Troutdale resident John Wilson gave me permission to share the public comment he gave at the February 28, 2017 Troutdale city council meeting:
"I would like to talk about cronyism. For those who do not know what this means, I will give you the definition:
Cronyism is the practice of partiality in awarding jobs and other advantages to friends or trusted colleagues, especially in politics and between politicians and supportive organizations. For instance, this includes appointing "cronies" to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications.
Mayor and the council, you may be wondering why I would like to talk about this. The reason is what took place at the Committee Interview and selection meeting a few weeks back.
First, let me say I am not hurt, upset or angry that I was not selected, and if Glenn White and Zach Hudson want to keep the Citizens Advisory Committee from having a knowledgeable member on that committee, it was their call.
I attended the entire meeting and I am here tonight for the other citizens of Troutdale that gave up their evening in hopes they could give back to the community. I had told Rob Canfield who was also there, that after Corey Brooks interviewed he would be selected for the Budget and Planning Committee, no matter who else interviewed.
There were many better qualified candidates to be on the budget committee, more qualified than all of the City Council and myself. You have one candidate who had a Masters degree and works for the county preparing budgets. They have done this for many years. Glenn (city councilor Glenn White) is on record as saying he thought there may be a conflict since he did budgets for the county. Glenn, you have had the applications since January, you had plenty of time to check, you didn’t because you already knew who was going in this seat. This was a very empty gesture on your part.
Almost everyone that applied for the Budget committee had a bachelors degree and worked in accounting. Glenn do you remember last year when you were insistent that the person selected should have a degree in accounting? You are on the record as saying this. What happened to the same philosophy this year? (City councilors) Glenn, Rich, Zach and David you could hear crickets around the room when Tanney announced Corey as his selection for the voting seat and alternate.
The best qualified are supposed to be picked, but instead the friend of Glenn, Rich, Zach, David and got picked. This person campaigned with Zach, Rich and Glenn and was supported by Tanney. For qualifications, the other candidates had college degrees and experience with budgets and planning. The only qualification Corey Brooks could offer was his association with (city councilors) Glenn, Rich, Zach, and David.
The people who came in applying for the Planning Commission had college degrees. One had a Masters degree in planning and land use laws. Did he get picked? No. The same person that was picked for the budget committee was also picked for the planning commission-- Corey Brooks.
I do believe that Corey Brooks is a good husband, Father, honest and a good member of the community but he did not rise above the others, others raised well above him.
My belief is that he was picked for the budget committee and planning commission so he will have some city experience under his belt in two years to run for office. Because he is friends of Glenn, Rich, Zach and Tanney, all the other applicants had no chance of being selected .
In other words--- cronyism.
Mayor, I believe that as long as these three councilors and the chair of the budget and planning commission are around, the application to be on one of the committees should include “ Unless you are friends with Councilors Glenn White, Rich Allen, Zach Hudson or Committee Chair Tanney Staffensen ,don’t apply for the Budget Committee, Planning Commission or Citizen’s Advisory Committee because cronyism is key to getting on them”.
Mayor, I believe that a committee person should only be chair of one committee and should only be chair once in their 2 , 3 or 4 year tenure. I believe that I have proved my point tonight with what has taken place in the Budget and Planning Committees by the current chair and certain members of the City Council. I would like you to look into this and hopefully make it happen.
While the council and the selection committee are free to choose whomever they want, certain council members have demonstrated that they have no ethics when it comes to selecting the right people for certain committees. I do believe that the middle schools teach ethics, and would suggest that these city councilors go back to middle school and take those ethics classes.
I do not hold you Mayor Ryan or Councilor Lauer responsible for this, as this is the first rodeo of this type you have been at. I also do not hold Councilor Morgan responsible as he was not at this meeting.
I do hold Councilors Glenn White, Rich Allen, Zach Hudson, David Rimpa as well as Tanney Staffenson, the Chair for the Budget Committee and Planning Commission responsible for the cronyism that took place at this meeting."