New year opportunity thrown in the dumpster

The Fairmont City Council’s majority trio failed epically in 2019. One might think that taught them a lesson. It did not. Instead they are doing all they can to divide the city further in the new year.

The trio is comprised of Tom Hawkins, Ruth Cyphers and Randy Lubenow. Last year, they created controversy and ill will by ousting the city attorney and city administrator, gaining nothing for the betterment of Fairmont. (They are making massive payouts to those two officials, though.) The trio then tried to get a “forensic” audit of the city’s books going back almost two decades, for spurious reasons. The State Auditor’s Office responded: No way. Finally, the group spent more than $10,000 on an investigation of city staff, whom the investigator exonerated in her report.

Notably, we learned this week that the investigation resulted in an open meeting law violation involving Hawkins and Cyphers. Hardly a surprise, given long-held suspicions in town about the trio’s behind-the-scenes activities.

In any case, apparently irritated by their poor track record, the trio this week pushed for the transcripts of interviews conducted by the investigator. Because they “just know” that some city staff members have something to hide. Despite the investigation that concluded the contrary. The trio says they plan no retaliation against staff after they see the transcripts. That is what is known in the old vernacular as a “whopper.”

2020 had offered the City Council a chance to move forward, to try to better the community even though there are a lot of hard feelings all around about the events of 2019. What did the trio do with the opportunity? They embraced the bitter past, inserted it into present and made it the foreseeable future.


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