Impeachment, bickering, accusations. We’ve all grown familiar with those words, thanks to the current national political scene.
But those words were used recently not to describe national leaders but to characterize the Peru City Council.
Joe Molyneux, who serves on both the Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, didn’t mince words when describing the mayhem that has befallen the council.
“Each and every one of you, when you made campaign speeches and all, said you were for the betterment of the city,” he said. “I have not seen that in 22 months.”
Molyneux told council members they should be more respectful and advised members who have problems with others in the city to work out their issues as best they can.
One thing Peru officials are doing right is posting meetings on their YouTube channel.
There were 200 subscribers as of Thursday afternoon to the City of Peru IN — Council Meetings channel. Some meetings have been viewed only eight times (Peru Board of Works 9-21-21). Others have anywhere from 24 to 400 views. One — the Peru City Council 9-13-21 — has been viewed over 1,200 times.
During many of these meetings, the gallery doesn’t appear to be packed with residents concerned about what their leaders are doing to improve the city.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Peru in 2019 was 11,023. In the video titled Peru Board of Works 9-7-21, there are only seven people in the gallery.
Do the more than 11,000 people know about the juvenile behavior on display at these meetings?
Councilwoman Patricia Russell stated at Monday’s City Council meeting that she looked into impeaching council President Betsy Edwards-Wolfe.
So why didn’t she go forward with the impeachment? Because she spoke with City Attorney Dustin Kern, who told her to think through the action carefully.
Russell also heard from Jason Gornto, who owns and operates Custom Training Solutions, which offers classes and training on leadership and team collaboration.
Gornto addressed the council in August, calling them ineffective because of infighting, bickering and arguing. He offered his training to help solve the issues among members.
“It’s kind of a mess,” Gornto told the council. “There’s so much fighting. There’s so much inefficiency …”
The infantile behavior by members is doing nothing for the city — and residents are suffering for it.
Molyneux told the council Monday, “If we’re not all working together on it, we’re not going to get any further forward. We cannot keep going like this.”
Peru residents should show up at meetings and demand more from their elected officials. If Peru is to succeed and move forward, it will take the whole village.