OPINION

Letter: Says 'city hall superfans' oppose 'constructive criticism'

Kent Weeklies

Beware when you read something like this:

“The past two elections, a well-organized vocal minority in Hudson has swayed the vote while a silent majority has not had their voice heard…”

While this is probably a clumsy attempt to get out the vote — suggesting an invalid election outcome — I think it reveals something unsettling.

For the writers of those words and other city hall superfans, citizen input and constructive criticism is frowned upon. Citizens must stay out of the way of the city manager and accept her singular agenda.

Instead of joining a citizen-led effort (thehudsonfiles.com) for greater transparency and accountability, city hall superfans:

· Call the majority a minority

· Label information-seeking citizens as “negative” or “anti-everything”

· Create a new group to passive-aggressively oppose the citizen group that wants the city manager, city staff, and council president to stop operating in the dark

I think some city hall superfans get titillated by their closeness to the city hall power structure. Here is an example:

Last September, the city manager created — without city council’s consent — a group called NextGen Hudson. She targeted new and ambitious 20- and 30-something Hudson residents without deep roots in the city. I think she wanted to use the new group to cultivate superfans and candidates for city council, the government body that evaluates her performance.

The group appears to have floundered since being outed as a private group not held to the standards of other city boards. Its presence on the city’s website has vaporized. It is limping along on Facebook trying to cover for what I believe were dishonest intentions.

I believe the city manager wants the power to choose her bosses. But alas, that is our job through city council elections. For full control and unchecked power, she will need to move to Janeville.

David A. Schuellerman, Hudson