the dual role as Administrator and City Clerk for the City of Crescent City, suggested updating the Code of Ethics and instituting a Policies and Procedures manual. A new part of the plan is to have a review by a third party (a hearing made up of individuals not tied into the Council itself).
The ad hoc committee is considering at this time who would sit on such a hearing panel or how that panel would be chosen. Reviewing the plan are Councilmembers, Rick Holley and Darrin Short. A suggestion was made to the ad hoc committee to always have one board member from the Crescent City-Del Norte County Taxpayers Association sit on the third party hearing panel.
Here’s one example of why: We are referencing the article written in 2011 because not only was I censured without benefit of an investigation into the many allegations I made about suspected corruption and fraud on the WWTP, but the humiliation didn’t end in 2009. My fellow council members continued to berate me for years.
More recently, Mayor Pro Tem, Blake Inscore, signed the Rebuttal to Measure Q (in favor of raising sewer rates another 20%) citing that I was censured for slandering my fellow council members. So, it doesn’t stop.
THE DOUBLE STANDARD (originally published September 22, 2011)
By Rachel Towe
My husband and I have lived in the same house in Crescent City for almost 50 years now. We’ve seen lots of politicans come and go. Lots of dirty deeds like burning down the pier by the so-called leaders of the community in the middle of the night. We’ve been active in attending Harbor meetings and Council meetings for many years, and I’m going to tell you why we stopped.
Last year, then-Mayor Kelly Schellong held a Town Hall Meeting over at the Fire District Station on Washington Blvd. There were about 50-60 people in attendance. My Mayor proceeded to humiliate and embarrass me in front of all those people.
She spoke about me in the most derogatory terms because I exercised my constitutional rights to put an initiative on the ballot to repeal the sewer rates. My city sued me for it.
Since Ms. Schellong has been on the City Council, and during council meetings I’ve seen her roll her eyeballs, smirk, speak with contempt, challenge, lie and basically disregard the concerns of me and my neighbors. When she came up with the idea of having a Code of Ethics, I just about fell over laughing.
It doesn’t stop there. When she, Slert, Murray and Burns censured Donna Westfall citing the Code of Ethics, we all knew it was a set-up. Because Mrs. Westfall was exposing Colburn Electric falsifying payroll that same night they censured her. That’s not all.
When we tried recalling Schellong, Slert and Murray last time, our County Clerk Northrup disregarded half the signatures INCLUDING MY HUSBAND’S.
It doesn’t stop there. The last 15 years we’ve had a biased newspaper. The Daily Triplicate, that wouldn’t print the truth if it went against the hidden agenda. What’s their agenda? Keep our crooked politicians in office, smear anyone who tries exposing their corruption and twist the truth to do it.
We stopped going to Council meetings, but we didn’t stop watching them. Monday night’s meeting September 19th, just about took the cake. Schellong and Slert were at it again. I’m sure Kathryn Murray would have chimed in her two cents worth if she hadn’t been out sick. They were bad mouthing Donna Westfall one more time about having the nerve to sue the city, about attaching the stipend she made to pay back the attorney’s charges for the lawsuit, and then threatening her with a lawsuit for libel.
Those two make out like Mrs. Westfall is the crazy one, when we all know they’re the ones cheating us.
It’s time for our City Council to repeal the Code of Ethics. We don’t need to encourage this double standard any longer where the one person that has been trying to hold government accountable for the way they spend our money is the person that’s being punished for it.
My grandfather came to this country from Germany to give his family a better life. We’ve had a decent life in this town until the last decade. Now it’s become more like Nazi Germany than the land of the free.