WHAT'S GOOD FOR THE GEESE: If Mizzou's Basler and Click must go, why not City Hall's Matthes and McDavid?
- Written by Mike Martin
Police will remove anyone who "speaks out of turn"
COLUMBIA, Mo 1/12/16 (Op Ed) -- Read the passage below from the Columbia Missourian.
Answer the questions that follow.
[Attorney Jeremy] Root declared the special meeting Council held five days before was illegal and that the one it planned for 36 hours later would be, too.
Root confronted City Manager Mike Matthes about how the special meeting was called....As Root returned to his seat, Matthes defended himself. "I did call for this meeting," he said.
"In what fashion?" Root replied from the crowd.
"Verbally," Matthes said. [Which violated city law.]
Mayor Bob McDavid banged the gavel. "You’re out of order," he told Root.
There were mumbles in the crowd. "You’re out of order!" some shouted at McDavid.
A dull roar began. McDavid banged his gavel again, called for a recess and left the chambers.
Matthes crossed the dais, leaned into the microphone and warned the public that if anyone spoke out of turn again, police would remove them.
1) Does anyone in a position of authority threaten "muscle" to halt speech?
2) Does anyone in authority have a tantrum when someone (quite gently) exercises their First Amendment right?
3) Should anyone in authority have resigned over not only this incident, but everything that led to it?
4) Does accountability only apply to Mizzou?
Mizzou communications professor Melissa Click and Greek Life administrator Janna Basler must go! state legislators are demanding.
Basler blocked photojournalist Tim Tai from the Concerned Student 1950 protest camp on the Mizzou campus. Click called for "muscle" to remove videographer Mark Schierbecker from same.
The two women violated Tai's and Schierbecker's First Amendment rights, legislators say.
A lawsuit over the Opus student apartments similarly accuses city manager Mike Matthes of violating not just the First Amendment, but also the 14th Amendment rights of the entire Columbia community.
But no legislators are campaigning for his termination. Instead, Matthes got a big raise with applause from his bosses! "We need to show Mike respect, and pat him on the back for the good work he has done," 2nd Ward Councilman Mike Trapp said.
Click and Basler were captured on video publicly berating Tai and Schierbecker. But Mayor Bob McDavid has publicly berated dozens of constituents, captured on video and broadcast on TV.
Columbia re-elected him with large margins, even after he championed Blight.
Mizzou President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor Bowen Loftin caused dustups over the Missouri Press Association, Planned Parenthood, grad student healthcare, and racism on campus. Students and faculty forced both men out.
Mr. Matthes lied to the public for a year about the city's alleged lack of infrastructure. The Columbia Downtown Leadership Council asked that he publicly apologize. No dice.
As Root noted, Matthes broke city law when he arranged special Council meetings to approve three giant downtown student apartments.
His Machiavellian style has landed city government in court over the termination of public safety official Zim Schwartze; a giant TIF district that has County Hall in an uproar; and the Opus student apartments.
But City Council members frankly don't give a damn.
If the two gals -- low-ranking faculty who mostly embarassed themselves -- have to go, why did the two guys -- high-level officials who have arguably screwed up an entire community -- get to stay?