I encourage City Councilman Dan Shore to consider his own words when working through how to fire City Administrator Drew Nelson. In an article from the Mountain Mail, dated September 22, 2017 Shore assured us, “I think I can help the council find common ground.” If that were true, he would listen to the words of fellow council members when they stated in the October 16, 2018 city council meeting (now viewed 1,207 times on YouTube): “During this process, up until the final decision, Mr. Nelson never had my vote.” (Critelli); “This was personally not my first choice. This was not a decision that I supported.” (Brown-Kovacic); “Mr. Nelson was not my choice.” (Bowers).
I mention 1207 views on YouTube because of all city council meeting videos over the last two years, this meeting was by far the most viewed council meeting. Most meetings on average are between 30-50 views. When gauging what is important to citizens of Salida (if judged solely on YouTube views) the hiring of Drew Nelson is what we want to talk about.
This isn’t a question of public engagement – this is a question of power – and who holds it. The citizens and council members who oppose the hiring of Mr. Nelson are being told they are powerless in this process. We are told this by the disregard of council to engage in public question & answer meetings, the delay of the timeliness of meaningful dialogue and the denial of citizen and council member’s concerns. There’s an imbalance of power occurring within city council that is spilling out into the community. All council member viewpoints should be heard, welcomed and equitable.
Councilman Shore would do well to use his human resource experience to uplift the concerns of fellow council members to find common ground on an issue of which he stands on the wrong side.