On Thursday, July 27, Tempe City Council voted 4-2 to issue a formal letter of reprimand against me for a post I made on my personal facebook and instagram pages. In the post, I stated: “Things I never thought about when I decided to run for council. #1 That I would have my own personal, psycho, paparazzi stalker. #2 That he would take such good photos!” I edited the post within two hours to remove the word psycho and stalker, prior to any complaints, even though I did not name the photo taker by name.
My opinion of the letter of reprimand is that it is pure politics. Vice mayor is a rotating position and I am next in line in the rotation in 2018. There are concerns among some that I will run for Tempe mayor in 2020. While each Council member has a specific reason for their vote, I believe, on the whole, the vote was to create the excuse to skip me as next in line for vice mayor, and to pre-write the negative mailers a PAC will use in the event I run for mayor in 2020.
My greatest concern is not that Council is playing politics, it is (1) they are doing it with taxpayer money, (2) in violation of the 1st Amendment, and (3) are putting state shared revenue at risk under Berry v. Foster 883 P.2d 470 (1994). This is a dangerous path.
There is real work to be done in Tempe to address homelessness, transportation, parks, and housing affordability, among others. This is the work residents want us to focus on. This is the work I ran for Council to focus on. This is the work residents demand that we focus on. To do anything less is to do Tempe a disservice.
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(I realize this is not the typical political statement. I contemplated simply writing the “I deeply regret my actions…” statement politicians typically make in these situations. However, it has become increasingly clear to me this is a pattern and practice of Council, related to me, and simply bowing my head and taking it only serves to empower some Council members to do it more.
Additionally, I want to thank Councilpersons Kuby and Schapira for seeing this for what it is, and voting against the letter of reprimand.)