Grantville mayor responds

I apologize to Grantville citizens for the embarrassment caused to you and our city by the callous and irresponsible behavior of members of our City Council. The malevolent comments of Councilman Riley are egregious, incendiary, and frequently void of truth. His attacks on me personally are expected, but his insults regarding hardworking civil servants are unfounded and mean.

Let me begin by addressing the false claims and innuendos made by the councilman. Regarding the suggestion that I concealed the reason for suspending the recreation supervisor, this is absolutely not true. I contacted the city attorney and appropriate persons about the suspension. Our policy is to use discretion on personnel issues, but I have made myself available to all council members.

Councilman Riley should know "closed session" is always on my agenda, and had the council asked, they could have received accurate information and dispelled the gossip he reported to the paper. Councilman Riley claims the city has a deficit. The city does not have a deficit. Councilman Riley intimates that there is illegal conduct by city employees requiring a forensic audit. There is absolutely no reason to suspect any of our civil servants of unethical and or illegal handling of city funds.

As a councilman, Mr. Riley knows where every dollar comes from and goes. All four council members voted to remove our last city manager. The city charter authorizes the mayor to assume the responsibilities of the city manager until the position is filled. I am pleased to fulfill my responsibilities but it is not my desire to be city manager. I do both jobs for the mayor’s salary of $300 a month, saving the taxpayer $6,000 a month, $24,000 so far. I suspended the recreation manager without pay for failing to carry out her duties. It was done pursuant to the city charter, and after counsel with our city attorney. I have not withheld the information from the council. The only request for information has been the newspaper. Council members can visit me, call me, or email me for information or to make additions to the agenda. I have received nothing.

Regarding the collection of the vehicle from the recreation supervisor – first, it was a courtesy, not a right. This car, taken from the police department, was not a condition of her employment. When our police department was unable to make patrols due to a shortage of cars, I returned this car to them.

Councilman Riley has already created one lawsuit against the city by interfering with day-to-day operations. It is a violation of our city charter for council members to interfere with day-to-day operations. This unfounded, and inaccurate information he gave to the newspaper is the fruit of gossip, not facts, and is further evidence of why he should not interfere with day-to-day operations.

Councilmen Riley, it appears, has a personal interest in promoting the recreation supervisor to assistant city manager. I take issue with his use of taxpayer money to promote his personal agenda. The council members should be investing time and energy to hire a city manager instead of playing petty politics. The interests of Grantville citizens must always come before petty personal politics.

Being mayor is not about personal friendships and favors, it’s about being accountable to citizens and doing what’s best for the city and its residents. I am willing to make unpopular decisions to give citizens what they deserve. I am committed to accountable, effective and transparent public service. Grantville is a great place to live and it’s my vision to work with others and make it even better.

Sincerely,

Jim Sells

Mayor of Grantville



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