I am telling you people……local politics is just as messed up as anything in Washington D.C. and maybe even a bit more so.
I have written here at Red State about some of the “interesting” events that have happened in my town of Fraser, Michigan which is nestled WARMLY in the middle of Macomb County. We are just a small town of under 15,000 but we seem to have a knack for having really odd things happen in this lil hamlet.
Here are some of my previous musings…
Today’s curious tale starts off a mere 4 years ago in a beer tent right before an election in Fraser.
The gentleman pictured above that is upside down was the Mayor at the time, Doug Hagerty. The lady next to him in an equally topsy turvy picture is a councilperson serving with Doug at the time by the name of Barbara Jennings. They were colleagues in the sense of serving on the same board but they made sure to let everyone know that they would not be sending CHRISTmas cards to the other one if you know what I mean.
If you don’t know what that means, what I’m saying is that they were not really fond of each other.
On this fateful day, while the beer tent was hot and humid and had the smell of stale Bud Light and shattered dreams, an alleged but interesting incident occurred that still has heads scratching to this day. Doug propositioned Barbara ( allegedly ) to extend the contract of the city manager whom at the time was a lad by the name of Richard Haberman, for a vote on a contract to provide towing services for the city.
Very Washington D.C. like if you ask me.
According to the Macomb Daily…
A Fraser councilwoman who claims she was lobbied to vote for a local towing company in exchange for a contract extension for the city manager has filed a police report against Mayor Doug Hagerty.
Fraser police have confirmed Barbara Jennings recently made a complaint to the Public Safety Department, and said the matter will be referred to an outside law enforcement agency for review. Jennings told The Macomb Daily it’s the first time in her 12 years on the council that someone offered action in return for her vote on an issue.
She alleges Hagerty asked to speak privately to her while both were under the beer tent July 23 at the Fraser City Carnival. Jennings said Hagerty sought her support to have Fraser-based Foster’s Towing reinstated as the official towing firm to haul away vehicles driven by arrested drivers and cars and trucks disabled in traffic crashes.
Pretty gosh darn sleazy right? Well, it gets better and sleazier my friends.
Why would Doug approach Barbara about a vote to extend the city managers contract? Well according to Doug, he seemed to think Barbara was in a relationship with him.
Once again according to the Macomb Daily…
Hagerty told a reporter Monday he was unaware of the police report until he was contacted by the newspaper.
He denied any notion of a quid pro quo.
‘I polled her to see what her vote may be. I said, ‘Where do you stand on the towing contract?” the mayor said. ‘It was in the beer tent for about 30 seconds.’ Hagerty, who is not seeking re-election, said Jennings has a romantic relationship with the city manager and suspects she’s trying to conceal it.
‘It’s well-known throughout every employee in the city, every elected official and most elected officials around us,’ the mayor said of the relationship. ‘I think her accusations (against me) are trying to cover up something else. She’s running for office again. I think she wants to keep the city manager employed.
‘I think it’s a smokescreen.’
As the old saying goes where there is smoke there is a fire. A really smelly, stinky fire.
Fast forward just a mere 4 years and now Barbara is no longer a city councilperson, Doug is no longer Mayor and Richard Haberman is no longer city manager but he is living with Barbara and enjoying life as a seasoned citizen.
Yet now Richard Haberman wants a city council term of his own and he needed 50 signatures from residents to get his name on the ballot.
Who did he and his gal pal ask to sign his petition for eligibility?
Well, wouldn’t ya know, Barbara and Richard asked the guy who they claim had allegedly tried to bribe her 4 years before to give Haberman another year on his contract.
Can you believe that?
Whoever said small-town politics isn’t interesting lied to us.
Now, this raises some questions to the logical mind…
*If you were accused of trying to bribe someone to get a vote and you DIDNT DO IT, would you want to sign the petition to get that certain persons boyfriend on the ballot?
*If someone had propositioned you for a vote to extend your significant others contract for a year and you were so appalled, would you ask them 4 years later for any signature?
*Would you deal with anyone who accused you of a crime? Would you deal with anyone who wanted you to commit a crime?
*Could it be possible that a deal was struck to let bygones be bygones?
As you can see here, it is not just the national political scene where politicians seemingly are willing to smear and cut deals to make the ends justify the means. This can happen anywhere, even in a small town in the middle of a county going through a corruption probe by the F.B.I.
Something fishy is going on in Fraser, Michigan. This is only the beginning and we are going to get to the bottom of it.