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City clerk vital to election, transparency

Mayor (Kiernan) McManus is on a mission to destroy our city. He has scheduled an agenda item at the Feb. 23 City Council meeting to terminate City Clerk Lorene Krumm’s employment contract.

If Ms. Krumm is terminated, our beloved city will be operating without its top three officials at one of the most critical times in history. Trying to function without a permanent city manager, city attorney or city clerk will be like trying to steer a ship in a storm without any engine, rudder or working communication system.

The mayor wants it that way so that he can dictate his will without any checks and balances. And he intentionally picked the worst time possible.

Terminating our municipal election officer in the middle of a crucial City Council election reeks of election tampering, if not outright fraud. Ms. Krumm’s small office is already overtaxed with the enormous burden of running a 13-candidate election. And terminating her mid-election will only serve to further deplete our already short-handed election resources, not to mention calling the legitimacy of this year’s election into serious question.

As custodian of records, the city clerk also guards our essential right to unadulterated transparency. Ms. Krumm holds the city’s records in trust, ensuring that those records are complete and accurate without any political whitewashing and making them promptly available to all citizens both online and through public records requests. Embroiled in a lawsuit with the former city attorney and city manager, the mayor and his allies on council have already spent hundreds of thousands of our taxpayer dollars on hired gun attorneys in an effort to scrub the records and cover themselves. Lou Krumm is the last obstacle on their path to unbridled censorship.

As city clerk, Ms. Krumm is also the primary liaison between the City Council and us as citizens. Terminating her will sever our lifeline to city management and sound the final death knell to our cherished transparency.

The mayor’s plan to secure absolute power by eliminating checks and balances is a nefarious one, to be sure, but at least he can say we elected him to help make vital decisions about our management team. Our two appointed council members, on the other hand, were never elected and have no business making decisions of such lasting consequence. Moreover, with due respect to Tracy Folda, who for personal reasons has chosen to move her family out of state, it would be highly improper and tarnish her short legacy as a council member if she were to weigh in on such a far-reaching decision as terminating Ms. Krumm when she’ll no longer live here to experience the results of that decision.

Regardless of how these appointeds feel about our city clerk, the determination of whether to retain or terminate Ms. Krumm should be left to the new and fully elected City Council that will be in office this coming June.

Mayor McManus should also abstain, since to do otherwise would amount to clear retaliation against Ms. Krumm. Especially since Ms. Krumm and several other city employees have pending (human resources) complaints against the mayor for harassment, bullying, discrimination and creating a hostile work environment, among other things.

If you feel as we do about this brazen attempt to dismantle the last layer of local government protecting our precious rights as citizens, raise your voice and immediately make your displeasure known.

The opinions expressed above belong solely to the authors and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.

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