Misunderstand, Then Misspeak


In another embarrassing public display of ignorance, Mayor Jones turned an opportunity to promote our Juneteenth celebration into a campaign announcement and an attack on myself. Our thin skinned mayor assumes that every mention is an attack, to be responded to accordingly. But sometimes, a mention is just a mention, and in fact this particular mention had nothing to do with Jones personally.

In case you missed it, my public comment at this Tuesday’s council meeting included a remark about a previous comment, in which the speaker suggested that personal relationships such as church attendance ought to be considered in our conflict of interest ordinance. I stated that church attendance shouldn’t be considered, because wouldn’t be relevant if the mayor attends the same church as a developer.

I conclude by saying that I doubt such consideration by the city would even be legal. But Ella assumed that this was, in fact, a personal attack on her, and she took her attack to KMOX.

It’s bad enough when the mayor puts her foot in her mouth at a council meeting, when few are watching. To refute an allegation of corruption which was never made, during drive time on one of the largest stations in the region, amplifies the visibility of her lack of understanding a thousand times. And to use this public appearance as an opportunity to promote her reelection campaign, as she does in the closing minutes of the interview, is disgraceful. If you can stomach it, click to hear the entire interview on the KMOX website. Ultimately, the mayor’s inability to focus on anything but herself squandered yet another opportunity to help the people of our region gain a better view of our city.

Now that she has lost her majority on council, Mayor Jones believes that our city’s greatest challenge is that “we must all work together.” But the mayor has politicized every aspect of our city, turning food pantries and smoke alarms into props to boost her public image, and excluding those who do not support her from invitations to events which ought to include everyone. She is angry that the new majority has the audacity to vote against her, after two years of ignoring and overriding the very same people. In politics, as in life, what goes around comes around.

Yesterday, the morning after a council meeting which was surely a disappointment to Mayor Jones, she posted what might be interpreted as a thinly veiled threat on her Facebook. Later that day, an unidentified person came to the home of one of my tenants, and asked her a series of questions, including whether “I ever made her feel uncomfortable.” Lest you think this is something which occurs routinely, I will say that in sixteen years of being a landlord, this is the very first time. That it happened at a moment when the mayor is particularly agitated because of her complete failure to understand something I said in a public meeting might be a coincidence. Or it might not be. Enquiring minds want to know.