I am greatly concerned for the residents of Richmond Hill because at the May 1 City Council hearing I witnessed what I term as a corrupt and inept mayor handling the removal of Dr. Stephen Weiss from the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Over the past few years, in Richmond Hill on route 144/Ford Avenue, there had been pro and con discussions over a development scheduled to be built. How it would affect schools, water, landscaping, overcrowding, traffic, etc. Two council members were openly against it, so leading up to the November election, two individuals in favor of the project ran against them. The incumbents lost, the new council members were sworn in and they immediately approved the development. I question the full knowledge the two new council members had regarding this project, especially since the mayor admitted he did not know some of the facts.
What was uncovered at the May 1 meeting was that Dr. Weiss voted against the project in spite of Mayor Harold Fowler having told him not to vote. Mayor Fowler told Dr. Weiss to resign because of his vote, but Dr. Weiss refused.
The Richmond Hill Ordinance states specifically that if an individual does certain things, he/she can be removed after the council has voted on the issue. Dr. Weiss does not meet any of the listed reasons for dismissal. The ordinance of Richmond Hill specifies that prior to removal, the appointee has the right to question witnesses. Mayor Fowler, who both appointed and dismissed Weiss, was the most pertinent witness, yet he refused to answer any questions about the cause for removal.
I cannot trust the votes of our three council members who voted for dismissal nor Mayor Fowler, who is a disgrace to our city and seemingly ignorant of Richmond Hill city ordinances and charter. With other irregularities dealing with the case, I feel Fowler should resign. And I wonder about the city attorney Ray Smith’s rulings, which seemingly did not comply with the city ordinances.
We need honesty at all levels of our government, and I do not see it with our mayor or those council members who seemingly vote as they are told.
— Liz Bartlett, Richmond Hill