A PRIMER ON TOWN LAWS.
Now at the beginning let’s say that no one dislikes Helen Miller more than I do. Her actions in the “medal” case was beyond the pale and should have been chastised by the Council. But she wasn’t.
Okay, let’s get to the laws of the Town, specifically the Town Charter, which is the most important piece of paper in the town because it was voted into existence by the citizens. Now Tonja Brown, that bastion of municipal knowledge, believes it was written by some “white folks” and shoved down the town’s throat. The voters in the town rejected the charter on at least one occasion and perhaps two. Joe McKire is a lot of things but is not a “White Folk” but Tonja doesn’t know this. She thinks Joe McKire is an “Uncle Tom” for dealing with the White Folks. She is delusional in addition to being dumber than a stump.
Now Helen Miller is accused of “malfeasance” in public office. Part of me agrees with this take on things. But now the town has to prove “malfeasance” according to the charter. Section 2.03 says:
A council person may be relieved of duty for Malfeasance. Malfeasance is INTENTIONALLY DOING SOMETHING THAT IS WRONG OR IMMORAL. I don’t believe the council can prove that the act she purportedly did was either immoral or wrong. So what did she do? She reportedly spent money without the Council’s or the Town Manager’s approval. It is a bunch of bull excrement. How can it be wrong if the town manager had already approved funds for Miller’s projects herself. Who is in charge to the money anyway?
Why it is none other than our MBA brain Pam Tomlinson, the town bookkeeper and financial whiz, it is a joke folks. Pam couldn’t lead someone out of a wet paper bag. But Pam approved each and every expenditure Helen made. AND STACY APPROVED EACH AND EVERY EXPENDITURE HELEN MADE. The paperwork submitted to the town and by the town to prove their case says so.
How did Helen get a town credit card if the Financial Director, Pam, didn’t give it to her? No Pam or Stacy gave Helen the Credit Card. Who would think that when someone gave you a Credit Card that you weren’t supposed to use it for the benefit of the “giver”. That’s what Helen did. It was neither illegal or immoral.
Now let’s go to the Council’s role in all of this. The Town Council, in response to a minimum of five (5) CITIZEN COMPLAINTS, said that Helen had not done anything wrong in spending town money without Council approval. At least one of the Complaints claimed that Helen “STOLE” the money from the town treasury. Yet the Council, headed up by the Crooks Rhett and before him Helen herself, and said that no laws were broken. Now who is it that said Helen had broke no laws. Why it is our “braineacts” Willie and Tonja. How can something be wrong if the Council has already decided that it was not wrong in the first place? Boy, I hope Helen takes this to court.
The other violation that the town says Helen broke was the :
“Willfully violates any express prohibition of this Charter.”
I can’t find anywhere in the Charter where it says that a Council member can’t spend Town money for Town purposes or that the Council must approve those expenditures prior to them being made. Now we know it should be there but it is not. I believe the charter is silent on this subject. Here is the quote.
- Violations. Authorization of payment or incurring of an obligation in violation of this subsection, or any payment so made, is illegal. Such actions shall be good cause for removal of any official who knowingly authorized or made payment or incurred such an obligation, and that official shall be personally liable to the Town for any amount so paid.
This gets close to the statement but the Charter requires strict, literal reading of the Charter. No fudging allowed. But the braineacts of the Town Charter, Willie and Tonja, with their air of entitlement are “nashing” at the bit to get rid of Helen. Where is the law that makes it “illegal”? It is not there. And who authorized the payment? Why none other than Stacy and Pam. That’s who. It wasn’t Helen who took the credit card. It wasn’t Helen who instituted the “Beautiful Dreamer Award” or the Hope program.
In short Helen did wrong but the Council can’t prove it because they don’t know what is in the Charter or how literally it must be interpreted. The Charter is woefully inadequate to find Helen guilty. Maybe that is why the Council voted not to find any fault in her expending money without the Council’s approval. And, to the best of my memory, I included the above statement beginning with “Violations” in my Citizen’s complaint against the unlawful expenditure of funds but Willie and Tonja said it wasn’t illegal for Helen to expend those funds.
These are the laws and procedures. I don’t believe the town can prove its case in front of the Circuit Court Judge.
Again Helen is undoubtedly in error but the town can’t prove it because of the wording of the Charter. Shame on us, for trying to institute a procedure against a sitting Council member with no legal basis for doing so.