As voters learn of Wernick’s association with the recent monumental scandal at City Hall, Jim Petray’s candidacy in the District 1 City Council race continues to accelerate. His squeaky-clean ethics, relevant academic credentials, moral compass, and decades long community service to the disadvantaged and the vulnerable in need are rapidly being recognized as just what the doctor ordered for Novato.
Petray’s opponent Wernick is haunted by the increasingly frequent asked question “Why did you campaign to censure Councilmember Eklund and Drew when they pressed for a Council examination of existing financial and personnel turmoil inside City Hall that ultimately became the largest City Hall scandal in history?”
The absence of an adequate explanation of Wernick’s support of a petition submitted by political activists to the City Council to muzzle two Councilmembers’ warning of the developing historic ethical scandal in the City has generated skepticism regarding the existence of any moral compass.
Jim Petray, the ethical, truly independent candidate contrasts strongly with Wernick who brings the heavy baggage of tied commitments of obeisance to Paul Cohen, Chair of the Marin Democrat Committee, and intense political special interest groupie, the Novato Chamber of Commerce.
The Marin Independent Journal, now recognized by many as the Marin Codependent Journal, minimized the magnitude of what actually happened when on August 23th it underreported the “surprise move” where the City Council “ousted’ then City Manager Regan Candelario. What happened was far more newsworthy than a perfunctory single article.
The “ouster” became the biggest scandal in City of Novato history. The subsequent house-cleaning senior staff departures and their relationship to the larger scandal were reported piecemeal as if they were unrelated. The Marin IJ completely missed the boat.
Three scandal-enabling guilty Councilmembers were shielded from public cross-examination by the Marin IJ’s p underreporting. Business as usual for a newspaper in sustained decline.
The entire upper staff of City Hall was either fired or resigned. This has never happened before in any of Marin’s larger cities. The departed included:
Regan Candelario – City Manager
Russ Thompson – Assistant City Manager
Michael Antwine – Assistant City Manager
Rickey Manbahal – Interim Finance Manager
Mark Moses – Finance Consultant
This enormous scandal probably would never have been uncovered if Wernick and her co-petitioners’ campaign to censure Councilmembers Eklund and Drew had been successful. Wernick’s behavior and lack of judgement calls into question her ability to separate personal political career ambitions from acceptable ethical standards.
City Manager Candelario was allowed to leave without being charged because the cost of litigation to the City would have been larger than buying out his contract, which was ultimately done. He was instead escorted out of his office and told to not come back until summoned to pick up his personal belongings. Had Wernick and her associates been successful at keeping Eklund and Drew quiet, we might never have known about the dark direction in which Novato City Hall was headed and found itself.
Ultimately, The Council decided to bring in Police Chief Adam McGill to act as Interim City Manager and return an ethical standards presence to City Hall’s Senior Staff offices. McGill is widely supported by the Novato community and has been outstanding.
To Novato’s detriment, the Novato Chamber of Commerce’s political lobby and the Marin County Democrat Party machine in which Wernick is a loyal political operative are determined to dictate and control who will win in each Novato District election. They also intend to intimidate and discourage potential independent candidates by threatening them with huge amounts of out-of-district funds, outside campaign workers, robocalling services, etc.
Paul Cohen, Chair of the Marin Democrat Party, will throw in his predictable adversarial mix of county-level favor-seeking special interests, i.e. Marin Women’s PAC, Marin Professional Firefighters, AFL CIO union, Marin Sierra Club, Marin Independent (aka Codependent) Journal, City-wide Novato Chamber of Commerce and Novato Democrat Club – none of whom blew the whistle on the mess at City Hall and none of whom even represent the District 1 neighborhood.
Wernick’s laundry list of political endorsers is boring. None of them could be bothered to see the scandal that developed at City Hall. Again, none of them raised the alarm. For them to endorse a candidate who on social media was very publicly critical of the scandal’s whistleblowers, Councilmembers Eklund and Drew, calls into question the endorsers standards or lack thereof of acceptable behavior.
They are also dedicated to sweeping the largest scandal in City Hall History under the rug because their “tied” candidates on the City Council (Lucan, Athas, Fryday) made the scandal possible. And these three refused to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation because they are (let’s not mince words) incompetent.
In confirmation of this observation, these three had earlier voted to give City Manager Candelario a larger than normal raise, bonus and extension of his contract accompanied by accolades of what a “great job” he had done. How seriously wrong they were. This should not be forgotten.
The election of Jim Petray will enable the Council to begin to rise above the mess Lucan, Fryday and Athas allowed.
Jim Petray is the light at the end of the tunnel.
Vote for Jim Petray!
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