Grass Valley politics tend to be on the boring side…well, most of the time. It’s always been cliquish, and very few have been able to break through the hometown hegemony. That is, until Dean Williams joined the council and appointed Terry Lamphier as his planning commissioner. Terry was not very popular at city hall, mostly for taking up too much staff time, it was claimed. City council rules allow a majority of councilpersons to remove a commissioner, even if the person who nominated him objects.
That’s what happened to Terry’s stint on the commission, as shown in this cartoon from 2005. There is only one person still remaining on the city council from that time, and her name is Lisa Swarthout. She appears on the right hand side of the second panel. Judging from her recent statement suggesting that Mr. Lamphier resign before he is even seated (due to charges which have yet to be filed), she apparently hasn’t changed her opinion.
Some old grudges die hard…
Thanks for the history lesson on the GV politics. I remember it vaguely but since I don’t live in GV it is more boring than trying to cover it I guess. The Lisa Swarthout I have always known and dealt with indirectly through different issues in GV has been reasonable and considerate. Neither of those seem to be present in her request of Mr Lampier. Usually if something doesn’t fit into the normal puzzle their is a bigger back story to it. Maybe Lampier and Swarthout had some stiff words for each other behind closed doors in those days. Only Terry and Lisa know I guess. If Lamphier does actually win a seat on the council I hope he demands a public apology from her for ignoring due process and adding fuel to fire with more speculation of being guilty until proven innocent.
If Lisa didn’t want Terry on the city council, she had ample opportunity to voice her complaints during the campaign. Now it’s up to the courts, and that’s if he is even he is charged with a crime. This last minute expose’ is just too damn convenient.
Innocent until proven guilty. That’s all we’ve got. Let the process work. It’s not convenient, it’s uncomfortable and messy. It’s the worst system of justice, except for all the other ones. Chill.
This whole thing is simply sad. It is not good for our community. If and when he is charged, resigning would knock the level of attention down a lot which would be better for the community. The process needs to play out though as Michael said.
As usual…. a few well/creatively drawn panels by you hits the nail on the head. It was my idea in 2005 to change the planning commission appointment process in GV. My first choice was to allow each council member to have the sole authority to appoint(or remove) their own planning commissioner – similar to the County and many other cities and counties. The concept got watered down through the democratic process to allow each council member to appoint their planning commissioner, but with ratification by 3/5 of the council. Prior to 2005 the Mayor would appoint a sub-committee of two to interview planning commission applicants and make a recommendation to the whole council. I can not remember a time when the Council did not ratify a sub-committee recommendation. My position was – each Council member was elected and each member has equal power in decision making. Sub-committee recommendations could keep control by three council members.
Thanks for spelling it out for us, Mark.