Our Wylie City Council seems to have formed a new mutual admiration society. On one hand this pleases me because I was horrified that the citizens of Wylie voted in a potential bruiser and I was concerned that he would be so completely polarizing to council. After his swearing in, Bubba Scott started off on the wrong foot and was immediately put in his place by Councilman David Goss when Goss called a Point of Order on Scott and made him rephrase one of his first statements Scott made as a Councilman. I have been concerned about Scott when he shouted at his opponent at the Candidate Forum. I figured we would merely get more of the same impatience and unprofessionalism once he was voted in. I mean, would Wylie were hosting the Summer Olympics, we might tout a new event called slap your biatch up. By now everyone who is anyone in Wylie knows Scott was arrested for striking his wife on the head and in the face and had to take anger management. Yet so far, Scott has been successful in keeping his temper in check despite having lost his job before he was elected, and despite the additional challenges posed by being on Council.
Conversely, I’m sickened by the mutual love fest because it means the conservatives on council seem to be embracing the sickeningly sticky liberals and perhaps their bizarro ideologies. It means they are one of mind and the recent 7/0 votes seem to indicate this strange metamorphosis.
Can this new love affair the 7 council members have with each other mean that the conservatives are content and of one mind with the liberals? I wonder. They couldn’t seem more at odds in the past than they did when it came to discussion on a Code of Conduct. Mayor Hogue played both sides of the fence, Councilwoman Culver, Councilman Goss, and Councilman Jones were all in support of a Code, and especially in light of the fact the City made employees sign a Code of Conduct in 2010 and the balance of Councilmembers were against the Code.
Sadly, this Code has been swept aside for one reason or another as our Council metamorphosed into some peculiar sort of Brady Bunch. There were excuses that the budget must be dealt with first. I heard that last year and this year. There were excuses that our lawyers were working on one for Frisco and we should ride on their coattails, but that didn’t happen. The thought has been tossed around by those who support a Code of Conduct that it should be put off permanently until the RINOs on Council were booted off, but with every passing day it appears the citizens are snookered by the RINOs and drive around in some psychedelic dream world called Wylie. It is inexcusable that these 7 decision makers in Wylie have forgotten any responsibility of accepting their own Code of Conduct and allowed everything to get in the way of it.
I suppose I can see their point. The two hard-assers, former Councilmen Carter Porter and Red Byboth who caused most of the ruckus requiring a Code of Conduct are now off council. It seems the Councilman who was arrested for beating up his wife is behaving. So why do we need a Code of Conduct then?
This is an important question. A Code of Conduct is needed because we do not ever want to be placed into a position again of allowing a Mayor to run amok and write official letters on City of Wylie letterhead asking for leniency in the sentencing phase of a convicted child sex offender. We don’t ever want a Boards and Commission member to verbally accost citizens who show an interest in meetings and come to speak. We don’t ever want Councilmembers to ignore citizens emails such as in the case that my budget email was never answered by Mayor Hogue, Councilman Bubba Scott, or Councilwoman Kathy Spillyards. Is it appropriate for our Mayor and Councilmembers not to respond to a citizen? Not on your life. Yet experience with Wylie’s leaders dictates this is standard practice with this Council. Indeed, a Code of Conduct is paramount with the utmost of professionalism in Wylie and frankly there is no acceptable reason not to have one.
Oh sure the excuses not to accept a Code of Conduct abound. Excuses have been made by Councilman Rick White and Councilwoman Kathy Spillyards that there is a City Charter that can be followed. If you pull that and study it, it is wholly insufficient with regard to conduct. Mayor Hogue and Councilman Rick White point to the State Ethics Commission as their policing entity but we know from past experience that any control over behavior from an entity so far removed is tenuous at best. Clearly, we had Councilmen such as Porter and Byboth respond to citizens in the past through email and phone in the most heinous, and snotty manner possible, even verbally slapping a Catholic Priest at a Wylie City Council meeting back in 2009. I don’t agree that this behavior is above reproach. I don’t agree that just because Porter and his best buddy Byboth are off Council, that the problem is somehow solved. The problem is far from over; the issue has purely been swept under the carpet.
If Wylie’s citizens had a means to an end that a Code of Conduct would represent, our Council would not get away with ignoring citizens and our council would not get away with casting difficult issues aside as Mayor Hogue did when I was verbally accosted by a Planning & Zoning Commission member and I took my complaint to him in 2010. Had I had a way to bring this to Council and the public and know that my story would be heard, rather than some fabricated story that was obviously spread by a group of City gossips, perhaps this blog might never have been started. In fact, had that woman who accosted me been removed from her seat, this blog would never have been started. Rather, an obstinate Council voted to reinstate that woman to her P&Z post. Just some food for thought about the poor behavior and its widespread acceptance by the Wylie City Council, and more importantly by our Mayor Eric Hogue.
I grow increasingly concerned that even if the Code of Conduct torch were picked up again by those who brought it forth earlier in the year, namely Councilwoman Culver and Councilman Jones, the Code would not pass a vote in this council even though they appear to be in some sick and twisted love fest at the moment.
Councilman White thinks he is above reproach and has said as much, and he is also afraid of it becoming some fictitious political tool to be used against him. Hells my blog is more of a political tool than that Code of Conduct would have been. Councilwoman Spillyards doesn’t want it because former Mayor Pro Tem Red Byboth told her she didn’t want one. Councilman Nathan Scott doesn’t want one, well, for obvious reasons, because the man was arrested for beating on his wife. Mayor Hogue put himself on the panel to work on it when it was brought forward because I suspect that he wanted to orchestrate its demise. In the end, after sitting through several meetings on the Code I never got the feeling he was serious about passing one. From the tone of his input, I got the overwhelming feeling he would make it so confusing and convoluted that nobody could possibly vote for it or worse yet, the lawyer would advise Council that it was unacceptable and the issue would drop. Should the Code of Conduct be brought up again and actually make it to vote, I would caution readers to take a keen interest in whether it passes or not. Clearly, Wylie Councilmembers who vote no for a Code of Conduct should be studied with a fine tooth comb.
There are no good reasons why the City of Wylie does not have a Code of Conduct other than the citizens of Wylie have been paid lip service with regard to one. I don’t know about you but I would feel a whole lot more comfortable knowing there is a Code in place when we have a person capable of physical acts of violence on council. I would feel a whole lot more comfortable knowing there is a Code in place when we have people on council who don’t bother responding to citizens. I would feel a whole lot more comforted knowing our Council has to hold themselves to standards similar to those they enforce upon the employees. It’s time this Council did something to help all of the citizens of Wylie rather than focus on their personal pet projects which benefit select members of society.