Concerned Citizens Respond to Disparaging Remarks About High Ranking African American Employees at City of Austin
Posted by Hopeton on March 2, 2011
Citing the revelation of a cache of emails from Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Martinez, a group of concerned citizens yesterday signed a joint letter to each of the two men, expressing its “profound dismay and justified outrage” over the written correspondence, which depicts some of the public’s highest ranking employees as “jokes”, “bought off”, “company men” and other derisive terms. The unprofessional tone of the remarks is causing some to question whether there are deeper-seated issues at work with the elected officials.
The group is demanding an in-person meeting with the Mayor and also with the Mayor Pro-Tem as soon as possible.
The group, called Concerned Citizens of Austin, also has scheduled a press conference on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 12:00 Noon at City Hall, downtown. The public is invited to attend.
“Even when I disagree with my elected officials, I must believe that they are acting in good faith. When that changes, then it undermines the public trust. This country, state and city are great because we have processes, and we believe in process,” said Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, a spokesperson for the group. He also said, “Speaking as a private citizen and not in my official UT capacity, what we are criticizing here is the lack of process and unprofessional behavior.”
The group says that Leffingwell’s and Martinez’s actions “undermine the effectiveness of City Manager Ott, of Assistant City Manager McDonald, of Fire Chief Kerr, and of Firefighter Johns.” They also charged that the two highest ranking municipal leaders “eroded the public trust, having fallen far short of our expectations that an elected official should conduct official business in a professional and respectful manner.”
Concerned Citizens of Austin represents a broad geographic cross-section of Austinites and express a sincere desire to improve the quality of life for all people, particularly those who have been historically underserved by our City.