May 1, 2012
City Commissioner Carolyn Cooper spends her time distracting citizens, city staff, and the city commission with her continual politicization of any issue that smells of potential controversy. The problem is that our self identifying white knight gets it wrong almost every time.
I harbor no ill will toward Ms. Cooper. I just believe our city should have sensible people in positions of responsibility. Ms. Cooper’s behavior does not meet that standard and I think it important that the citizens know why that is the case.
We can reasonably disagree about issues impacting the city. There are certainly issues where I have disagreed with the decisions of the city commission but where I was proud of the process my city followed in reaching those decisions. Ms. Cooper, however, is bent on seeking attention to the detriment of the reputation of our full commission and is repeatedly taking published positions on issues distributed to thousands of citizens ahead of the commission’s scheduled deliberations. This behavior diminishes the public process for purely selfish and political reasons and is therefore irresponsible.
Given that no other member of the commission is free to publicly comment on official city business discussed in Ms. Cooper’s emails prior to a public meeting under Florida Sunshine law, her emails deny other commissioners the same platform she so relishes to expound on issues she selects (a necessarily incomplete list). By definition, her perspective is only one fifth of the perspective of our elected body. Accordingly, her emails do not improve public disclosure and discourse, but limit and bias it in potentially dangerous ways. She could not respond under Sunshine law restrictions if another commissioner sent emails discussing upcoming city business before she was able to do so.
Ms. Cooper’s boundless energy should be employed elsewhere.
Regards, Pete Weldon