Over a year ago I put up a note about the Tempest in a Teacup the West Bend city council went through to appoint an interim mayor. Here's a note from a reader with an update about the disappearing alderman, Scott Frederick.
Funny that Boots & Sabers & WatchfulEyeWB (maybe it should be "HeadUpMyButtWB") have not caught on to this topic yet - Here's Mike Nichols update (MJS 7/6/08) -Ald Frederick embodied the Me-Generation neo-con values perfectly: political and economic principles designed to make him comfortable at the expense of his neighbors and temper tantrums when he didn't get his way.
Alderman who left meeting ends up leaving West Bend, too
If anybody happens to stumble upon former West Bend Ald. Scott Frederick somewhere, ask him a question on behalf of his ex-constituents.
Other than, of course, him giving what we now know was mere lip service to the idea of decent community representation.
Frederick flapped his lips plenty about a year ago, in June of 2007, when the West Bend Common Council was debating how to fill the 10 months remaining in former mayor Doug Bade’s term. Bade had resigned and moved out of state.
Frederick wanted to consider applications from a broad pool of city residents and wanted to appoint someone from that pool to a five-month term. A special election would have been held at the end of that five months. The winner of that election, however, would also have served only five months, at which point another, regular election would have been held.
A majority of other alderman favored simply appointing a council member to a 10-month, interim, mayoral term and then having a regular election.
They were about to vote for that option, in fact, at a meeting on June 4, 2007, when Frederick and two of his fellow aldermen, Allen Carter and Terry Vrana, walked out the door in order to prevent the appointment.
Just got up and left.
“It was the only recourse I had,” Frederick told a reporter. “City residents are entitled to have elected representatives.”
He urged the public to rise up in opposition against what he called “a gang of five” controlling the council.
And then, after Kristine Deiss was appointed interim mayor a week later, claimed, “The City of West Bend (had) just reached a new level of corruption.”
Both Deiss and her allies, he told me, had “disenfranchised the West Bend community (in order) to accomplish their own personal agenda.”
Strong words — especially for a guy who, now, seems to be at a loss for almost any at all.
Frederick, who was elected to a two-year term in the spring of 2007, is no longer an alderman.
He didn’t resign, according to West Bend City Attorney Mary Schanning.
“He,” she said, “just moved.”
As she wrote in a memo to City Administrator Dennis Melvin and Deiss, his aldermanic seat “became vacant” when he moved on May 30, 2008.
That happens from time to time. Part-time elected officials give up their seats before their term is over.
But usually, there is the courtesy of a little advance notice.
It was common knowledge that he had his house up for sale. But Melvin says he didn’t know Frederick was moving out of the district and giving up his seat until the very day he actually did.
The city administrator says he had been trying to reach Frederick for a week or two, and finally talked to him May 30. He doesn’t recall for sure who initiated the call that day, but thinks it was Frederick calling him back.
On the very day that, according to Schanning, he moved.
“I believe,” said Melvin, “he told me he was moving to the Kewaskum area.”
“I think it just happened quickly,” said Melvin. “Could it have been handled differently? Probably.”
Deiss is more direct.
“I was flabbergasted,” she said.
She too knew that his house had been up for sale. But she said there was no advance warning he was going.
“Nothing at all.”
“That was a disservice he did to his constituents,” said Deiss, who was elected to a full term as mayor in April. “He left them high and dry.”
“He walked out of that meeting,” she said. “Now he is walking out on his constituents, too.”
According to City Clerk Amy Reuteman, the last Common Council meeting that Frederick attended was May 5. Even before moving, he missed both a Common Council and a Finance Committee meeting May 19, she said.
His current term doesn’t end until April of 2009, so the city is asking people who might want the seat to submit a letter of interest by July 15. Interviews will not be until early August — so his district will be without representation until at least then.
Frederick’s old number in West Bend has been disconnected, and I couldn’t find a new one for him in Kewaskum or anywhere else. I did try to send him an e-mail at an old e-mail address but it was returned as undeliverable so we don’t have his side of things — unlike last year.
When he lectured everyone about how city residents “are entitled to have elected representatives.”
And complained about how some people had allegedly “disenfranchised the West Bend community (in order) to accomplish their own personal agenda.”
Something, it retrospect, he appears to know something about.
And the beat goes on.