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Requirement to appoint

To the Editor:

Several weeks ago I submitted my name as a candidate for the vacancy on the Grosse Pointe Farms City Council. My credentials included many community activities as well as 24 years in the real estate business and eight years on the Grosse Pointe City Council.

I was surprised to see the names of all the candidates in the Grosse Pointe News, but even more surprised to read that the Farms council only wanted candidates who would promise not to run for the council in November.

I informed the mayor that I had never promised not to run if selected, and asked him to take my name off the list of candidates if that were a stipulation. He did so.

I have to wonder about the reasoning behind the council's position on this issue. I am not the kind of person who sees herself as a seat warmer for nine months.

Being a member of the council should involve accountability to the citizens of the community. It should also involve bringing background and knowledge of the community to that position. This I felt I could contribute, but to spend the time working on current issues in the Farms, then to be abruptly terminated in November didn't seem logical.

It was very interesting to me that in the same issue (Feb. 13) of the Grosse Pointe News that reported the appointing of a new council member in the Farms, "Farms council picks veteran Herdegen to fill vacancy," there was an article, "G.P. Park Mayor Heenan acts fast to fill council vacancy," about Grosse Pointe Park having appointed someone to Vernon Ausherman's seat on the Grosse Pointe Park City Council. The appointee noted that he will "stand for election in November, and hopefully the voters will return me to the council." That sounds logical as anyone on a council who makes a decision with which the citizens of the community disagree can be removed by their votes.

It does seem as though the Farms council is not doing the community any favor by eliminating any candidate who is committed enough to the community to want to remain on the council beyond the nine months remaining in the term.

I hope that future councils will reconsider this as a requirement to appointment.

Myrna Smith

Grosse Pointe Farms

Myrna Smith
February 20, 2003

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