Inquiry politically driven
I read with dismay the Sept. 9 column of Diane Ponder about the “inquiry” conducted by the Xenia City Council into the actions of councilmen Dale Louderback and John Caupp. When Ms. Ponder spoke about what the two councilmen had done “in nearly every single council meeting,” one had to wonder whether Ms. Ponder attended “every single” meeting of the council for the past few years or whether she had someone on the council write the column for her.
The primary purpose in calling for the inquiry was not to inquire into the actions of the two councilmen with regard to a proposed entertainment center, but rather, to remove Messrs. Louderback and Caupp from the council. The final result was merely a vote to “reprimand” the two. The question is, a reprimand for what?
Councilmen Caupp and Louderback were not guilty of any violation of ethics or conflict of interest. Both councilmen consulted with the city attorney to see if there was any conflict of interest or violation of the city charter in their becoming involved with the center. They were assured that there was no such conflict or violation of ethics.
The “inquiry” was actually called for by the opponents because the two councilmen were opposed to construction of the new $12 million city hall in Xenia. The two councilmen pointed out that the City of Xenia could not afford such a “Taj Mahal.” They called upon the council to put the new city hall to a citywide vote, even a nonbinding vote, but the opponents refused to do so claiming that the issue was “too complicated for the voters to understand.”
In retaliation for the efforts by Louderback and Caupp to block the new city hall, the opponents seized upon this phony charge of conflict of interest. This has caused severe damage to the reputations, businesses, and income of Caupp and Louderback. Now the people of Xenia should look into the real reasons for the inquiry and recognize that two honest, dedicated public servants have been seriously, wrongfully, maligned.
– John E. LeMoult, Xenia