While attending Gladstone High School's homecoming football game — which should have been only about the game, the students and school — we had Matt Tracy, City Councilor Tom Mersereau, Councilor Linda Neace, recalled Councilor Steve Johnson and Natalie Smith waving their campaign signs around and restricting the flow of people going there to enjoy the game. This on top of taking a dozen or so parking spots at the entrance to display more signs. The senior citizens and disabled, there to actually watch the game, could have utilized these spaces! Did they even think about this? None of the offenders waving their signs even bothered to buy a ticket and come in to watch our football team for their homecoming win. Our local hometown champions were only a ploy to further their own political ambitions.
The core of this nefarious group feels that an "anonymous" website promoting misinformation and outright lies is the only way they can win an election. Their accomplishments and merits apparently aren't enough to gain the people's vote in confidence and win the power they desperately crave. They must resort to a smear campaign, which sounds like the Steve Johnson playbook: Try to win an election by destroying the community. Does this group even think about what these outrageous attacks do to the families of their victims? Ask yourself why do they go to such extremes to grab power via a position that is unpaid and thankless? Serving your community isn't an excuse for hidden agendas. Treating your neighbors in such a vicious, evil manner cannot be tolerated.
Steve Johnson, who was Matt Tracy's first signature on Matt's petition to become a candidate, makes me wonder who is working for whom? Will Matt get a bonus from Metro if he keeps his seat on the council? How better to further their agenda of turning Gladstone into a little Portland! Matt is only there because this power group of three councilors manipulated and conspired to appoint him over the citizen-advisory group's recommendation of 5-1 for Frank Hernandez. Frank, being a longtime resident, not a recent transplant from Portland! These councilors broke the law by having the private meetings it took to get their man in, then voted to not investigate their own crimes
May the community beware that if Tom Mersereau wins the mayor seat, this group will have the power to fill the vacancy without any citizen involvement. Tom campaigned to have Steve Johnson appointed back into one of the recalled positions and was the first signature on Steve Johnson's petition to run this time around. Every person in this core group signed that sheet! Guess who would be sitting in Position 6? Recalled Councilor Steve Johnson! So much for democracy and the voice of the people.
Tom's statement in the Voters' Pamphlet sure sounds good, all about transparency, teamwork and fiscal accountability. But the truth is Tom's short stint as the appointed mayor resulted in a record number of executive sessions, almost daily closed-door meetings with recalled councilors Kim Sieckmann, Steve Johnson and previous city administrator Eric Swanson, all without involving other council members and keeping them updated on what their discussions were about. During his time as appointed mayor, the city's attorney bills skyrocketed because of lawsuits, bad decisions and questionable practices. What's additionally disturbing is the fact that Tom and his power group have refused to allow a sitting councilor to even see the attorney bills they racked up. Doesn't that sound a little scandalous?
If he is all about teamwork, then why censure a fellow "team" member simply because he wanted to know the truth? The same Tom that offered a female interim city administrator tens of thousands less than what he offered a man for the same position! Tom does nothing for the city beyond sitting up there on the dais, and doesn't feel he should listen to or be accountable to the citizens of our city.
Once again, I have nothing to gain by putting my well-informed opinion out there except to better the city I have lived in for so long.
Gladstone resident Greg Alexander supports Tammy Stempel for mayor, Frank Hernandez for Council Position 3 and Bill Osburn for Council Position 5.