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Patrick Smith: Tammy Stempel refuses to accept city-attorney opinion regarding Matt Tracy

The flames of dysfunction have been fanned again in Gladstone.

At a recent meeting Councilor Greg Alexander had a heated exchange with the city attorney demanding that Councilor Matt Tracy be removed from office. Alexander's request came from Tracy leaving a previous meeting, in a huff, saying that he would be resigning. The city attorney responded forcefully, more than once, that Alexander's demand had no legal basis. At the end of the rancorous meeting featuring Alexander's demands, the council, including the mayor, agreed 7-0 to a facilitated meeting to regain some sense of functionality.

At the beginning of the process, in a memo to Gladstone City Administrator Jacque Betz, facilitator LB Day stated "after my interview with Mayor Stempel there appears to be no reason for me to participate in helping the council work more effectively." Mr. Day goes on to say that "Mayor Stempel has made it clear she will not rest until the city charter as she interprets it is enforced."

Mayor Stempel refuses to accept the city attorney's legal opinion regarding Tracy's situation. A common phrase used to denote an institution failing due to leadership is "a fish rots from the head down." That seems to be the case in Gladstone.

Mayor Stempel, as the council's leader and chief antagonist, bears responsibility for this mess.

Patrick Smith


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