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Integrity needed on Hughson council

POSTED July 30, 2010 10:46 p.m.
Hughson faces a recall election on Aug. 24 because three of its City Council members have refused to follow the recommendations of the Stanislaus Civil Grand Jury and resign from office.The grand jury concluded that they broke several laws, that their conduct was unacceptable, and their continued presence did not serve the best interests of Hughson.Seven months have passed and they haven’t budged from office. They’ve made some expensive mistakes and their presence continues to fuel chaos and bad feelings. It is notable that they tried unsuccessfully to appoint a personal friend as the new city manager by calling an emergency City Council meeting, ostensibly to avoid transparency and to minimize public scrutiny.That plan was not successful, but Hughson incurred significant legal costs as a result. And yet, these councilmen continue to use their voting bloc to establish control in important city matters. It is somewhat ironic that these three are so eager to choose the next city manager, because their very presence has likely limited the pool of applicants. Would it not be in Hughson’s best interest to delay important personnel decisions until after the special election?I think it’s time for the citizens of Hughson to restore integrity and dignity in local government by supporting the recall election on Aug. 24. It’s time for Councilmen Thom Crowder, Dough Humphreys and Ben Manley to exit so that ethics, honesty and respect can return to Hughson.Only then can our healing begin.— Peter Sugia
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