I have little or no sympathy for this character, who bamboozled enough voters in my old hometown to get elected in April, 2018 — and whose subsequent missteps in office have only worsened the distrust people feel for their municipal government.
Over a quarter-century ago, I briefly served as an elected official in my old hometown of Lexington, MO. There were a lot of shady dealings at City Hall back then, much worse than the ill-advised firing of the very capable and popular Joe Aull from the city administrator position.
Now that Fred Wiedner’s claims of being harassed on Facebook by Lexington, MO residents have been picked up and repeated by news media outlets all over America, I have two questions: 1) What evidence is there that this actually occurred? and 2) Why didn’t the former mayor simply block those “mean” posters and report them to Facebook, too? As a blogger on social media here in Colorado, mainly focused on the controversial issue of homelessness, I’ve made frequent use of the blocking feature on both Facebook and Twitter (all new comments to my WordPress blog require moderation, and those I find objectionable never see the light of day).
As to former councilman Bill Miller, who was critical of Lexington residents in the Kansas City Star’s op/ed, he’s the guy who wanted to dissolve the Lexington Police Dept. and contract with the Lafayette County Sheriff for law enforcement inside the city limits. That went over with citizens like a lead balloon, and Mr. Miller is no longer on city council, either.
Fred Wiedner reminds me of Prof. Harold Hill, the “Music Man,” who came to a small town to hoodwink the residents. In this case, however, there was no magical happy ending with a big parade featuring 76 Trombones and Marian the Librarian on his arm.
One final point about Wiedner’s background: Nobody cares about a bankruptcy in hard times nor do they mind a few traffic tickets. (I say that as an ex-convict who served time in Missouri DOC.) What people hate is to have a public official attempt to cover things up!
Fred Wiedner chose to resign. I did so, myself, from an elective position in Lexington, MO way back in 1993. The difference is that I didn’t use my brief written resignation to bash anybody, nor did I whine, but I did make it a point to thank the city employees I’d gotten to know for their good work.