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A Pricey Mistake 


Let's start positive. Former Eureka City Attorney Cyndy Day-Wilson is gone ("Long Overdue," July 12).

 On the other side of the ledger, I'm left with two questions and many frustrations. First, why did the former Eureka City Council, who hired her, not realize she had no experience in municipal law? How difficult is it to read a resume or LinkedIn profile? Second, after inheriting her, why did the current Eureka City Council (three of whom have served for four years, two for two years) wait so long to get rid of her?

 We the tax-paying public will probably never know because, rather than accountability, city council members and officials hide behind phrases like "closed session," "it's a personnel issue," "confidentiality," "fear of retaliation," "non-disparagement clause," "anonymous source," etc. I'm not a lawyer, though sometimes it seems you need a legal background to wade through local politics. But the ultimate message is, don't ask, don't tell: you won't find out anyway.

 My other frustration is the sheer numbers. According to the article, fear of a lawsuit stopped the former city council from terminating Day-Wilson — even with cause. Yet she has since cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in avoidable expenses.

 Meanwhile, Eureka limps along. I see the potholes, broken curbs, litter, graffiti, faded crosswalks and blight every day as I walk around downtown. Instead of making these and other improvements to the city, the easily-intimidated city councils, past and present, made poor decisions leading to expensive lawsuits and settlements. 

We are not a rich city. This is not how we should be spending our limited resources. 

Louisa Rogers, Eureka

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