Please let this letter serve as a means for clearing up some mistruths that may have been read in the Osceola Sentinel-Tribune recently.
First and foremost, I would like to state the facts that have led to the “animosity” between Councilman Schaff and myself. Please refer to the minutes from the meetings for any verification you feel you might need.
Last year, while discussing funds for the senior center, Mr. Schaff suggested that we cut the funding to the animal shelter in order to support the senior center. I pointed out in a meeting that you cannot simply take funds from one entity (especially a service to the community that is being paid for) and donate them to another, and you certainly can’t do it without a majority vote from the council.
It was suggested again by Mr. Schaff, at the second January meeting of this year, that until we resolve the issue regarding the most recent $3,000 donation to the senior center, that we suspend all funding to the animal shelter. I’m not sure how these two organizations are related at all, except that they are both very important parts of our community and contribute greatly to our quality of life.
I never asked Mr. Schaff to resign from his position on the board at the senior center. I simply suggested that the council act accordingly to avoid any conflict of interest issues. I am sorry that Mr.Schaff interpreted these comments about conflict of interest as being personal attacks.
There are standards about avoiding conflicts of interest that are in place to protect government officials. They exist for good reason and are necessary to maintain the integrity of the decisions the council must make.
It was not my intention to risk the funds to the senior center. And, I certainly did not appear before the council to “get back” at Mr. Schaff. I am offended that I would be accused of allowing my personal issues with one of the council members to motivate any behavior regarding the business of our community. That is unacceptable and I am certainly more professional than that.
For those readers who have never met me in person, I am disappointed that you only know what Mr. Schaff has stated about me. I am a kind person. I am compassionate. I am intelligent. I am responsible.
During my time on the city council, it was my own personal goal to bring a sense of professionalism and dignity to the city and staff. In doing so, I expected each of us to truly be accountable for our decisions — myself included — and to treat one another with respect.
Once upon a time, Mr. Schaff was very supportive of me, introduced me to many of our citizens, offered encouraging words and helped me get the hang of things. I can think of countless others within the city who used to be within his favor, but who now have also become the target of his public shaming and criticism.
I am disappointed and embarrassed that these conflicts have made their way into our weekly newspaper.
I do not intend to respond publicly to any future letters regarding myself, but it is my duty to defend my own honor. I would invite anyone who doubts my intentions to please call me or stop by. You might be surprised at how easy I am to get along with.