The Clintonville Common Council voted 6-2 at its meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 9, to censure Mayor Judy Magee.
Aldermen Bill Zienert and Phil Rath voted against the censure. Alderman Mark Doornink was excused from the meeting.
Alderwoman Mary Beth Kuester, who tried to bring the motion to the council at a special council meeting, Sept. 2, had the item placed on the agenda for the Sept. 9 meeting.
Kuester told the council the motion to censure Magee was based on instances of ethics violations, failure to carry out assigned duties, abuse of power, and violations of policy.
Kuester added that censure “is a formal statement of disapproval.”
“While censure is less serious than expulsion in that it does not remove an elected official from office, it is nevertheless a formal statement of disapproval that can have a powerful psychological effect on an elected official and on that person’s relationship with the common council,” Kuester said.
Kuester cited several text messages sent by Magee. The text messages were obtained by an open records request. One text referred to a recall of Alderman Greg Rose. Another referred to an email sent by Tricia Rose.
Other allegations cited included: not providing council members with city ordinances, talking to the media about closed session discussion, threatening to use her veto power, and engaging in political activity while on duty by a city employee.
Kuester added that Magee “has shown evidence of inability to carry out her duties.”
Magee offered a rebuttal to Kuester’s statements.
She said the text messages don’t provide what the phone conversation was before the text messages were sent.
“I do the best I can with what I have and the extra added pressures and stress since the city administrator has been on leave has been insurmountable. It’s taking a toll on my health,” Magee said.
Magee added, “Mary Beth, we’ve been friends since 1979 and I take this as a slap in the face that you couldn’t talk to me prior to this and discuss it instead of making it public.”
During further discussion of the motion, Jeannie Schley, council president, said the mayor’s nonchalant response to the text messages was “disturbing.”
After the vote, Magee moved to the next item on the agenda.