In the first three days of July, during the heat spell, I visited the Flaherty trailers southwest of the Ramsey ramp, on the land between Veterans Drive and the BNSF tracks, this image, showing the Flaherty signage.
After testing doors on two of the trailers and finding them locked to the public, I knocked on the door of the larger left-side trailer, loudly, and nobody responded until Emily McGlone emerged from the middle trailer, the one just to the right of the porta-pot, and identified herself as Emily McGlone when she was shading her eyes from the bright and hot sun outside the trailers and I inquired to confirm her identity and took this picture.
McGlone requested I not take more pictures of her and I did not. We talked for over an hour. She refused to say when her employment was arranged, and I have no information of what she is paid in comparison to prevailing wage for a project clerk on a multimillion dollar project, such as the train stop which has State money involved and hence is legally constrained to pay prevailing wage and to disclose pay records. A bonus pay amount in excess of a reasonable prevailing wage band would constitute a gift to the McGlone family, hence a gift to a politician and to my knowledge Goodrich wholly and inexplicably neglected to investigate possible improper gift dimensions of the Flaherty-McGlone arrangement; i.e., applicability of provisions of Minn. Stat. Sect. 471.895 (incorporating by express reference the definition of "gift" in MS 10A.071):
(b) "Gift" means money, real or personal property, a service, a loan, a forbearance or forgiveness of indebtedness, or a promise of future employment, that is given and received without the giver receiving consideration of equal or greater value in return.
[italics added]. Goodrich could not have reasonably blessed this thing as kosher, without knowing the question of whether the giver of the job [Flaherty] received "consideration of equal or greater value in return." That gets to the root of what the woman's pay was, relative to the pay for the same job on a comparable multimillion project just down the road to the east where prevailing wage was a legal requisite. The McGlones are stonewalling and will not say what the pay is, at least not to me and there are no entries in any set of minutes I have seen about what the pay is and how it compares to a prevailing wage.
Now, re the Moore v. Hoff victory for free speech, I could not word the argument better than Prof. Volokh's closing paragraphs:
Sounds right to me, as I’ve argued from the outset, and it’s a big victory for free speech. If someone tells lies about people — or in some situations even makes negligent misstatements about people — that get them fired, he can be sued for defamation. But if someone tells the truth about people, and expresses an opinion that they should no longer have a certain kind of authority and get a taxpayer-funded salary (or even a privately funded salary), that should be constitutionally protected speech.
Sometimes even encouraging illegal conduct is constitutionally protected, compare Brandenburg v. Ohio (speech urging illegal activity protected unless it’s intended to and likely to cause imminent illegal activity) with United States v. Williams (speech urging a specific transaction with the speaker is punishable as solicitation, even if the Brandenburg criteria aren’t met), but here the conduct Hoff was promoting — the University’s firing of Moore — was quite legal. And encouraging someone to do something legal, such as legally terminating an employment relationship, should not be a tort.
Indeed, and encouraging voters to do something legal, such as voting McGlone out of office, should not be a tort. Sepcifically, if I tell the truth about the McGlones, and express an opinion they should no longer have any HRA authority within the family and their family should no longer get a taxpayer-funded stipend for serving on the HRA and another stipend for being on council, then I am engaging in constitutionally protected speech. As Volokh sees things. As I see them, and as I encourage every thinking reader to see the situation.
Now, I note in closing that I have carefully requested time and again that if anything I have written is deemed incorrect by the McGlones that I get a request for a correction or retraction, which I shall duly consider and meet if circumstances require it. I have bent over backwards that way in fairness to the McGlones' having a complete opportunity to have proper corrections made, were I to err. They prefer total and uninterrupted silence, Colin McGlone stating at a mayor's town hall session that on advice of counsel he will not tell me a thing. With evidence exclusively in his and Flaherty's possession [Cronk did not respond to an email inquiry], I am forced to conclude that the evidence, if disclosed, would be unfavorable to the McGlones.
There is more, but for another day.
Here is another shot of the Flaherty trailers, from the ramp a few weeks after the earlier photos from early July; and again the signage is there. Drive by, have a look. Knock on the door and say hello to Emily, if she's still employed there.
NOTE: The latest reader poll at the sidebar top closed the day of the primary election (an election in which non-incumbent individuals in each Ramsey primary contest took an absolute majority of votes in each race). Not a plurality in any of the contests, a majority for a non-incumbent, in each.
NOTE ALSO: I call those sidebar poll items "Emily's List" in that it lists things Emily and her spouse, the two McGlones, have yet to answer to the public for, and which going unanswered is cause to want a different person on council representing Ward 2. I like that name, "Emily's List." I cannot for the life of me say what inspired me to call it that.
I revisit this situation because I was contacted by a campaign volunteer for a Ramsey council candidate who, in door knocking, has a published item on the multi-million dollar decision to provide city bonding for Flaherty which she can show voters in discussing issues; but she does not have any comparable item to show on the McGlone job having followed such decision making - which is something every voter has a right to know of and to judge.
Lack of a mainstream published media item is because Paul Levy at Strib and Tammy Sakry at ABC Newspapers (and their editors), while aware of the situation, decline to publish of it to let citizens know.
I regard this as strange editorializing on the part of those who claim an interest in publishing news because the McGlone job, in its full context, clearly is news.
The employment, following on the heels of subsidy to Flaherty interests, is something that circumstantially raises questions of subjective suitability to continue to hold office.
IN SUMMARY: There are questions of how and why high-impact decisions have been made as they were by the Chairperson of the Ramsey HRA. Questions of what factors may have swayed his mind. There is a question of whether an employment expectation may have had its genesis many, many, many months ago, or not.
Regarding any such rational questioning about the underlying circumstances of the employment and its genesis, our HRA Chairperson chooses to give a circumstantially questionable response, saying that his lawyer advises him to stay silent and that he will follow that advice.
What are we to conclude from that?