Dear Council Members,

I congratulate you on a VERY well run and orderly event last night.  Not a Kangaroo in sight.  You all did extremely well. 

Councilman Morris, superb job. This can definitely count as one of your finest moments. I am EXTREMELY proud of the way in which you handled this first session.   Taxpayers and residents should be thanking you for your calm demeanour, methodical, reasoned line of questioning and extraordinary patience. City Council Members, you too can all take a large measure of pride in your conduct last night.  All of you posed great questions which should have been easy for any competent professional on top of their game to answer.  

I would have stayed for the public portion but was so thoroughly nauseated by "Confidential Aide" Charles Pettiford's disgraceful Watergate-like performance (John Dean would have been proud) that I had to leave.  A tour de force by your Counsel, Mr Demarco, when he asked the stenographer to read back Mr Pettiford's response to an earlier question. My compliments to him.

Betty Taylor's testimony was a farrago of contradictions and pure incompetence. For example, not being able to explain the difference between an "exempt" and 'non-exempt" employee is completely unacceptable, even the lowliest HR clerk at any corporation can do that. (I already checked this morning). Even Councilman Wimberly's attempt at throwing her a lifeline was beyond her. How much are we paying this person?

From the moment testimony began it became clear that the issues at City Hall are far worse than we could ever have imagined. You have all been afforded a unique opportunity to re-write the rule books and introduce new efficiencies which I believe will go a long way towards reducing the property tax burden many of us are now feeling with a sense of despair. Let us hope this feeling is short lived and we residents won't have to continue to pillage our savings and 401k's to pay the salaries of some shockingly inept employees.

My faith in your ability to get to the truth and repair this malfunctioning corporation is restored and renewed.  I even see a glimmer of light for the future of this city PROVIDED you get things done.

I am sure an extensive "debriefing" session will take place on the 2nd floor today and things wont get any easier for you all in rounds two and three. But I feel a new sense of confidence in all of you. 

 "Dum spiro spero"  ("while I breathe I hope") and Councilman Wimberly you know I don't use the "H" word lightly!

Lets repair and rebuild.

Keep it up! 

Kind regards,

Michael Symonds