Anyone from Oregon and beyond likely remembers the Academy Award winning movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” which was filmed at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem.  I worked there as a Clinical Social Worker and saw a variety of mental conditions and behavioral health matters, but I also saw a great deal of promise and hope among the troubled individuals that had found themselves in the unfortunate situation of having to spend time there.  The world can be a very unforgiving place for those who struggle with mental conditions and behavioral concerns.  I have dedicated my life and career to helping those who have these issues and take offense to Mr. Anderson’s characterization of me having “lost my marbles.”  But then, I can also say that I don’t because I happen to relate to and help those who may have.

Mr. Anderson’s Opinion Piece “Has the Mayor of Bay City Lost His Marbles?” is wrought with inaccurate and misinformed notions about me.  I’ve only been in office a mere 6 months and already the citizens of Bay City have seen significant changes.  That’s what they wanted, and I feel that’s exactly what they’re getting.  I may get things wrong from time to time, and when I do, I admit my shortcomings and transgressions and move on.

I was afforded the opportunity to take an EMT class because my employer gave me the blessing to do so with an education allowance, not because the Bay City Fire Department did.  I was not taking or attempting to take a Pump Operator/Driver Certification class concurrently.  Sorry Karl, you got your facts wrong again.  I took the Pump Operator Class several years ago through DPSST (not at BCFD) and passed it.  The only thing that was left to do was to take a Driver’s Class which was offered in the fall of 2017 at a time when I was vacationing in my native home of New Orleans.  I wanted to take and asked numerous times to take a Driver’s class but opportunities to do so didn’t materialize and no driver’s classes could be offered for over a year.  

My choice of words for the June 11th meeting were not carefully considered before they came out of my mouth.  I think most people can attest to the fact that they wish they could take back things they’ve said at times in their life, I am not unique in that assertion.  I have some concerns that I think need to be addressed and have since communicated with the Fire Chief and we intend to do that.  Now that I am no longer on the department, we can put our differences aside and we can work on finding a way to address those issues without it being a conflict of interest.  

Helen Wright has the right to her opinions, she’s an elected official just like I am and if she has a concern, she has a right to voice that concern.  I will listen to her opinion and do what I can to find common ground with her as well.  As far as being solely responsible for what she calls “chaos” in Bay City, I will say that is not entirely my fault.  In fact, Mr. Anderson, your negative “Opinion” pieces have proven to be the biggest part of the “chaos” in my humble opinion.

Mr. Anderson quoted a female firefighter and a male friend of hers who is also on the department accusing me of “giving them the finger.”  I don’t go around giving people the finger.  I hold myself to a much higher standard and have more tact than to go around doing such things.  

So, Mr. Anderson, perhaps in the future, instead of touting your “Journalism” chops, why don’t you do what a reputable Journalist does and ask multiple sources including the person being targeted for a more non-biased opinion?  If you want to be a fair-weathered friend and discard people you want to dismiss as having “lost their marbles,” I suppose that’s your business.  But, instead of putting people down, why don’t you work on building them up and reserve your judgment of them?  You’ve made that mistake numerous times now.


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