I think one other point needs to be made in regards to my column Monday.

Let’s start with this comment I received today from Steve Francis, the former candidate for mayor who ran AMN Healthcare.

As a former CEO and now Chairman of a public company, I know how serious disclosures are in a public offering. Any public company executive or director that engaged in this type of irresponsibility would invite shareholder suits, criminal prosecution and removal from office.

Much of the Kroll report and other efforts have focused on the supposed fact that the city’s staff – not its political leaders – pushed an agenda that the council later approved, unwisely and negligently.

In their public comments and in the way everything’s been worded, the City Council has gone from claiming that nothing was wrong with what happened at the city to claiming that it was just bamboozled by this clever and evil staff. Donna Frye is different, of course, she’s never hidden from the problems the city faced and her crusades to break the poisonous culture of consensus are noteworthy. Unfortunately, she also signed off on some of the misleading disclosures sent to investors describing the city’s fiscal health.

The council and mayor set the political priorities for the city. Period. They are the ones who wanted things like new ballparks and national political conventions. They pushed for them.

What the Kroll report confirms for the umpteenth time is that the staff members became facilitators knowing they needed to hide certain pieces of information from the public to make them happen.

And even if the opposite is true – that the staff set the whole agenda and ran over the City Council and mayor – that is still an indictment of the political leaders. Why? Because if this is somehow true, it shows that they let themselves become too weak to exercise control.

SCOTT LEWIS

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