Print

 

 

News in Grant website has a new face, but the rhetoric is still the same old acrimonious hypocritical rambling of a buffoonish un-identified author who likes to showcase an Abe Lincoln’s quote; “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” 

 

Alright then, let’s apply that to the website author who apparently doesn’t have the character to identify himself in favor of assuming that everybody knows his name. Come on Jeff, have some character, quit using Lincoln and put your title, name and picture on your website!

 

Your words, “the current majority has been in control of the Council for about 15 years.” Jeff, the job of the elected is to serve not control. Lincoln was right, power can reveal a person’s character!

 

I’m sure you can recall Larry Lanoux’s inaugural city council meeting. After his being sworn into office you waited until the entire meeting agenda was completed and then as covertly pre-planned, moments before adjournment and ignoring meeting procedure, you held up his personnel file and proclaimed that his stable business did not have a city ordinance required conditional use permit.

 

Lanoux claimed his stable was established prior to the ordinance and therefore had grandfather rights (a point of later comment).

 

Normally, citizen personnel files are confidential. Serving as a councilman, by what means or authority did you gain access to Lanoux’s file? Did you file a data practice request with the administrator/clerk or did you simply employ political privilege? What would Lincoln say?

 

Further, you stated having knowledge of his alleged omission for many years and chose for whatever reason not to make an issue of it, but that now being an elected official he needed to be held to a higher standard. 

 

Tell us Jeff, you as being an elected official having knowledge of this alleged offense, by what standard do you hold yourself?  Did you not have a sworn duty to bring a written formal complaint against Lanoux before his being elected or was it just for political reasons?  Darn, Lincoln again!

 

Prior to this occasion, a signed, citizen formal complaint was the quasi policy for ordinance violations, but you changed the game!  Now it appears it can be pre-empted and replaced by council police!  Ah, Lincoln was right!

 

Maybe, you are aware of others who are not in compliance with city ordinances?  After all, your next door shared driveway neighbor councilman Carr once stated in a council meeting when reviewing permits that he felt there could be many persons not in compliance, but ‘there were no citizen complaints on file and it is not the duty of the council to police them’. Most likely not political opponents. But then, birds of a feather flock together. So much for higher standards.

 

After weeks of unrelenting public attack on Lanoux, the city filed litigation against him and his wife for the alleged failure to comply with a city ordinance. During the proceedings, the city held that Mr. and Mrs. Lanoux should be imprisoned for their alleged violations.  My, my political revenge has no boundaries in Grant! Where are you Lincoln?

 

In the end, the court ruled that there would be no prison sentences and that the Lanoux’s stable operation pre-dated the conditional use permit ordinance and was not in violation of it! Grand father rights prevailed!

 

The judge, also, insightfully recommended that the Lanoux’s obtain a permit for improvements made after the ordinance was established so as to avoid future litigation attempts from the city. He followed the judge’s advice!

 

This politically callous vendetta was intended to defame the Lanoux’s, and cause them financial stress to defend themselves. That vendetta continued throughout Lanoux’s term of office at great expense of taxpayer money and wasted public service time. Certainly, Larry pushed back in unconventional ways, but given the circumstances one can understand his frustrations. Council meetings became a sham.

 

Lincoln had it right. “If you want to test a man’s character, give him power”. 

 

J.D. Smith