A little friction between the mayor and some commissioners stemming from the Hollywood Casino charitable grant funding process continued this week.
It started last week with several community representatives stepping forward to oppose an effort to change the way casino grant funding was distributed. That effort to change the funding process to a more direct one allowing commissioners to control a portion of the fund, which would spread out the funding throughout the county and make it available to smaller groups, was led by Commissioner Ann Murguia and other commissioners. The change was opposed by the mayor.
Commissioner Murguia is running for re-election, and has no opposition. The mayor’s term is up in two years.
Commissioner Murguia said at the Jan. 22 meeting that she had been told that a representative of the mayor’s office made certain remarks concerning the funding process at a neighborhood leaders’ meeting earlier in the day. She said it was reported to her that dirty or corrupt politics had been insinuated. Commissioner Mike Kane also made a statement about it at that Jan. 22 UG Commission meeting.
At the Jan. 29 meeting, Mayor Holland brought the issue back to the public meeting, saying he had investigated it. “I would like to offer assurance that I have confidence that my staff member acted appropriately and that her statements were misconstrued at the meeting,” Mayor Holland said on Jan. 29.
“It looked to me like, commissioner, that you were looking to bully a member of my staff, and I found that unprofessional and inappropriate,” Mayor Holland said at the meeting.
Today, Commissioner Murguia was asked to respond to those allegations.
She stated: “I am very disappointed in Mayor Holland’s comments and characterizations last night at the conclusion of our commission meeting. He, and I, were not present at the neighborhood group meeting. It was reported to me, and other Commissioners, by more than one person who was at the meeting, what the Mayor’s staff person said. I as well as several other commissioners mentioned it at our Commission meeting last week.
“I believe Mayor Holland’s name calling and characterizations reflect poorly on his leadership ability and our efforts to have a Commission that works well together and is not divided by inaccurate and irresponsible comments by Mayor Holland.
“I am going to continue to work to improve and maintain services and programs to benefit the 3rd District and Wyandotte County. I believe we have a hard working and dedicated Commission that is doing their best to represent our county,” Commissioner Murguia stated.
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