PRESS STATEMENT BY
TERRY E. COHEN, SALISBURY CITY COUNCIL MEMBER
JULY 10, 2009
COHEN CORRECTS AND CLARIFIES
DAILY TIMES ARTICLE REGARDING CHIEF WEBSTER
The Daily Times today did another disservice to the citizens of Salisbury by crafting a front-page of alleged news out of the newspaper’s speculation about vague rumors. This drains time, resources and attention away from important work and issues of the City, including crime, blight, and problems at the wastewater treatment plant.
Today, I hope to correct and clarify information about actions of which I have direct knowledge in an effort to maintain the public trust with transparency to the greatest possible degree allowed by law.
First, I did not collaborate with Council Member Debbie Campbell on any document concerning Salisbury Police Chief Alan Webster. I cannot speak for what Councilwoman Campbell may or may not have done, but can only speak for my own actions.
I wrote (under my own signature alone) and hand-delivered to Mayor Jim Ireton a letter reporting concerns raised in a meeting with constituents about crime, law enforcement and quality of life issues. The letter also addressed other citizen complaints. It included issues raised at the Mayor’s Crime Task Force open meeting, which I attended in June. I advised the Daily Times reporter of these facts.
Some details in the letter constitute personnel issues. Therefore, I cannot answer questions about them or provide more about the letter’s contents than the information above.
Second, I simply did my job as an elected representative of the people of Salisbury to inform the mayor of constituent issues and complaints concerning law enforcement and one or more city employees, as well as my own concerns based on this information. An elected representative relaying such concerns to the elected chief executive officer who administers operations and staff is a normal process of government. It is the mayor’s job, by charter, to decide what, if any, action is needed.
I cannot speak for what Mayor Ireton has or has not done with my letter, or will or will not do with it. Mayor Ireton is the only person to whom I’ve provided the letter. Again, by charter, it is his decision what, if anything, is to be done next regarding the information.
In the future, if there is newsworthy action or information concerning personnel or operations that can be provided to the public within the limits of the law, I trust that will be provided. Until then, I look forward to returning my attention to the important job I have of representing the citizens of Salisbury and working on their behalf.