No Matter How You Spin It
We Still Have to Wait to Hear the Terms Of
The Wind Turbine Lawsuit Settlement
By Susan M. Halpern
Former Addison Councilmember (1992-1999)
As I predicted, those who would divide us continue to beat the wind turbine lawsuit drum, desperately searching for some way to spin the settlement into negative dialog, always with the goal of attacking the current council. Remember, these folks view every issue through their “us-versus-them” glasses, and that colors everything they say. In their view, if it isn’t their idea, then it must be a bad idea. If it isn’t their solution, then it must be a bad solution. Anyone who isn’t them is awful. No matter what the subject is, if it’s not them, it’s bad and they attack it.
And so, every year during election season, they invent an issue in an effort to manipulate and influence potential voters. I’ve written about the formula. It typically involves misrepresentations and half-truths, attacks on present and prior staff, and always the suggestion that only the negative dividers can save Addison. Then they seek bad publicity for Addison. Then they argue that the bad publicity that they drummed up must mean that the issue is important. Or maybe that they somehow must be right. It doesn’t matter. It’s all circular and it’s all nonsense.
Two years ago, they claimed that Addison’s financial records were inadequate. But, when City Manager Lea Dunn wrote a memo refuting these claims, they suppressed it and hid it from the public. When we finally got the memo after the election, we established that (a) they had no right to withhold it, and (b) its contents unquestionably exposed their campaign of lies, confirming that they had hidden the memo in order to run that campaign of lies. In other words, everything government isn’t supposed to do. We also discovered that literally the day before issuing his report about Addison’s financials, the ex-mayor’s hand-picked shill accountant was on the phone with the ex-mayor, discussing the contents of his report. Sound objective to you? Knowing that, how could anyone have been surprised that the same accountant obediently trashed former staff and management at a council meeting. His work was a political hit, all paid for with our tax dollars.
Last year, the faux issue was term limits. We saw our email list used by the ex-mayor to try to convince voters that Mayor Joe Chow and Councilmember Tom Braun might be ineligible. The premise of the argument was utterly false. Indeed, it should not surprise you that in discussing this issue, the ex-mayor omitted (a) the critical language of the term limit ballot proposition that left no doubt about what was meant, and (b) the fact that Addison’s attorney had opined that both Mayor Chow and Councilmember Braun were clearly eligible to serve on the council. Those facts mattered a lot, but they were withheld. That’s how these folks work.
And so it is with the wind turbine lawsuit. Once again, the negative spinners are trying to foment some controversy so as to attack the current council. And again, it is half-truths and misrepresentations. Remember, these are the folks who claimed that the judge was peeved because the council wasn’t at the summary judgment hearing. It was utterly false, and they were corrected by City Manager Wes Pierson who was present at the hearing. Honestly, these folks will say anything. And I, for one, will continue to challenge them.
So, on the settlement issue, there is no secrecy. No one is hiding anything. This is a council that inherited a lawsuit filed by the prior administration. They didn’t choose the claims. They didn’t choose the strategy. They simply managed it as best they could, and we will soon find out how well they did in settling it.
In the meantime, I hope the candidates will focus on how Addison will continue moving forward.