As far as I know nobody outside of City Hall has seen this letter in its entirety before. So this is an exclusive for The Tattler, if only by default. Sierra Madre is now a city with no functioning news outlets besides this one. It's not like there are any other newsers around anymore that see the need to get such information to the likes of you.
That all said, Melinda's sudden resignation has proven troubling for some, including myself. After all, she was an elected official, and by right deserved far better than the kind of treatment she was accorded. Here is her letter.
Note that the official resignation date is today. The City of Sierra Madre no longer has an elected City Clerk.
Three things that I think need to be aired out. The last one is in several parts.
1) Melinda makes this important point in her letter. I have watched video footage of the episode in question several times now, and it is an awful look. The angry conversation that took place between the City Council and the City Clerk is uncomfortable and embarrassing. This City Council's reputation for high-handedness was on full display. It's one thing not to talk to residents except through postcards, quite another to ignore an actual elected official, and then attack that person over her resulting frustration. And even if Melinda was at fault for some of the things she's been accused of, this could have been handled in a far more civil and professional manner. Squabbling over money in public is never becoming behavior.
2) Taking Melinda Carillo out of it for a moment, the City Clerk position in Sierra Madre is an elective office. It comes with all of the privileges and rights any elected official in this city would expect to receive. We have now witnessed an elected official, someone voted into office by the people, hounded from office, and with no official explanation of why that happened. This sets a strange and dangerous precedent.
3) There was an article published in The Mountain Views News on the matter, and predictably the now former City Clerk is gratuitously slaughtered. Here is an example:
That is, of course, made up nonsense. A meeting could have taken place with staff and the Mayor alone, and therefore the Brown Act would not have been triggered. To say that a more civil and dignified conversation couldn't have taken place because of the Brown Act is absurd. That didn't happen because nobody there cared enough to bother.
Here is another:
As an elected official, a City Clerk has the right to expect assistance from City Staff to get something done. It is what they are paid to do. Why that was considered so dire a problem in this instance is not explained. Also note the phrase, "According to sources." What sources? Nobody at City Hall wanted to put their name to the sorts of dodgy accusations being leveled in this MVN article? And therefore would only dare to speak anonymously? It is not hard to see why.
Also, where are these emails from the "Elections Coordination Division" stating that Carillo did not respond? Do they really point fingers, as MVN publisher Treasure Henderson claims they do, thereby giving her license to do the same in her article? That would be odd behavior for County of Los Angeles clerical staff.
I would certainly like to see those emails. I would also like to hear Melinda's side of the story. And as an aside, Treasure Henderson herself exists in a glass house where stone throwing isn't always a recommended activity (link).
Obviously Sierra Madre deserves a far better accounting of what actually happened, but it is taking time for me to tease that out. There must be some verifiable behind the scenes events that led to this unfortunate November 28 confrontation. My guess is much of this has its roots in an absence of communication and cooperation between the City Clerk, the City Council, and staff. And when things predictably went south, it became one person against everyone else.
Here is the video of that City Council meeting. The portion we are talking about begins at around 2 hours, 20 minutes in. The link is below the screenshot.