No room for bullies in our local government


There is no room for bullies in City government

(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on this and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)

July 3, 2019 — Every now and then, human beings do something that, later, causes terrible embarrassment. That is the situation in which I find myself.

It became obvious to me, in 2012, that “new blood” was desperately needed on Florence City Council. Yet, due to the council’s brutal reputation, no one would step forward.  After months of searching, asking, pleading for possible candidates, the name of someone I had never met, nor heard of, came to my attention — that of Joe Henry.

It took many telephone conversations before Joe agreed to file and run as a Write-In candidate for City Council, and he won. Then, in 2014, Joe and two others ran for Mayor of Floence. The other candidates split the vote and Henry became Mayor with approximately 1/3 of the vote.

Not long after his ascension to Mayor, I watched and listened as he began to make comments that I consider to be uncalled for and violations of the Oath of Office.

I tolerate a lot, but I cannot — will not — tolerate what I see as clear ethics violations. Had I been a resident of the city, I would have filed several ethics complaints against Mayor Joe Henry.

Now, proof of those unethical behaviors have literally become “front page” news [“Councilor Conflict Dominates Discussion,” June 29 edition of the Siuslaw News].

It is my hope that City residents will step forward and file with the State those ethics complaints against the Mayor. It, also, is my hope that both Councilor Greene and Mr. Harlen Springer will ‘consider the source’ of the unethical comments made against them and recall the words of Lord Acton: “All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Finally, I urge Councilor Greene to remain on the Council and to give serious consideration to running for Mayor; Mr. Springer, I hope, will hang in there.

Each one should know that his talents, experience and efforts are greatly appreciated; each is doing great work.

There is no room for bullies in City government — and Joe Henry’s behaviors have gone beyond the pale. He should resign.

In the meantime, my face is red from embarrassment that I urged him to run for Council in the first place.

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