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  • Last modified 55 days ago (Aug. 4, 2021)

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Closing the book
on Facebook lies

If treated for what it is, Facebook clearly would overflow the lagoons south of Marion. Comments presented as facts so often are wrong that we rarely respond to postings. A recent one was so insipid, however, that it deserves a reply.

Marion’s shadow mayor — the actual mayor’s wife — last week accused a city council member of wasting the city attorney’s time and taxpayers’ money by questioning residency requirements for city officers.

On the contrary, the council member is to be commended for discovering what was a serious mistake — made by the very same city attorney back in 2015 — in drafting Charter Ordinance 17.

The attorney failed to notice that the ordinance repealed a previous one, which had exempted the city from state mandates that key officers be residents, but failed to reinstate that exemption.

It’s complicated, but it’s the type of thing we pay attorneys to notice. And in this case, the city attorney didn’t. If she now plans to charge the city for time spent to correct her original mistake, the villain in all of this will be her, not the council member who noticed it.

The shadow mayor’s posting went on to include other factual errors, pointing out that the city’s director of recreation and parks (neither of which she continues to handle), tourism, and zoning administration also lives outside the city limits and presumably would be impacted.

That’s simply not true. The state mandate applies only to specific officers. She is not among them.

Likewise, public concern about residency rules never was focused on the city treasurer, whose situation (as we pointed out last week) easily could have been resolved with a slight change of title and no change in salary or duties.

Misinformation campaigns appear to be a specialty of some in the inner circle of Marion politics. Obscuring truth with baseless allegations, half-truths, and politically expedient “spin” draws citizens’ attention away from actual issues and puts the spotlight on sham concerns, like the fate of the city treasurer.

Shame on those with so little respect for the intelligence of their neighbors and fellow citizens that they attempt to blame others for problems they themselves have invented.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified Aug. 4, 2021

 

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