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Tom (Yusha) Sager
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Monday, June 15, 2009

(presented at meeting of Rolla City Council)

Comments on Resolution to Censure Council Member Donna Hawley

As a resident of Johnson-Laird subdivision, I think I can speak for most of the residents of Johnson-Laird in thanking Council member Donna Hawley for her support in opposing the commercial rezoning of residential property bordering our subdivision. Sadly, eight council members, including the three who today introduce a resolution to censure Council member Hawley, opposed our subdivision.

In their accusations against Ms. Hawley, Messers Morris, Barklage and Brown talk about her attendance at meetings; but do not mention the constant intimidation of Ms. Hawley by this body. [Play Terry Ruck's message, transcribed below] Former Council member Terry Ruck, who left Ms. Hawley this message, has problems with drinking and anger and carried a not very well concealed firearm to Council meetings. Ms. Hawley is a single mother and on disability. This body declined to take any action that would make Ms. Hawley feel safe at Council meetings.

I find it strange that a body whose member has threatened to "have [Ms. Hawley's] ass in a hole," would then accuse Ms. Hawley of failure to treat people with respect and courtesy.

I also find it strange that a body that gave the Chamber of Commerce one quarter of a million dollars to build a welcome center on property that belonged neither to the city nor the chamber and then later purchased the welcome center from its owner at fair market value, would have the arrogance to criticize Ms. Hawley for drawing financial judgments with no training or qualifications. I find it even stranger that this City would continue to give money to the Chamber of Commerce after such a gross display of incompetence with public funds.

I also find it strange that a body that made Rolla the laughing stock of the Southern Judicial District by arguing before three appeals judges that using Buehler Park as a parking lot was the same thing as using Buehler Park for park purposes would accuse Ms. Hawley of drawing legal judgments without qualifications.

State Auditor, Susan Montee, at her presentation, which many Council members did not bother to attend, stated that Rolla could lose $50 million in its investment in speculative electric power plants, plus an unknown amount of interest. Ms. Montee thus confirmed Ms. Hawley's financial analysis of Rolla's investments in electric power.

In addition, this body has denied Ms. Hawley access to pertinent documents, claiming the Council lacked the ability to understand the documentation. One has to wonder how people who, by their own admission, lack the ability to understand pertinent financial information and show no desire to learn how, can then turn around and claim that Ms. Hawley has made exaggerated conclusions.

Ms. Hawley has spent many hours researching these issues. Her accusers have done little or no research of their own, have blocked Ms. Hawley's access to pertinent information, and fail in their accusations to mention even one single instance where Ms. Hawley's findings have not been correct.

This is not the City's first attempt to silence through censure. Three years ago, Mr. Beger moved to sanction the attorneys for the Buehler Park Preservation group for bringing a frivolous case to Court. The City lost the case ignominiously. The Court declared the City's arguments "hyper-technical and hollow." I would caution this Council that another attempt to silence your critics through censure could end with a similar result.


Transcript of

message left by
Council member Terry Ruck on
Council member Donna Hawley's
answering machine

December 15, 2008

Donna, this is Terry Ruck.

I just found out that you wanted to slander me in front of the City Council last night and an email, when you didn't have the balls to come see me first and talk to me what's doing on.

I ain't even read the letter yet. I'm going to read it; and I tell you what, girl. I'm going to see my attorney and I'll have your ass in a hole.

You understand me?

How dare you!



Council voted 10 to 1 to censure Donna Hawley with Council member Donna Hawley not voting and Council member Jim Williams voting no after remarking, "I wouldn't give you the satisfaction!"

Read motion to censure Council member Hawley here.