Tom Blues, Lexington’s 2nd District Councilmember, is not going for re-election this year, which means its time for some new blood.
Local activist (she’s a driving force behind ProgressLex), mom, cancer survivor and all-round fireball Shevawn Akers is stepping into the fire. Last night she sent this email out to the good folks of Lexington:
From: Shevawn Akers
Date: Mon, Jan 9, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Subject: Exciting Announcement!!
To: Shevawn Akers
Good evening, friends!!
If you are receiving this, it means that our paths have crossed through friendship, our children, community activism or other network. As most of you know, 2011 was a tumultuous year for me, filled with many ups and downs. As a result, I have a renewed passion for making a difference and believe that now is the time for me to make an even larger impact in my community. Since learning that Councilman Tom Blues will not seek reelection this year, I’ve decided to run for 2nd District Urban County Council in the 2012 election. Before my name can be placed on the ballot, however, I need to collect 100 signatures from registered voters throughout the 2nd Council District. As with any election, it takes a team effort to win which is where each of you comes in.
She goes on to ask for a little help here and there — first and foremost, she needs those 100 signatures from registered 2nd Council District voters. If you know folks in the 2nd, you might give them a heads up.
On Tuesday, George Myers dropped a major dramabomb on the Lexington’s Council Work Session when he made a motion to place on today’s docket a vote to remove Dewitt Hisle as chair of LFUCG’s Internal Audit Board, due to his overwhelming conflict of interest and the odd behavior around the internal auditor. While the motion lost by a vote, Hisle would resign hours later.
But there was much more drama than that when the council discussed the motion, including KC Crosbie grilling the legal department, Feigel accusing Myers of politics and casting aspersions, Tom Blues jumping in to shill for Newberry, Julian Beard going all Bunning on Newberry, and Ed Lane sounding suspiciously defensive about his work on the internal audit board.
Oh, and here’s all the fun on video, in 4 parts. Enjoy:
Crosbie twists Newberry’s legal lackey Keith Horn into knots on when Sellars stopped representing LFUCG and started representing Bruce Sahli, also asking if he still represented LFUCG when he started leaking opinions to the Herald Leader. She asked who requested the auditor of public accounts to do an independent review and Mayor Newberry jumps in and says “I did”. Crosbie asks if it was him and not Sahli, and Newberry said he believed Sahli had some conversation with them as well, but he knows he did. Whoa.
Feigel and Lane shilled to the 9th degree for Newberry, accusing Myers of politics, while Blues jumped in early saying this was premature. Lane went on to cover for the board and also trashed the LFUCG special investigation committee, saying they weren’t qualified and the only people to listen to are the state auditors people.
Beard took on that last point by saying that he remembered this body voting unanimously to create that committee, so Lane should feel free to STFU. He told Lane if he’s looking for ways to knock the legs out from under this committee, it would be a shame. He said there has not been a political breath drawn in the committee and they’re just interesting in finding out how the process happened, and if fairness has been dealt to the individual(s) involved in this fraud report and anything around that. He said they have a mandate to go further, and certainly will.
Andrea James also stepped in and defended Myers, saying she sees absolutely no politics in this. She said that anytime a council member sees something on a board that doesn’t allow process to work, it is their responsibility to report it to the full council, which is exactly what Myers is doing. She said this is about transparency.
Peggy Hensen said that she would vote for the motion because this looks really bad, and Hisle’s position with Newberry’s campaign creates a definite conflict of interest.
Jim Gray recused himself from both discussion and the vote.
And do you know what really would have been fun? Diane Lawless was apparently out sick for the meeting, but if she had been there, the vote likely would have been tied 7-7. And you know what happens then? The Mayor has to break the tie… meaning Newberry would have decided right then and there whether his campaign’s treasurer was fired from the board or not.
Which would have been really fun.
Council meeting is tonight at 7:00… any more fireworks in store?