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GardnerEDGE Requests Statements from City Council: Steve Hale Responds

Posted on Feb. 21st, 2010
Posted by Avis Solie
Steve Hale Steve Hale
On Friday, February 19, the GardnerEDGE sent an email to Mayor Dave Drovetta and each member of the Gardner City Council inviting their statements or an interview to further clarify the recall issues for GardnerEDGE readers. We pointed out the thousands of readers who turn to our site for local news and events. We pointed out that the results of the upcoming recall election will best represent the desires of the voters if they have every possible opportunity to review the issues on the table.

As of today, we have received the following statement from City Council Member Steve Hale and have made arrangements to interview Mayor Dave Drovetta.

The following is the statement of Steve Hale, in its entirety:

"I appreciate your request for either a statement or an interview with the members of the Gardner City Council regarding the upcoming Recall. I respectfully submit the following.

I will cast a “yes” vote to recall Council members John Shepherd and Mary Peters.

That will not be a surprise to anyone paying attention to the dialogue during city council meetings or who have spoken to me personally regarding this issue. The district attorney’s investigation clearly reveals how council members Shepherd, Peters and Dan Thompson – along with their Take Back Gardner handlers – engaged in collusive actions intended to usurp the mayor of his vested authority and to alter the city’s governing ordinances. That they did so in secret outside public view ultimately set the stage for the citizen-driven recall.

The open meetings issue notwithstanding, the recall of Shepherd and Peters is inexorably linked to their joining with Councilman Thompson in rescinding contracts with BNSF and forcing the de-annexation of BNSF’s logistics park property. They ignored public input, defied logic and completely misread the potential consequences of their action.

Shepherd’s and Peters’ new-found eloquence on the logistics park as printed in The Gardner News is worthy of rebuttal on a variety of fronts. Let’s stick with one point, that being the contention they voted against “bad contracts” with BNSF Railroad and The Allen Group. They are clearly in the minority with such thinking. The previous Gardner council was good with those contracts. So, too, was city staff and legal counsel. So was Johnson County. And the State of Kansas. And now Edgerton. And, with no small amount of irony, so was the editorial board of The Gardner News, which recently praised Edgerton’s contracts with BNSF. Edgerton’s contracts were Gardner’s contracts, albeit not as favorable to school district coffers.

I serve on the Gardner City Council with intention to move this city forward in a positive manner that is open, accountable to its citizens and in the best interests of the community at large. The actions of Shepherd and Peters that resulted in the recall, combined with their disingenuous public statements in recent weeks, have convinced me they operate with different motives."