The Union Recorder


June 18, 2014

Contrition would serve members of City Council well

MILLEDGEVILLE — Monday’s called meeting on personnel at city hall was reminiscent of a Shakespearean drama, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Milledgeville City Council took no action on the job security of City Manager Barry Jarrett, rebuffing the mayor’s Friday afternoon press conference request to remove him, either through “resignation, retirement or dismissal.” Instead, Council issued its support for Jarrett and took another step in this saga by turning on one another.

Councilors say the release of the March recording that set off the recent chain of events violated their trust, yet not one word has been spoken publicly on the broken level of trust between City Council and its constituents.

While Jarrett issued an apology for his role in the March incident, members of Council who were there have not; instead they have turned to finger pointing all in one direction — at Councilor Walter Reynolds.

Reynolds’ recording of the discussion over city funds six weeks ago ignited the events of the past two weeks and also ignited a furor within the council. Reynolds did not violate any laws with the recording, but his fellow members of council contend he violated their trust with his actions, which they deem unethical.

Reynolds has welcomed an inquiry from the city’s ethics board, which he said would be hard-pressed to rule against him.

Yet in all the public conversations, there has been no public acknowledgement from members of Council who were present that the discussion heard on the audio is inappropriate or that it should have been shut down; nor any level of contrition or even an admission that poor choice of words may have been used in the conversation.

Councilor Collinda Lee said Monday of the recording that once trust is broken it creates a “serious problem.”

That goes for the public’s broken trust as well.

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