EDITORIAL: Council must do better than Thursday’s circus | TahoeDailyTribune.com

EDITORIAL: Council must do better than Thursday’s circus

Divisions within South Lake Tahoe’s City Council typically reveal themselves in piecemeal fashion, via impassioned votes or the occasional prickly exchange. But, during a contentious, three-hour-long meeting Thursday night, the City Council displayed its dysfunctional relationships for all to see.

The five members debating Bruce Grego’s $937.50 reimbursement for legal advice let the conversation devolve from a simple discussion to an all-out attack.

Mayor Kathay Lovell called it an inquisition. City Manager David Jenkins called the comments made “atrocious.”

They’re both correct.

Greg’s reimbursement should be discussed by the city council and in public. However, this city deserves more than five elected adults who resort to insults and accusations at a public, recorded meeting.

If these five individuals cannot show enough respect for each other for each other and the public who elected them at an open meeting, who knows what they do behind closed doors?

Thursday’s debacle demonstrated the importance of this November’s election, where the seats held by Mayor Kathay Lovell, Councilman Jerry Birdwell and Councilman Bill Crawford will be up for grabs.

South Lake Tahoe needs new leaders who are accountable. Its citizens face too many problems to have the council hold special meetings where the only accomplishment is making a grand spectacle of its own infighting.

Residents deserve a City Council that is able to maintain some semblance of decorum and respect. And city employees deserve leadership well beyond what they are currently receiving. At this point, November’s election and the transition to new leadership in January 2011 can’t come soon enough.

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