Meier is Bringing Kanter Back
The Council is STILL CONCEALING Lea Dunn’s Memo
By Susan M. Halpern
Former Addison Councilmember (1992-1999)
Meier is desperate to maintain the control he has enjoyed over the council for the past two years, so he is pulling out all the stops. He fears the election of truly independent candidates. The three incumbents he supports have been obedient, working with Meier to lock down information that is available to the public. This Council has declared war on the Open Records Act. And that is critically important because for Meier to succeed, he must have free reign to mislead the public. That makes folks like me “enemies,” or as Meier and his group call us, “haters.”
My word, but this has to change!
Two months ago, Meier began his assault on the election, and he has relentlessly used Addison’s resources and public meetings to conduct a campaign for the incumbents, all on our tax dollars. It started with the recycling of accountant Larry Kanter’s two-year-old presentation. Kanter, who was hired without Meier and his cadre seeking bids from anyone else, likewise demonstrated his loyalty to Meier, gleefully trashing prior management and staff.
My efforts to obtain the other side of the story – the TRUTH – have been blocked by Meier and his cadre. Addison initially withheld all documents, submitting the matter to the Attorney General on unquestionably frivolous grounds. That included asserting the “audit” privilege despite the fact that Kanter’s engagement letter stated on its face that his work was NOT an audit. Addison then withdrew two claims, but continues to withhold the key documents, including Lea Dunn’s 19 page response to Kanter allegations, claiming the attorney-client privilege. I’ve been a lawyer for 33 years, and I can’t fathom a set of circumstances that would make that document privileged.
Meier can pull this stunt because he controls the Council, including the three incumbent candidates who claim “independence,” but vote with Meier at almost every turn. They control this process. They have the ability to cause this frivolous position to be withdrawn. But they won’t. It is my belief that Lea Dunn’s memo and other similar documents will expose THE TRUTH about Kanter’s misleading, inappropriate, recycled presentation. And these folks can’t afford for THE TRUTH to come out.
That’s right: MEIER AND HIS CADRE ARE HIDING THE TRUTH FROM THE VOTERS in an inappropriate and dishonest effort to influence this election.
It gets worse. Meier is actually telling people – including me – that he favors releasing Lea Dunn’s memo. He claims he has tried to “expedite the process.” It’s absolutely hogwash. The suggestion that Meier and this Council aren’t in control of the process is a flat out lie. Are you kidding me? What, Ken Paxton is telling Addison to hide the truth from its citizens? It’s absolutely untrue. Meier owns this Council, and together they could withdraw their submission and produce the documents immediately. They won’t. At least not until they try to influence the election with their one-sided, misleading stories. What a disgrace and a disservice to Addison.
So, predictably, Meier is now bringing Kanter back on Tuesday. After all, voting starts Monday and Meier is going to continue running his campaign of misinformation on my taxpayer dollar. So when he does, ask yourself: is this how someone truly trying to improve Addison would act? Even if Addison’s processes needed tightening, was it necessary to attack and disparage prior management to do so?
And how can any of it be taken seriously when they are attacking people who are no longer around to respond and refute what is being said. And, when all that they DID say to refute this nonsense is being actively and intentionally CONCEALED from the public.
Here’s the other thing: What message do Kanter’s attacks send to current employees? It seems pretty clear that if you dare to disagree with Meier or Kanter, you will be publicly disparaged. Who would continue to work here? The list of employees who have left is lengthy. We have lost thousands of hours of experience as employees have fled the hostile, toxic atmosphere these people have created. Consider the remarks of one retiring employee, who left after 23 years:
The “transitional audit” has unjustly caused fear and intimidation among employees. False accusations have been made without giving the accused a chance to answer for themselves. Misleading comments have been made, planting seeds of doubt regarding employees who have always performed their duties in a professional and ethical manner. I also find it inappropriate and disheartening to hear former management and employees spoken of in a way that paints them in a negative light, giving the impression their tenure was less than satisfactory. When one speaks disparagingly of their predecessors, their comments speak volumes about the integrity and ethics of the speaker. I still have mixed emotions about retiring, as my coworkers are more like family than coworkers. This says something about the quality people that work for Addison. That said, I hope the hostile atmosphere will change and Addison will once again be a place people want to work for, not a place they want to leave….
I suspect that Lea Dunn’s memo similarly pulls no punches in responding to and refuting Kanter’s inflammatory, one-sided nonsense. The concealment of this important perspective tells you all you need to know about Meier and his group.
One last thing. Meier and his cadre have been the kings and queens of process. They have created a labyrinth of procedures and processes and committees and nationwide searches for employees and meetings and work sessions and liasons, it goes on and on.
But Kanter was hired without any process at all. Meier recommended him, and it’s clear from the documents I have seen so far and that “Larry” and “Todd” enjoy a cozy relationship. So isn’t it incredibly convenient that “Larry” now continues to provide “Todd” with one-sided, unprofessional and inflammatory accusations to bolster “Todd’s” campaign, all the while the REAL TRUTH is being withheld.
Addison can do so much better than this.