First, some stipulations;
-Drew Nelson, under the influence of alcohol, and severe emotional distress, did some things that he, absolutely, should not have done.
-No one who is calling for his firing knows exactly what caused the events, or what exactly transpired.
-I expect to draw condemnation for this letter.
-Everyone needs redemption, for something, sooner or later.
I support Mayor Wood, and the city council, in the hiring and retention of Drew Nelson. The behavior of those who spoke at Tuesday night’s city council meeting was nothing short of shameful. At this point they are, themselves, abusing Drew Nelson’s family, raising the very real possibility that his children may be subjected to harassment from schoolmates. One speaker went so far as to allege that her children would not be safe at school if the Nelson family bought a house across the street from it. People, we are better than this!
Perhaps the most disturbing element here is the involvement of those with a political agenda. Salida had a high functioning administrative staff until the previous mayor and council ran off the City Administrator, (a woman), ran off the City Finance Director, (a woman), and created such chaos in city offices that the Planning Director, and the Deputy City Clerk left. The mess that was left in the Finance Department is well known. Mayor Wood, and this council, is still struggling to stabilize the city’s administrative staff. One of the speakers who were calling for the firing of Drew Nelson is a partner in the law firm that represented Salida under the previous council. Would she be happy to overthrow this mayor and council, and get a chance to renew the firm’s lucrative dealings with the city?
Mayor Wood, and members of council, had extensive conversations with officials in Winter Park, and even reviewed notes from Drew Nelson’s therapist. We elected these folks, by a huge margin, to conduct the city’s business. They made their decision to hire him based on their good judgment. We should trust that. Drew Nelson knows that he is on probation, probably for the rest of his life. We can offer him a chance for redemption, and welcome him and his family into our community, or we can tell them to pack up and get out of town. I know that this is a charged issue, and most folks are unwilling to put themselves on the record about it. I urge those of you who support Mayor Wood, and the council, to email, or call, and tell them that you support them.