First Amendment rights don't cover public shaming
I would just like to reply to citizen Steve Johnson's recent opinion articles.
Steve mentioned many things he was knowledgeable about. Like secret deals, which he has made more than anyone in Gladstone City Council history. What about the rules, which everyone has seen from previous pictures, he refuses to follow!
How about his insistence that all city business run through the city administrator, and the council was to have no direct contact with staff. Did he forget this when he aggressively suggested to a department head to fire an employee? How about his daily private meetings with then-City Administrator Eric Swanson? Was all of the information discussed during these meetings shared with the rest of council, as is required? No. When he removed documents, suspiciously, from City Hall on numerous occasions (some even after the recall votes were in), was this done in a transparent and legal manner? No.
Other citizens are required to pay for any documents requested, however, with Eric Swanson's blessing, he was allowed to have staff research and pull numerous documents to support his agenda's without being charged a dime. Were these document requests run through the City Council, and did they receive copies as required? No.
Let's talk about the lies and exaggerations he and his close group of supporters (Libby Wentz and Les Poole) are publishing. During a recent meeting they held at Stanley's Corner, I confronted them about the lies and their response was, "I don't have to prove anything; I can say whatever I want; it's my First Amendment right." How is this helping our city move forward?
In previous statements, Steve Johnson has said he is all about saving the city money. I don't see the connection when he is the one behind the library fiasco, the sewer plant nightmare and the exorbitant staff time spent on his pet projects. How is this saving us money? In fact, it has probably cost us over $100,000 in legal fees. That doesn't even account for the lost trust and relationships the city is having to deal with now. For citizen Johnson to mention his concern about ethics is a slap in the face, considering all of the rules he has broken. I'm sure what we know is only the tip of the iceberg.
So, a question for Steve: Why did Eric leave so soon after you and Kim were recalled? It's quite obvious to everyone you were up to something. Steve thought he was above being accountable to the citizens, feeling the rules don't apply to him, which is why he is gone and still can't figure it out.
According to the newest article in the Clackamas Review, Steve is even now second-guessing his votes while he was on council. Steve lost his mayoral bid, lost the recall, then wasn't considered when he applied for his recalled position. What is it going to take for him to realize the town is on to his unethical, untruthful and game-playing ways? He is still now trying to be heard by spreading rumors in the newspaper, but clearly doesn't comprehend the people of Gladstone have spoken and are done with him.
Steve told me personally that he and Libby were not done yet, and again stated they could say whatever they wanted because of the First Amendment. Steve also mentioned that all he needs are the votes, and he will handle the rest. The public doesn't know as much as him, and after they vote they need to stay out of it.
Steve, please move on to something you may better at, which does not include local politics. It would be sad to see you standing on the corner of 82nd Avenue and Oatfield Road again waiving your campaign signs. What do I have to gain by any of this? We put it to a vote, Steve, and you lost. That was all of the validation I needed. But you still won't be quiet! They say this is an opinion piece, but mine, unlike citizen Johnson, are based on fact. You have been officially voted off the island, please extinguish your torch and leave.
That is why the best part of his opinion pieces are at the end, where it says "former City Councilor Steve Johnson."
Greg Alexander is a Gladstone citizen.