To say we have a few things going on in the background is a bit of an understatement as we have some major technology upgrades in progress to go with everything else thus we have several irons in the proverbial fire. I mention this because I left last week’s City Council meeting with the impression the Administration and Council would be working on a more cooperative level but that appears to be an illusion.
To set things up at 4:30 last Tuesday there was a Council workshop to discuss the audit and the capital improvements proposed to be funded by the upcoming bond issue. During the audit portion of the workshop City Clerk Clark disclosed to the City Council that the DoJ folks were done looking at the Equitable Sharing Funds, of which close to $300,000 looks to have been misspent by the Fillingame Administration on things like fancy street lights for Ward 2. Clark revealed that DoJ was requiring a forensic audit of the program before any further Equitable Sharing funds can be expended by the City and that everything he was telling the council was contained in an email that he received from the City’s contact at Department of Justice. The Council asked to see the correspondence and Clark indicated that would not be a problem.
The problem of course is that here we are a week later and sources on the Bay City Council indicate to Slabbed New Media that despite repeated requests to Mr. Clark for the requested information, he has not sent the DoJ email to the City Council, likely because Mayor Fillingame told him not to share the email being my guess.
I hate to be cynical but I’ve mentioned a time or two that Hizzoner would suck Clark in and turn him into David Kolf lite and that is exactly what has happened. Mr. Clark gave the council his word last week that he would do certain things and well, he evidently is not a man of his word. Covering for a man trying to sweep $300,000 of misspending under the rug is not a winning strategy IMHO but it appears that Mr. Clark will have to learn that lesson the hard way.
In other news there is a very worthy public debate going on right now as it regards civil asset forfeitures, a topic I have a bit of first hand experience. The practice of arresting money has gotten out of hand IMHO: