This was not a good week for citizens of Fairfield in terms of how we’re represented at the city level. Not a good week, that is, if you believe that our elected leaders should be held accountable for their actions.
Fairfield City Council members Catherine Moy and John Mraz walked the all-too-common path Wednesday of political rhetoric – with a side of grandstanding – when confronted by a critic of the council’s unanimous decision Tuesday to require a project labor agreement for any work done in connection with the city’s multimillion-dollar train station project.
Eric Christen, executive director of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction, pledged to keep the heat on council members – among taxpayers – as a result of the vote.
Moy took the implied political threat and ratcheted things up several notches by equating Christen’s position with a threat of actual violence. “I’ve had physical threats against me for decisions,” Moy said. “Whether the threat is political or physical, it is shameful.” Mraz, for his part, said that if proponents of the project labor agreement – unions – had lost the council vote, “you wouldn’t hear them whining like this.”
It’s hard to know where to begin, so I’ll begin with Moy.
Christen said he would hold council members accountable for their votes, nothing more. We, as citizens, should hold our elected representatives accountable for their votes. Any elected officials who do not think they should be held accountable for their votes has outlived their usefulness to those they are supposed to represent.
I have to ask: What specific decisions has Moy made that resulted in physical threats against her? It’s against the law to threaten a public official with physical violence. Were these incidents reported to Fairfield police? What was the outcome of those investigations? If these threats – I intentionally write in the plural because Moy spoke of “threats” – weren’t reported, why weren’t they?
As for Mraz, does he really believe that had the council denied the labor agreement and asked staff to simply bid the train station project, that we wouldn’t see a union-driven response? Mraz also took exception during Tuesday’s council meeting to the suggestion that council members must get something for their support of such a labor agreement.
It’s election season and two council seats – those of Moy and Mraz – are up for grabs along with the mayor’s seat. Moy and Mayor Harry Price have announced that they will seek re-election. Mraz has not yet announced a decision. I’m interested to see who kicks in cash and services to support the incumbents this fall, particularly so given Tuesday’s vote.
Reach Managing Editor Glen Faison at 427-6925 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlenFaison.