Monday, January 14, 2013

Another Petition Drive in the Works?

Theresa Stehly has decided to exert her public muscle once again. This time she wants to change how the Park Board is organized. The Charter Revision Commission is continuing its work reviewing and considering changes to the city's constitution called the City Charter. Stehly appeared before them last week to present her proposal along with the little threat of another petition drive if they don't heed her advice.

Stehly thinks the Park Board should be established by districts, similar to how the city council is made up and she thinks it should be so stated in the City Charter. She said she is exploring which option would be best to make this change: a charter revision, a petition drive or working with the council to draft an ordinance.

Boards and commissions serve as a public voice and advisor to the administration. They have no power, nor can they adopt ordinances. The park board is not an elected body. It is an appointed advisory body. Stehly's proposal to the charter revision commission is not vision driven but an agenda driven by Theresa Stehly's agenda.

It makes no sense to single out one board in the city charter. The charter is a big tent with broad constitutional oversight. It provides an executive, legislative and administrative structure for a home rule local government. The charter speaks in broad terms about the mayor's role regarding boards and commissions.

City Attorney Pfeifle said the city charter is not the place to address this issue. Director Kearney said the process for appointing Park Board members is working so why change it. Pfeifle is right on - the charter revision commission is not the right place for this discussion. Director Kearney is also right in that the Park Board members look out for the needs of the entire community, not just one area of town.
The tendency is to pooh pooh anything that comes from Theresa Stehly. What we do know from past behavior, Stehly doesn't like to be told no. When asked by charter board member Knudson if her proposal was also directed at the planning commission, Stehly said no, she was only interested in the Park Board. Her agendas are specific driven. Normally, I'd say run for office but, she did that and she didn't win, even though it was in her own district. She has become involved in the Spellerberg Park discussion and it is not even in her own district. Has she been asked to lead another charge or has she appointed herself as the crusade leader for the Spellerberg area?
Stehly believes she has a mandate from the public because of her successful snow gate petition drive. People will sign most any petition if asked on the street. I have been known to sign a petition just to drive a discussion even though I know I will not support the measure if it came to a vote. Just because you can gather signatures doesn't mean you have a mandate on an issue.

My first thought when I heard about Stehly's latest crusade was to roll my eyes. Because ---- it came from her, again. Then I stepped back and thought, maybe it has some merit, at least for further discussion at a council committee meeting. I don't agree with her narrow viewpoint that it should only be discussed in the context of the Park Board, however. If the concept has merit, it has merit for the Planning Commission as well since both boards are recommending and advising on matters that affect the make up of the community.
It could be as simple as the mayor's office looking at applications in a different light with some consideration to broad representation in the community. You can do that without changing any ordinances. Making it ironclad and specific in ordinance might create problems filling board seats, especially if no one from a specific district is interested in volunteering to serve on a board.



  1. Theresa Stehly is going to make it so noone listens when she speaks. We can all jump on many causes, but sometimes you need to choose your battles wisely so you are effective. She has no relevance for the Spellerberg area and as a resident of this area, I wish she would stay out of it. She also needed to do some research on where the current park board members reside. If she did, she would have realized that the park board members are spread throughout this community as far as their residence. Quite honestly, if she would like to run for something and possibly have some relevance, I wish she would run for school board. That board is in DIRE need of people that will ask some hard questions, do some further research beyond what information Homan chooses to give them, and has a passion for education.

  2. For clarification, Theresa may be giving SOME advice to the Spellerberg petition gatherers, but beyond that, she is not involved. Not sure how that rumor has got started, but this is not the only place I have read it.

    As for the Parks board being targeted, it stems from a couple of things. 1) Their meetings are not being televised. A lot of people are unaware what they are up to, and would like to see more accountability, and secondly the appointment of Pat Lloyd doesn't sit well with people. As co-owner of Lloyd properties she should not be involved with any discussion when it comes to the River Greenway, in fact, she shouldn't even be on the board. It is gigantic conflict of interest.

    As for all this venom towards Stehly, I don't get it. If you want to call me a little asshole for my blog, fine. But Theresa has never done any of these things for self advancement, please, don't compare her to our current city council who have done everything for their own self-advancement. Do you think Stehly did the snowgate petition drive for herself? Don't be an idiot. Stehly is a citizen advocate. You may not like her, but without her our community would be in a much different place.

  3. Dear Jennifer, Several months ago I met with our City Attorney David Pfeifle to discuss the make-up of the park board ,and how the idea of having district representatives could be implimented. He advised me at that time to take it to the Charter Revision Commission. That is why I spoke to them last week. (After the meeting I reminded David that he had given me the advice to come to speak to the group. ) Council member Sue Aguilar was present when I spoke to the Commission, and she encouraged me to bring it to the City Council.
    Jennifer, I appreciate your respect for the petition process. I don't know if you have ever personally collected signatures , but the citizens we encountered during the the snow gate petition drive were deeply grateful for our efforts. You may not agree with my stand on an issue, but I will always encourage people to become more engaged in our city, county and state government. The privilege we have in a democracy is that we can stand up for what we belive in and work to make a difference. We can do that whether we are elected officials, or private citizens.
    I know many people read your blog. Thank you for working to keep people informed. God Bless You, Theresa Stehly

  4. I laughed out loud when I read this blog. Specifically when you referred to Stehly's "Crusade" and her "Narrow viewpoint".

    Apparently you weren't aware of your reputation during your time with the City. Once your mind was made up you were right, there was no dissuading you even if no one else agreed with you. The words you chose very clearly describe you as well.

    You and Ms. Stehly are more similar than either one of you will probably ever admit.