This letter by Andrew Speer appeared in the Valley Journal on August 28, 2013.
At a recent Polson City Council meeting held Aug.13, the acting city manager, Karen Sargeant, stated that “it appears that there is some misinformation out and about” regarding one of her pet projects, the ice rink. She also stated that “there are no plans to use any tax money for this rink.”
Where did this “misinformation” come from? Maybe from the City Council meeting Feb. 20 when Crossett said that, “He, Parks Superintendent Karen Sargeant, members of the Envision Polson! group and the PRA members have been gathering numbers regarding the cost of and business model for an ice skating rink.” I attended the PRA meeting earlier that same day when the request for funding was presented. Or did the “misinformation” come from Karen Sargeant at the first public “ice rink” meeting on June 10? She discussed options to build the rink on city property. She talked extensively and enthusiastically about Whitefish and their ice rink, which she visited for information as the business model to use. She referred to it as a “wazoo” rink. When asked if this “wazoo” rink was self-sustaining in Whitefish, she admitted that the city needed to subsidize the costs and that it needed city employees to operate and maintain. She also mentioned about expanding the “Parks Department” to “Parks and Recreation.” Ms. Sargeant has made it very clear about her visions for expansion and when asked about the costs for her projects, she has expressed that, “The taxpayers are just going to have to suck it up and pay it.” So, who is spreading “misinformation” in her role as interim city manager and shouldn’t we expect open, honest, and ethical city government?