Category Archives: Lexington Missouri

Lauren Hutton, now and then

I couldn’t find an age attached to the bottom photo, but it’s a perfect match for the ageless image in my mind. Let’s call it about thirty for Lauren, around the time I graduated from high school in 1974. (I also had a crush on actress Lee Meriwether at the same time, and she would have been forty or so.)

— MRW

The last word on former mayor of Lexington, MO Fred Wiedner

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.

— MRW

Here’s something Lexington, MO needs to fix right now:

In the recent past, the city had a very useful website with city ordinances, city council agendas & minutes of meetings, reports from the mayor (whoever it may be) and city administrator (whoever it may be), news and info from various city departments, etc.

Then, for reasons unknown to the general public, it disappeared . . . What you see now is this:

Click on image to enlarge.

Maybe folks back in the old hometown will become more motivated to attend city council meetings, study the issues for themselves, and most of all VOTE. It’s only a small fraction of those eligible to vote who are giving us the elected officials we’ve had since the ’80s.

(Btw, I was a terrible city council member, completely shocked by what I found going on at City Hall in April, 1992 and at a loss as to how it might be corrected.)

Perhaps the younger generation will finally be able to put aside the delusional thinking that life in the 1850s is something to be celebrated (after you sanitize it to remove the stink of slavery, of course).

What Lexington, MO needs in the 21st Century is economic growth and  good-paying jobs employing local workers; accomplish this, and all sorts of benefits will flow from it!

Joe Aull could still be a part of moving the town forward, but after the way he was mistreated by other city officials nobody has any right to demand this of him.

Food for thought . . .

— MRW

Letter-to-the-editor of the Lexington (MO) News

I couldn’t resist weighing in on yesterday’s surprise resignation of Mayor Fred Wiedner, a recent newcomer to my old hometown, who got himself into hot water for his role in firing a very capable and popular city administrator (apparently lying about the grounds for it):

Dear Editor,

Any evidence that Fred Wiedner’s claims about residents harassing him on Facebook are true? And if it really happened as he claims, why didn’t he simply block the abusive posters and report them to Facebook? He’s given my old hometown a black eye all over the country, with so many media outlets picking up this story (true or false).

The former mayor of Lexington, MO is like Prof. Harold Hill from the “Music Man,” drifting into this small town and scamming the residents. Unlike that musical, there is no happy, magical ending here.

When I resigned from City Council way back in 1993, after I decided that I’d done all that I could to effect change, I didn’t use my very brief written resignation as an opportunity to bash anybody. I didn’t even think it necessary to state a reason for leaving, but I did thank the city employees I’d come to know for their good work.

I continue to follow events in my old hometown with much interest. I was sorry to see that my apprehensions about Joe Aull, a fine man, being in a vulnerable position as the appointed city administrator did come to pass.

Thanks for your time,

Max R. Weller

‘Mayor Fred’ couldn’t survive small-town politics in Missouri

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After what was done to the Lexington City Administrator, it’s little wonder that many residents were upset and angry at the new mayor, whose main objective seemed to be self-promotion.

In fact, except that there was no happy ending for Mayor Fred and gullible residents of Lexington, he reminds me a lot of the Music Man. Watch:

Goodbye to the (former) mayor.

— MRW

More political uproar in the old hometown of Lexington, MO

From a distance of about 600 miles away in Colorado, I’m not clear on how much of a role “Mayor Fred” played in sacking City Administrator Joe Aull earlier this year, but it was a groundless and cowardly action and some new folks were elected to City Council in successful write-in campaigns this past April.

I sincerely hope things can get straightened out ASAP, but it’s all been a huge mess at City Hall for more than thirty years now.

— MRW