Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mayor takes on council over volunteer ordinance

Mayor Mark Funkhouser is expected in a few moments to take a few swipes at his own City Council for passing an ordinance that could remove the Mayor's wife from his office.

This morning, the council unanimously passed an ordinance that will require all city volunteers to partake in some form of training and would also keep family members from volunteering within the same department as other family members.

Since the beginning of his term, Funkhouser has had his wife Gloria Squitaro working in his office as a volunteer. In recent months she has drawn fire from critics — and even some former supporters — after employees began to complain.

Funkhouser today issued a statement saying:

Mayor Funkhouser feels the process has been dishonest, rushed and opaque as exhibited by the following events from today’s meeting:

The process in which public testimony is allowed requires those who testify to sign up and be present. Two weeks ago, at the first public hearing, names of influential individuals were put on the top of the list by Councilwoman Marcason to testify on behalf of the ordinance.

“These actions violate the very spirit in which we allow our citizens to voice their concerns and is an insult to all who come to honestly be a part of the democratic process. We need to hold our elected officials accountable,” said Mayor Funkhouser.

When the ordinance was first introduced, Funkhouser said he planned to ignore it.