RAVENSWOOD - At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, the main draw for citizens was a “vote of no confidence” for Mayor Michael Ihle, which was requested by City Recorder Kathy Garrett.
After taking care of city business, Ihle read a prepared statement to council expressing his opinion about the waste of time on Garrett’s agenda item, as the vote of no confidence has no legal standing and cannot be used to remove a government official from office.
He advised those at the meeting that they could make a comment. However, those who continued to talk out of turn would be removed from the meeting by police officers.
“In the August 27 meeting of the common council of the City of Ravenswood, Recorder Kathy Garrett expressed the desire for council to conduct a vote of no confidence in me, Mayor Michael Ihle.
“Buried amongst the rational containing a whole slew of half-baked accusations with the usual grain of truth: an admission that a vote of no confidence possesses no legal standing. To be blunt the motion only serves to air dirty laundry over personal differences.
“I find it deeply insulting on a personal level. Worse it is unnecessary and embarrassing to every one involved. It serves as a distraction from the more important issues facing Ravenswood.
“This is a political stunt designed to create yet more drama and yet more controversy. Most significantly, this is a motion that council has no confidence in the judgment of the citizens of Ravenswood.
“It’s nothing new; I’m simply the most recent target in a series of trumped-up gossip generated from the coalition of conspiracy that exists on this council. The people of Ravenswood are intelligent enough to know what is going on here.
“They have sat back and observed the bickering and infighting that has taken place, long before I was on the scene. At the same time they’ve helplessly watched as all kinds of businesses pack and leave, while others constantly choose to locate in our neighbor city, which never seems to have the problem of getting alone as we do.
“Everyone but council seems to notice the cause and effect of the constant barrage of pseudo scandals prevents the City of Ravenswood from ever moving forward. It blocks the ability of principle leadership from ever being able to govern, it saps the energy and willingness of volunteers to serve to serve their fellow citizens. It destroys the ability of well-intentioned individuals to improve the lives of the people of Ravenswood.
“It ruins Ravenswood’s reputation as a good place to live, work and worship and play. It is a cancer eating out the soul of our community. Instead of attacking the cancer, you’re about to hear a pointless litany of accusations against me. Each of which contains that grain of truth and a pack of lies and distortions. But I am not without fault, and I freely admit it. I overlook things. I often don’t connect with people on a personal level.
Page 2 of 2 - “But perhaps my biggest flaw has been my failure to fight for the right to carry out my lawful duties as Ravenswood’s chief executive officer. In my flawed attempt to be compromising and accommodating with this council, I have allowed myself to be railroaded into submission. That ends now. At the end of the day the people of Ravenswood elected me to do a job. I am the mayor. There is nothing else anyone else can do about it. And I’m going to do, whether anyone else likes it or not
“Council can either work with me-which I have tried and failed at doing over the last 14 months, or I’m going to work around them while staying within the confines of the law, the choice is theirs.
“Regardless of the choice they make I extend a hand of forgiveness to all involved. I’m ready to wipe the slate clean and move forward. But, so there may be free and unfettered debate on my alleged lack of my merit, I’m stepping down as the chair of this meeting at this time and leaving the room.”
Councilperson Sue Quillen expressed her feelings and her desire for council to consider that Ihle is young and didn’t have a government background. Quillen asked council what was the job of council members in this case. She stated that the job of council is to help Ihle.
Councilpersons Judy Wiseman and Gary Cross, Quillen pointed out that both were former teachers and should use their experience be able to find a way to work with Ihle. She went on to say that everyone makes mistakes and requested that the vote of no confidence be taken off of the agenda.
Council members decided to table the issue for three months before revisiting the vote.