Tom Frutchey does not like criticism of his many failings as City Manager of Pacific Grove.
Recently, to intimidate a resident who told the City Council about her strong concerns about City staff insubordination – the City Manager hired a lawyer to write her a strong letter of reproach.
I was at that meeting – it was a wild few minutes of discourse for Council meetings around here, but it did not result in fisticuffs, and there wasn’t even any name calling. The Mayor did well to allow the back and forth to occur.
(By the way, the woman Frutchey tried to intimidate is the same life-long resident that former Mayor Dan Cort wrongly called a “moron.” — Wrong technically, because she’s very bright, and obviously wrong morally and ethically.)
However, by the end it was clear that the City Manager had not quite followed the City Council’s directions, so the concerns she raised were reasonable.
City Manager objects to a vivid Analogy !
At a recent City meeting another resident was so fed up with Frutchey’s harmfully goofy acts she described the city’s efforts to increase taxes as resembling the irrational desperation of a “coke whore.” (Likely meaning someone so desperate for money they prostitute themselves.)
Well, even though no one ever said Frutchey was a “coke whore” apparently the City Manager took it personally anyway. So now he is spending a lot of his very expensive taxpayer paid time (salary upwards of $150,000) trying to to stop these embarrassing opinions from getting said at what he seems to regard as “his meetings.”
So at the April Council meeting this Wednesday Frutchey is trying to strengthen the Council policy (which has absolutely no force of law) to cut off speakers if they offend his mercurial sensibilities.
There’s just a few teensy problems with Frutchey’s Censorship efforts – they are probably UnConstitutional – in two different ways, and attempt to violate our open meeting law to boot.
That’s from our California Local Open Meeting Law (Ralph M. Brown Act) Section 54954.3.(c)
The key portion is —
“Shall Not Prohibit Public Criticism”
Then there’s our Federal and California Constitutions that along with our Supreme Courts strongly insure we get to criticize government until we run out of words.
I am not alone in the opinion that of all the different kinds of free speech – our Political speech gets the highest form of protection from Courts. And our Political Free Speech is precisely what PG City Manager Frutchey is attacking.
If the City Manager objects to an analogy – what’s next?
Will Frutchey hire an English teacher to referee City Council meetings – so that no metaphors, analogies, allegories or even the dreaded corollaries are ever again expressed at a Council meeting. From now on – literal expressions only.
Stay tuned for more of City Manager Tom Frutchey’s non-stop madcap antics – embraced by most of the current Council — particularly Kampe, Cuneo, Fisher, Huitt and Cohen.
Oh where is Jon Stewart when we need him ?
Update: Please forgive me – I forgot we have our own local improvement on the “Daily Show” – Snick Farkas – the fabulous cartoonist and dramatist who festoons Pacific Grove City Council meetings with astute musings.
Since Frutchey’s efforts might curtail Snick’s appearances – you might want to tune in for Wednesday’s public comments . . .