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Posted by Sharon Anderson on Monday, February 10, 2014

Steinhauser vs CitySt.Paul et al


Friday, February 1, 2008

Political Paybacks=Losing Faith


Fw: Losing Faith

Date:2/1/2008 2:19:12 P.M. Central Standard Time

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: M M
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:12:00 PM
Subject: Losing Faith

As the seven members of the City Council are already aware, Susan McCall was recently removed from the City of St. Paul Planning Commission . Former Commissioner McCall worked on the Commission for over nine years, having been appointed by two different mayors. Ms. McCall was Secretary of the Commission and Chair of the Neighborhood and Current Planning Committee.

It has come to my attention that, while Ms. McCall had the approval of the current Mayor, she was ousted by the City Council. Apparently, this move was spearheaded by Councilman Lee Helgen. I am under the impression that Councilman Helgen needed a majority of the Council to carry out this derailment of democracy. Did the other members of the council take the time to find out why Councilman Helgen wanted Ms. McCall removed so badly that he would subvert the mayor?

Ms. McCall was considered a very positive member of the commission and could be counted on for a rational and balanced approach. Why was she fired by the City Council? Did anyone speak with her fellow commissioners? Was she hard to work with, incapable, dishonest? Not from what I hear.

Last fall, Ms. McCall was the co-chair of David Haas’ campaign for City Council in Ward 5. Ms. McCall supported Councilman Helgen’s political rival, and for that reason she was removed from the Planning Commission.

This is not the way democracy is supposed to work. Abraham Lincoln appointed his rivals to positions in his cabinet, Lee Helgen has them fired. This may seem insignificant to the “rulers” of St. Paul , but it is very concerning to my neighbors and me. Many of the members of the council talk on and on about community, but how can I believe these claims if the council is willing to whatever it takes to remove political opposition? A healthy community includes everyone and welcomes difference of opinion. There is no room for petty, vindictive behavior. A person who involves themselves in a campaign for office should be applauded for being a part of their community, not punished for daring to raise their voice.

Shame on Lee Helgen, and shame on the entire council. This could not have happened if the members of the City Council had not allowed it to. Your votes made it possible. As citizens, we trust you to govern ethically and in the best interest of our city. You have let us down. You were bullied by Lee Helgen and let politics get in the way of sound judgment. Citizens know more than you think, and we remember.. This is exactly the kind of gamesmanship that makes citizens so frustrated with their leadership. Democracy requires integrity, integrity requires independence. My name will be left off of this letter, I am sure you can understand why. I do not wish to be treated the same way that Ms. McCall has been treated. I will tell you that I am not affiliated with the Haas campaign, nor any other campaign. I am merely a citizen who keeps his ears open.

I should also mention that I am not a Ward 5 resident. I currently reside in Ward 2. I was motivated to write this letter solely because I have heard enough about this inappropriate behavior taking place in my City Hall. Enough is enough. Clean government is essential to successful government. Please feel very free to respond to this letter; particularly you, Councilman Helgen.

-Concerned Citizen who VOTES

(Not Sue McCall)

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