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If deception is an art (as described in an earlier blog), Polson City Manager Todd Crossett needs some coaching so he doesn’t bungle any more attempts.

For background, read the brief summary here (or read the Art of Deception found on the left):   During public comments at the September 17 Polson City Council meeting, I provided evidence to the mayor and city commissioners that Todd misrepresented the Knight Foundation study, when he stated:  As we look at ways to grow our economy we need to be aware of these underlying factors.  The results of the three year study did not prove what the Knight Foundation had hoped it would, which is that emotional attachment to a place improves the economy.  I also revealed that the funders of the study, the Knight Foundation, contributed financially to the Orton Family Foundation.  Isn’t that just cozy?

SO, it seems apparent that Todd thought he would throw a zinger by adding a “note” to my comments and inserting said “note” into the official September 17 minutes for the world to see.  Note: Orton denies it receives funding from the Knight Foundation.

During the subsequent October 1, Polson City Council meeting, approval of minutes, I asked for the source of the information for the “note” inserted in the minutes and Mr. Crossett replied, “Orton.”  I asked for a name.  He said, “Just Orton.”  Does that sound convincing?  He could have used some deception coaching here.  I then produced a copy the Orton Family Foundation’s IRS 990 report filed for the 2011 tax year.  On Schedule B, titled “Contributors” the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is absolutely, positively, unequivocally listed as a cash contributor.

Now, compare the rock solid, indisputable evidence Orton supplied to the IRS with Mr. Crossett’s secret tattler.  Could it be that Todd made the whole thing up?  I’m beginning to wonder.

Mr. Crossett’s “note” was just plain wrong.   I asked that the “note” be removed from the minutes.  The mayor looked at Mr. Crossett and he began to dance around, but stuck to it saying:  No, we’re not going down that road.  That’s a slippery slope.  People have opinions and one opinion isn’t any more relevant than the other.

OH, REALLY?  Mr. Crossett bungled this one—BIG TIME.  Some no-name secret whisperer, who may or may not actually exist, does not begin to compare with the IRS document.   This isn’t opinion vs. opinion.  It is more like fact vs. fabrication.  In the lame bungled attempt to discredit me, Mr. Crossett’s credibility has sunk beyond the point of no return and this blunder was witnessed by the mayor, the commissioners, and the public.  Will he manipulate the minutes again or let the city clerk do her job and get it right?