Dear Dennis Waldron,
It’s not about where you shop. It’s not about who you dine with. It’s not about where you buy water. It’s not about ‘the paparazzi.’ It’s not about having a city phone v. a personal phone.
It’s about using city resources for personal gain. It’s about talking about confidential employee information to friends and in public. It’s about making fun of citizens in a derogatory manner, again in public. And yes, it’s about human trafficking.
We are going to break it down and try to explain how accountability really works for elected officials. You see, it has nothing to do with whether people never supported you or not. Every single elected official throughout history has people that don’t like them. Every single one of them. Otherwise the votes would be, for example, 5000 to 0.
Mayor, your actions are not excusable because people allegedly set you up as you claim in The Daily News Journal. If you didn’t make calls to escort services there would be nothing to “set you up” for. If you didn’t take the city truck out of the way to buy water at Aldis, but took your own personal vehicle, no one would care.
But you are taking advantage of city resources – paid for by our tax dollars – for your personal use.
You have said there’s a record of people trying to discredit you. We maintain that you have discredited yourself. That was YOUR voice on those recordings talking trash about employees. How is that protecting them as you claim you will now do? How could an employee ever trust you?
You are going on the offensive, you say, to protect yourself. Sir, people do watch you. “Citizens must be able to monitor their government, expose potential conflicts of interest and hold public officials accountable,” according to the Better Government Association (BGA). It is our CIVIC DUTY to hold you accountable. And you have gravely disappointed us since the first month after you were sworn in when the NUMEROUS calls were made from YOUR phone to escort services.
Let’s talk about human trafficking. Human trafficking can come in all forms, but the one we are concerned about regarding you – the mayor – is sex trafficking. Of course there’s the argument about consenting adults. Whatever you want to do with another consenting adult is your business, but it becomes our business when you use city resources to do it and it becomes our business when it is done on our time. You said yourself that you are on duty every day of the week, 24 hours a day. You sir, have embarrassed the city by your own actions. You are angry because you were caught.
The other concern about sex trafficking is you do not know the age of the person who has answered on the other end of the line of the call you made. How do you know it’s not a 14 year old girl? And when you see on the news that escort services are being raided, how do you not understand this is illegal? It. Is. Illegal. And yes, YOU are calling them! You are calling them on the city cell phone. What YOU DID IS WRONG. What YOU did. Not people stalking you. YOU.
To our citizens, we say: There is a volunteer citizen watchdog group called the Better Government Association. We encourage you to visit their page and watch their video, a free training program that empowers citizens to examine government and demand the changes they want to see offered.
To Mayor Waldron, if you are truly going to take responsibility for calling escort services on the city issued phone, as you say you are, do the right thing and step down. If you truly love your city, do the right thing and remove yourself from embarrassing us further.
The Editorial Team
"A Letter to the Mayor on Lessons in Accountability",