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City leaders must be held accountable for their actions

The Mayor was asked why he didn't honor his promise of a public hearing to allow the citizens of West Fargo input into the [Mike] Reitan suspension. He claimed he didn't remember saying that. Not only did he say it but he said it on more than one occasion — after the suspension and at the Commission meeting on Jan 16. If his memory is that bad maybe he shouldn't be in office.

During the meeting the city administrator boldly and arrogantly stated that the chief was suspended for talking to a business about an ordinance without her consent. Then she proceeded to tell us that when the assistant chief came to her about low morale, she decided that the chief would not be told about any complaints.

I give credit to Commissioner [Mark] Simmons for mentioning an independent third party investigation, he seemed to be the only one with a working brain. They were all okay with an internal investigation done by the human resources director. Interviews by a person answerable to the person instigating the termination and that person sitting in on the interviews are at best tainted and a conflict of interest.

An independent third party investigation should be mandatory before a suspension or termination is instigated. This should be standard protocol —to protect all parties concerned. Do we need this on an election ballot to make it mandatory or can we trust the commissioners to do what is best for the city of their own volition?

Sworn statements are made under oath. This oath must be administered by an officer of the court. Who swore them in?

Did I mention that the agenda has to be set by noon on the Thursday before the meeting? This matter was added to the agenda after 4 p.m. on Friday. This is not acceptable by state law, so therefore it was illegal. At the time the agenda was sent out the Reitan case was listed as a public hearing but by the time the meeting started the city attorney had declared it a meeting only, with no public input allowed, imagine that, what a shock.

Can anybody explain why the city decided to crucify and humiliate a good person? According to North Dakota laws and West Fargo rules, a person can be terminated at any time without cause. Why the big production? Publicity? The only thing you accomplished is to prove to the Citizens of West Fargo what petty, mean spirited leadership we have. Oh, and that they lack integrity.

Thank you to Kerstin Kealy for her comment of the 10 p.m. news about the public not getting to decide. It reminded me that the commissioners and mayor are elected officials and as such are answerable to the citizens, so in essence the public does get to decide. If they fail to do what is best for the city they are subject to recall.

Ann Thorsteinson

West Fargo