I feel compelled to publicly answer recent charges of my “entitled” behavior while serving on the Parker Town Council, for fear those who voted for me get the impression I’ve turned into some sort of unconstrained, high and mighty political monstrosity who lives only to bully and belittle those around me.
The people who keep saying we should “move on” past the recent personnel issue concerning former Senior Center Director Darla Tilley seem to be the ones keeping it going through their letters to the editor and their calls to the public at Parker Town Council meetings. They seem to think every problem at town hall concerns their “good friend” Darla, but that just shows their ignorance: the Darla Tilley situation is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It is certainly within their right to change the narrative or even shift the focus from the real issues within our “beautiful town,” but I will continue to call out the people who I believe are making our town ugly.
Something that apparently needs to be cleared up is Mayor Karen Bonds “allowing” me to make statements at public meetings. I am a duly-elected member of the Parker Town Council and I am not under the command and control of any other council member, the vice mayor, or the mayor. I serve the people that elected me to represent them, and many of them are very angry about a lot of issues at Town Hall, despite some people’s ignorance of those issues. These same uninformed people complain that it’s unethical to tear people down publicly in a letter to the editor that literally tears me down publicly, calling me a “bully,” “entitled,” and “high and mighty.” Ironic, isn’t it?
Remarks made by me at the August 3 Town Council meeting may seem mean and bullying to some, but they are my truth. I’ve been told blatant lies right to my face and there is no trust between myself and the town administration. Some may find that “embarrassing” and it might offend their vision of our “beautiful community,” but unlike them, I cannot pretend everything is rosy and I’m just “playing the blame game” because I’m a bully. I do not feel entitled or high and mighty. I’m just dissatisfied and I’m representing a lot of dissatisfied people.
It’s easy to preach about focusing on the positive when everything in their version of the town is positive—I do not currently share that vision. My vision is a place where ALL council members, department heads, and employees are treated equally by the town administration and that is not currently the case. Everything is beautifully beautiful to them in their ignorant bliss, but I’m looking ahead to the next person that gets to “retire” before they’re ready, and all the rose-colored glasses in the world cannot mask over that inevitable reality.
There are other beneficial things happening beneath the surface concerning the senior center that they have no clue about, and their vilification of my character is not helping with that. All they see is some angry comments made by me, but as they praise some people on the council at public meetings and reprimand the rest of us, they need to know that their view is incomplete. I, too, love the senior center and I’m working quietly to make it a better place. But since they don’t see me eating lunch there daily, they assume I’m ungrateful of the staff or ignorant of their efforts. I am neither.
I’ve served on the local school board (16+ years), the Industrial Development Authority Board (16 years), the WAVE JTED Board (4 years), the AWC District Governing Board (4 years) and numerous other boards in the community, and I have never been accused of bullying, grandstanding, being high and mighty, or trying to do anything but contribute. I would hope the people I’ve worked with on those boards would be surprised that I’m being called a bully or that I’m somehow entitled.
My current service on the Parker Town Council has been trying, to say the least, but it is not the norm, nor do I enjoy the way things are going. Several of us on the Town Council have taken a position that some may find less than wonderful, but someone needs to take it, in my opinion.
Parker Town Council Member