Promise unfulfilled: returning the town to the town

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I attended the Mammoth Council meeting Thursday, March 21.

The meeting was called to order and requests from the Council to the people in attendance to “fill out speaker cards”. Evidently these cards are to give the mayor the ability to pick and choose whom he wants to speak and whom he wants to bypass and not allow to speak. Mr. Joe Casello filled a card out and turned it in. He stood for five minutes and the Mayor, Alvaro Barcelo refused to give him the floor and told him to sit down. Is this the way to treat a lifelong elderly resident that needs to address the council? Councilman Juan Barcelo did try to get the floor for Mr. Casillas but the Mayor refused him also.

The promise of all candidates when campaigning was to return the ‘town to the people”. Two Councilmen were absent a second time and Councilman Joe Brewer tried repeatedly to get the floor with issues to present to the council. He was denied the floor. He was told by the town clerk that she would not put his issues on the agenda. I ask, where does a town clerk tell an elected official what will or will not be put on the agenda?

This has happened repeatedly to Mr. Brewer. When Councilman Brewer does get the floor he is verbally attacked by the council when asking questions of accountability. Is this the way to treat an elected Councilman? Hang in there, Councilman Brewer; there are many people in Mammoth supporting you.

No reports were given by persons listed on the agenda. There was no Treasurer’s report as usual. Mammoth residents need to know where the funds, grants, and how expenses are dispersed. If the Treasurer is not able to give a report for any reason, she needs to step down. An audit ordered through the Attorney General’s office is in order and will get the town back on track.

Vice Mayor Frances Wickham stated the swap meet went well and was a huge success. That was good news but again I ask, “How many dollars were made, and where were the funds deposited?” Again, no report! There is never a report on meetings attended by the Council members.

As a past Mayor of a town in South Dakota the size of Mammoth, I recommend all Council members attend a free school by the State on “how to conduct town meetings starting with the Mayor.” After some schooling, give a report to the people on what they learned. Our meetings lasted past midnight and once past 1:30 a.m. because all citizens were heard and were allowed to voice their opinions.

Concerned Mammoth resident,

/s/ Donald Jones

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