It has been eight and a half years since Mayor Merkel was elected as a councilmember. It is time to deny her the council majority for the following reasons:
Right from the very first meeting, she demonstrated an urgency for not looking into the details, and not only not asking questions, but stopping others, me in particular, from asking questions. (Former Mayor Steve DeBenedittis’ ears still ring with her admonitions, “stop him from asking questions!”)
In the very first council meeting of her first term as Mayor in 2012 term she changed the format of the minutes of council meetings to make them almost meaningless. Think about that – in the very first meeting. She had a plan coming in.
In 2013, after meeting some developers, she began to change the Downtown Master Plan to allow substantially higher densities of development and much taller buildings (see 4 articles on “Herndon’s fight for a Small Town Feel,” on HerndonOpinion.com). By June 2014, she had completely negated the people’s consensus for development.
The 2014-2016 term was defined by even bolder actions to limit transparency. In meeting after meeting, over strong objections from me, councilmembers were denied access to background documents before and after the meetings and forced to depend on the staff’s often very biased and/or limited presentations. It is worth noting that none of the documents related to purchase and sale of the Ashwell property, including the appraisals, proposals submitted by Comstock Partners and consultants’ reports or opinions have been made public.
None of the councilmembers including Jennifer Baker, Grace Wolf Cunningham, and Bill McKenna ever raised even a whisper of objection to this monumental giveaway. Instead, they dutifully aided and abetted Ms. Merkel’s “Do-not-ask-questions” rule and enabled her to demean those who disagreed or asked questions.
I urge all voters, Republicans and Democrats, to vote for the following candidates on Nov. 6, 2018, because they have the capacity to be independent:
Roland Taylor, Sean Kennis, Pradip Dhakal, Cesar Del Aguila and Signe Friedrichs.
Councilmember 2010-2012 and 2014-2016