Residents Criticize Wood River City Councilmen
WOOD RIVER - During a heated Public Comment portion of the last Wood River City Council meeting, residents heavily criticized three councilmen - Jeremy Plank and newly-elected David Ayres and Bill Dettmers - for their behavior and obstruction of Mayor Tom Stalcup’s appointments at the last meeting. Pastor Dave Landry, who ran for City Council last election, referred to the councilmen as “The Angry Three.”
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“It’s time to stand up to these bully tactics of Jeremy, Dave, and Bill, and take our city back from outsiders who never grew up in Wood River and have no interest in Wood River’s success,” Landry said. “I’m not scared of bullies. I’m not scared of your money, I’m not scared of your tactics, I’m not scared of the anger that you stir up.
“‘The Angry Three’ have no clue and haven’t even asked what great things are being developed in Wood River - only their own personal agenda … maybe we need to put up some signs and make them say, ‘Stop the reckless Angry Three on City Council from destroying Wood River.’
“Guess what? In spite of your angry rhetoric, the city with Jason Woody as the Parks director has completed all the repairs to the Round House … projects on the books are going to be completed - sewer/water separation, sidewalks and street repairs, detention and retention ponds, restoring downtown, bringing in new business - and it could all stop because of these Angry Three scaring off developers.”
He ended his comment by urging the public to “say no” to the Angry Three and their tactics, and said they’re “going to cause countless lawsuits, and it’s ridiculous.”
Kristen Burns, a marketing consultant for the city who also ran for City Council last election, criticized their obstruction of the mayor’s requested appointments to various boards and committees around the city. She also called the attacks against her last election “disgusting.”
“The vote last meeting was an insult to every volunteer on the boards and committees,” she said. “Many of these volunteers have lived here their entire lives and have dedicated countless hours to volunteering. Some are employees that show what integrity looks like … I hope that in this meeting tonight, you will approve these amazing individuals that volunteer their talents, time, and love for Wood River.
“Even now, members of this council have questioned my morals, my integrity, and my character. The work I do for my community is because I care, because I want a great place for my kids. I was taught to use my talents for good - to volunteer, to speak up for the little people, and to get my hands dirty to make things better.
“If you thought that after losing this election, I would disappear, you don’t know who I am. I will continue to speak up for everyone that supported me. I will continue to volunteer my time to better my Wood River, and I will push back on the bully behavior that you are exhibiting. I’m disgusted, I’m hurt, and I hope that you will represent all of the citizens - not just the six hundred and eighty-something that voted for you.”
Sonya Hagaman, a former City Council member who stepped down at the last meeting, urged the three councilmen to put their “egos away” and accused them of “manufactured outrage.”
“I guess when you run campaigns based on manufactured outrage and half-truths, you have to follow through - but the bottom line is you guys are sitting up here now, and it’s time to put your egos away and it’s time to start thinking about this city. I understand you need to ask questions, I get that … but these guys are available throughout the day to call and ask questions to,” she said, gesturing to the other councilmen. “These [meetings] are to conduct business. This isn’t a Show-and-Tell.
“I hope the three of you can sit up there and take this seriously and stop manufacturing the outrage. Start giving full truths, because that’s the thing about truth - it will come out.”
A full recording of the May 15 meeting is available at the top of this story, or on RiverBender.com/video or the RiverBender.com Facebook page.
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