Waterloo City Council Moves to Censure One of Its Members
The Waterloo City Council determined to censure Ward 1 City Council member Margaret Klein in a meeting on Thursday night by a vote of 5-0.
Though not to the magnitude of government at the national scale, the term censure can be applied from senate.gov,
Less severe than expulsion, a censure (sometimes referred to as condemnation or denouncement) does not remove a senator from office. It is a formal statement of disapproval, however, that can have a powerful psychological effect on a member and his/her relationships in the Senate.
The reasoning for the council's decision stems from nine allegations made by Ward 3 City Council member Pat Morrissey against Klein. The city employed Kristine Stone, an attorney from Ahlers and Cooney in Des Moines, to determine the validity of said allegations. She found five violations.
Within the nine allegations, four pertained to speaking negatively about the city -- directly in violation of part of Waterloo's 2017 strategic plan. One point of which was "to enhance the image of Waterloo and the City to residents and businesses inside and outside of the community."
The four allegations include comments during a March 19, 2018 city council work session that the city was "dumping raw sewage in the river," which the EPA determined was not true, and accusations that the Waterloo Police rebranding committee of "being rigged" she made during an interview with Ron Steele on KWWL's Steele Report.
The report also found comments Klein made after Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald's job title was misprinted as "Safety Services Director" on T-Shirts for "Mayor Hart's Fun Run" and accusations she made that Mayor Hart "appoints sexual predators to police advisory boards" violated city policy.
Klein called the city policy 'silly' and said city leaders should talk about the good, bad and ugly of the city.
The site continues:
Four other accusations, including a comment Klein reportedly made about a fellow council member and a knife and accusations of improper business dealings against Mayor Hart and the city Human Resources Director of improper business Klein made as part of "Ice Cream Gate," did not violate city code or city policy.
In defense of herself, the former Cedar Valley Catholic School Board member had this to say:
I stand by those statements and I would say them again because it is a matter of free speech. A different way of looking at things perhaps, not in agreement with my colleagues but free speech, free thought.
Klein, who was elected to the city council in November of 2017, is set to have her term come to a close at the end of the year. She ran for Mayor of Waterloo against incumbent Quentin Hart in November, where Hart earned 58% of the vote to Klien's 41%, winning a fourth term.