OPINION

One of two views on the Dunsmuir recall: She must be recalled

Guest opinion by Bruce Deutsch, Dunsmuir

I am a retired Naval Commander. When I moved to Dunsmuir in 2008, I heard that local politics were nasty, so I avoided them completely.

On April 2, I watched videos of two City Council meetings. Both showed Councilor Leslie Wilde acting outrageously. At the next council meeting (my first), I stood during public comments to pose a question to Wilde concerning her actions as an elected official. Before I could get my question out, Wilde stood and walked out of the meeting! I was shocked. (She later explained that she knew the next 45 minutes were going to be filled with complaints about her, so she left.)

Afterwards, several people predicted I would be attacked for my comment. Within two weeks, I was attacked twice, the second time in a vicious Facebook forum post. I was accused of being a schizophrenic who had been institutionalized, and compared to the Unabomber.

I soon learned Wilde is known for her attacks. When she was appointed to the council, many city leaders stepped forward to help her be successful.

One after another, she attacked and burned each of them.

Five former mayors who once supported her have come out publicly for her recall.

Consider last May. With only two members and no quorum, then-Mayor Ed Steele and Councilor Dave Keisler interviewed five candidates for appointment to the council. Each had three votes. Wilde was the only one to receive votes from both. In September, Wilde attempted to censure Steele. Then, in January, she led an attempted coup against Mayor Keisler, in a special meeting scheduled to coincide with the 49ers/Packers playoff game.

Scott Welch and Tim Padula joined the council in November. They voted with Wilde to call that NFL Sunday sneak attack. Since then, the three have formed a shadow government, with Wilde as their leader.

She has declared the three are working together to uncover corruption – a clear violation of the Brown Act.

Together, they drove the city attorney to resign. They have been brutally attacking Brenda Bains, our respected City Manager and CFO, attempting to fire her or drive her to resign – all without making a single on-record accusation against her.

At a recent illegal closed meeting, Wilde hurled a vulgar profanity at Bains that so embarrassed Vice-Mayor Welch that he adjourned the “meeting” and walked out.

All based on conspiracy theories.

Their most controversial act has been the hiring of David Hicks to replace the city attorney.

In 2011, Hicks represented former-Mayor Peter Arth in a lawsuit against four council members. In January 2013, the judge ruled completely in favor of the four and against Arth & Hicks. Both sides were ordered to pay their own attorney’s fees. $100,000 was spent defending the four, all charged to the city's insurance policy.

But Hicks had filed the lawsuit as a quasi-class action suit. He had accumulated over $500,000 in fees, and expected those fees to be paid . . . from the same insurance policy! In August, while the lawsuit was on automatic appeal, Arth and Hicks spent over an hour trying to persuade the council to vote to have the city get involved in mediation – so Hicks could get a path to the insurance policy. Wilde voted for mediation; Steele and Keisler against.

On April 1st the three called another special meeting, this time to hire Hicks as city attorney. Keisler & Steele refused to participate in what was considered an illegal process. Throughout public comments, the three assured everyone that the hiring would be temporary and the position would be advertised. Immediately after public comments, they “decided” to hire him permanently. A bizarre, arguably invalid contract was “negotiated” and signed during a closed session on April 3. The next morning, Hicks picked up a $5,000 retainer. He has already charged the city over $14,000 – nearly half the entire year's budget for city attorney. All accomplished denying citizen input.

Throughout, Leslie Wilde has made it clear she will do whatever she wants because she has the votes. Anyone who disagrees with her is labeled a “hater.”

She is unfit for public office, and must be recalled on June 3rd.