The vacuum of leadership in Edgewood is getting worse and worse, and the tattered remains of its town government needs to do something about it, now, before it comes completely apart at the seams.
It’s not just the mayor pro tem, who is apparently in hibernation, with many recent town meetings cancelled for various reasons—including a meeting last night which nobody at the town told The Independent about until 4 p.m., despite the fact that the newspaper has been livestreaming all of its meetings.
It’s not just the two councilors who seem intent on burning Edgewood’s government to the ground in a neverending fight.
It’s not just other councilor(s) staying silent when they should speak up.
It’s not just the imminent and gargantuan task of figuring out how to transition from a dysfunctional mayor-council government to the commission-manager format demanded by the voters.
It’s not just the other gargantuan task of figuring out districts for the new town government—which has to happen whether or not commissioners can be elected at large.
It’s not just yet another gargantuan task of figuring out how to help Edgewood businesses in the face of a global pandemic and economic uncertainty, as every surrounding town has vigorously done—while Edgewood sits idle.
It’s not just the unanswered questions about the town sewer system, and unanswered questions about what the town’s attorneys have spent so much money on in their exploration of whether Edgewood can take over the Epcor water system.
It’s not just the rudeness of the public, or rather, a group of members of the public who show up at every meeting, whether in person or virtual, to excoriate the [ex] mayor and only two of the councilors, while lavishing praise on the other two councilors.
It’s not just the uncertainty of two pending cases before the Supreme Court, which could put the [ex] mayor back in office, or uphold the decision to remove him.
It’s not just the behavior of the [ex] mayor and mayor pro tem in conducting meetings, in which they run roughshod over those who disagree with them, and ignore countless reasonable requests—such as adding items to the agenda—made by some councilors.
It’s not just the ongoing stream of unsubstantiated allegations of criminal wrongdoing against the [ex] mayor.
It’s not just the hate mail received by The Independent’s editor and some members of Edgewood’s governing body—filled with hateful rhetoric, slurs, and contempt—and some of which contained death threats.
It’s all of it.
Each of these in their own right are cause for concern, negatively impacting the town and all of its citizens. Combined, these issues possess the strength to tear this town apart, as they so clearly are doing in front of all of us. Right now, Edgewood’s town council and government only knows how to fight—at last night’s meeting, for example, they fought for a full hour about what should be on the agenda.
Edgewood has duly elected officials, who vote as they vote. Sometimes those votes end in a tie, and sometimes the vote goes the other way. Our leaders need to be adults and deal with that reality, for the sake of the people living in Edgewood.
Like the problems plaguing our national politics, a lack of respect permeates Edgewood’s government right now—a lack of respect for each other, a lack of respect for the public and a lack of respect by the public, even a demonstrable lack of respect for the institution itself.
Edgewood and its leaders can do better and have done better—we’ve seen it. Where is the common courtesy, the community spirit, the sense of pride in the town? Where is the Edgewood in which we work hard to take care of one another instead of battling for the prize of Most Disruptive to the progress of our community? Edgewood leadership, it is past time to do better.