While I think that is a boneheaded move, what really bothers me is the utter failure of some council members to properly represent and serve the community. Last night's (in)action reveals and utter lack of personal responsibility or transparency in some members' representation of the citizens of West Bend.
First, Alderman Richard Lindbeck abstained from the reconsideration, citing "being out of town the last month" and for "personal reasons." WTF? If he was out of town the whole month, what is he doing sitting on the Common Council in the first place? Did he abstain from every vote taken last night? Nope. Just this one. What does being out of town have to do with anything? Does he not have e-mail? Can he not read news online? This makes no sense.
And what are these "personal reasons" that would suddenly compel someone to not confirm/rescind a vote that he felt perfectly fine casting a month ago? Citizens in his district should demand an explanation for his silence (no matter which way he would have voted).
Second, Alderman Michael Schlofeldt changed his vote from originally supporting the reappointment of the board members, to voting against the rescind consideration. His reason? Well, apparently this alderman doesn't think his votes need to be publicly discussed: "Schlofeldt offered no public comment to the audience members for changing his mind, except to say that he phoned Dobberstein with his decision and didn’t want to discuss the conversation publicly."
The citizens of West Bend deserve better than to have Council Members first cite "ideology" for removing library board members, and then make sophomoric excuses and end-arounds to avoid going on record with their thoughts & decisions on this matter.
The city's Code of Ethics states (1.66):
Public officials and employees are agents of public purpose and hold office for the benefit of the public. They are bound to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State and carry out impartially the laws of the nation, State and the City and to observe in their official acts the highest standards of morality and to discharge faithfully the duties of their office regardless of personal considerations, recognizing that the public interest must be their prime concern. Their conduct in both their official and private affairs should be above reproach so as to foster respect for all government.Regardless of what you think of last night's outcome, the Common Council failed in this responsibility to the community.