Retired councilmember defends her actions against city manager’s profane-laced insult

By Dan Aznoff | Aug 03, 2018

Donna Michelson hoped her first visit to the City Council chambers she had occupied for 19 years would be a pleasant one. It was not.

The retired lawmaker addressed the council during a special meeting on Thursday, Aug. 2, to defend her actions, and her reputation, from obscenity-laced comments reportedly made by City Manager Rebecca Polizzotto during an official gathering of city officials.

According to page 5 of a 600+ page Public Records request obtained by concerned members of the community, the city manager was less than sympathetic to the last public project championed by Michelson during her tenure on the council.

Michelson remembered she had proposed, and the council had approved, a Safe Internet Purchase Exchange Site (S.I.P.E.) in December of 2017.  The council designated two parking places in the City Hall parking lot for the site, along with funding for video cameras and lights for security.

When the accommodations had not been completed by April of the next year, Michelson told the council that Police Chief Greg Elwin brought the matter up in a meeting with Polizzotto and Joni Kirk, the director of communications and marketing.

According to the chief’s notes, the city manager was “clearly angered” that members of the media had been in contact with Michelson regarding the delay.

The chief’s notes indicated Polizzotto used a vulgarity to describe Michelson and then “suggested that maybe we just take the S.I.P.E. sign down, and that would show her.”

The slur, according to the chief’s email, included the city manager’s words, “The CM called Donna M “A (profanity) bitch.”

“But her actual words started with an 'f' and ended with a 'g,'” Michelson told the council.

Michelson concluded her comments to the council saying, “As you deliberate presumably about the future of our city manager, Rebecca Polizzotto, please consider this unprofessional behavior in front of two department directors, along with the disrespect of a former councilmember who gave almost 19 years to this city as a public servant.

“I encourage you to read your ‘Guiding Principles’ before you make any decisions this evening.”

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.