English playwright Noel Coward once suggested that he welcomed any amount of criticism as long as it was unqualified praise. Nathan Smith, whom I don't know on any level, is a homeowner in the 600 block of North Lakeshore and probably sees plenty of deer around that area. He took some time out of his busy life, did a little research, and penned a letter to the editor of the City of Ludington Daily News (COLDNews) entitled by them: "Asks plaintiff in suits against city to stop".
After reading this, one may notice that he never mentions the litigious person he opines against, as if he may be worried that he would be a potential defendant in a future proceeding or for fear that he may summon that very devil if he did. Nevertheless, after researching the clues in the narrative it was found out that he must be referring to the humble chief editor of the Ludington Torch, XLFD. As the target of his letter, I feel that I am uniquely qualified to address Nathan's points.
A common theme this year has been to call me a person who holds the city hostage, so whatever cabal that dreamed up such imagery might want to reconsider it. The three lawsuits I have recently filed against the City of Ludington (COL) since the middle of last year were easily avoidable if the COL wanted to follow the law and heeded my warnings of an impending lawsuit if they didn't, namely:
1) the quo warranto lawsuit pointing out that the city council failed to do their statutory duties before the May election. Rather than voluntarily hold a new election with the defects cured and the voters informed, they forced me into filing suit, where I prevailed in court.
2) the improper impound lawsuit occurred when LPD Officer Michael Gilmurray stopped me for a minor civil infraction and immediately impounded my car. This act was totally forbidden by law, against LPD policy, and Gilmurray's normal procedures. Rather than admit error, I once again took it in front of a local court and won. Do not be surprised to see me get the full relief I deserve in federal court for the complete violations of my First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
3) the deer cull lawsuit was launched when the contract between the COL and the USDA was found to be deficient in many levels and that the cull happening in the Elementary school grounds was violating a dozen local, state and federal laws. Fraud by city administration was all over the place. This lawsuit was filed in small claims court, it would have cost nothing to have the city manager argue why the contract was not incomplete, erroneous, and backdated or the school administrator to explain why a dozen school bylaws were overlooked just to permit the cull on school grounds where the methods would have presented a clear and present danger to the schoolchildren and the general public.
Some common threads of these lawsuits point at what has happened with my other prior civil actions: the COL (or one or more of their officers) breaks the law, I point the lawbreaking out and ask them to correct their wrongdoing, they resist, I give them notice that I will seek legal means to enforce the law, they ignore it, I file a lawsuit, I eventually win or get a favorable settlement, city leaders call me the bad guy, useful idiots repeat the mantra, I continue holding the city accountable knowing what I am doing is just and proper, they break more laws-- lather, rinse, repeat.
The COL dropped the deer cull because they knew at the point I filed that their cause was lost in any kind of argument over legal merits, not because it would cost them too much money to defend it. Frivolity in this case, and the two others, was the action of the COL who couldn't perform their job in a diligent and lawful manner, leading to the courts finding their actions illegitimate or never getting the chance to do so because they wised up after they got served and figured out they had a problem.
So if Nathan Smith and others want to fault me for resolving issues through the courts when the COL and other public agencies break the law and fail to amend their lawlessness after being called out, they're more than entitled to. Just as I'm entitled to spend my own money and free time going against a fatally flawed deer cull contract and plan, lose any sort of recovery options for that investment when the COL changes its mind and makes the issue moot, get excoriated by multiple city councilors for bringing them to their senses, and still, still, feel jubilant because I've prevented a bad thing from happening. One could also say I saved the COL $58,500 that can be used for a real municipal purpose more in line with what ARPA funds should be used for.
This deer cull in the school forest would never have prevented more deer showing up a couple miles away at Nathan's estate next year and doing whatever damage he refers to; however, if he ever does need or want my help when the COL or other public agency breaks the law and leaves him as the victim, I am more than willing to help-- as I've discretely done for many others. As for now, I'll take Nathan's lamentations as unqualified praise that I must be doing a good job at something.
Excellent rebuttal X. Mr Smith proves that age is not a cure for ignorance. He sounds like he started life that way and still hasn't figured out what's going on around him. It's just so amazing how clueless some people can be. Someone should write a letter to the LDN to ask "For the citizens to please eliminate their lack of knowledge by engaging in truth seeking". A pursuit Mr. Smith seems to have miserably failed at. He may not realize it but he has just informed the World that he lacks the capacity to think rationally and logically. He's also declaring to the people that he does not agree that those in charge are required to follow the laws that they took an oath to uphold. Come to think of it, Mr. Smith is perfect candidate to hold office in Ludington. He'd fit right in.
It seems Mr. Smith did some research but failed to research what the lawsuits were about. To put it in simple terms, it is about following the Law.
He did his research at city hall, which likely had a different viewpoint of reality as assuredly as if they were the guilty defendant in the lawsuits (which they were). Mr. Smith works at Oxychem too, so he's likely to have heard the wailing of John Henderson and heard of how I unfairly represented his corrupt regime back when he was mayor. You're always welcome to do actual research and get the other side of the story over burritos at Taco Bell, Nathan.
If 15 lawsuits have been filed, doesn't it seem the city would pay attention and do things the proper way.
I think that number itself is high, it probably double counts some that went through an appeal, however, as I'm a stat freak, I'll take the bonus so that it will be harder for the next incarnation of XLFD to outdo me.
You raise a very good point about our city council and one only has to look at last night to see why they never seem to learn. They went into closed session to effectively discuss whether they should appeal Judge Wickens' decision that disqualified the May 3rd vote on revising the charter. The city council objectively failed to do two things required by law. After the closed session, they voted unanimously to appeal the decision, doubting their mistakes were 'material' to the results of the election, Terzano exploring this first, with Bulger expressing his respect for the judge, but thinking that they had a good chance on appeal.
They are seriously deluded if they think Judge Wickens, who is definitely not a fan of mine, made a legal mistake. You aren't likely to have the Michigan Court of Appeals rule that the city council doesn't have to follow the Home Rule Cities Act before they hold an election, effectively shielding the various costs of the charter from the voters when it's hard-wired into the statute. The City actually believes that they can 'fix' costs by hiding them so deep in a budget that even they don't know they're there.
I'm glad to have the opportunity to defend it without having to pony up the appeal costs, this could be an important opinion as regards precedent, and I don't think it will work out well for the COL.
What is the matter with those people? It would be cheaper to hold another election but instead they are going to use taxpayers money to defiantly keep on this course of disobeying the law and screwing the public. The attorneys are giddy that they will now be receiving more cash from the public coffers. If anything the City should sue the attorneys for giving bad advice. And so the upside down World of political life in Ludington keeps on rolling. Are there no adults running the City.
Another forum letter came out today in agreement with Nathan Smith's words and adding some of her own in frustration with the unnamed lawsuit filer guy. Carol Troyer has a special affinity for plants and gardens and a special bloodthirst for those who ruin her plants and gardens-- those pesky deer and their pro bono Ludington legal counsel.
Poor Carol, poor plants, poor gardens, shame on the deer that God put here to eat up our gardens, shame on the filer of the lawsuit that the devil put here to torment us and play the foosball.
Let it not be said that I don't have empathy with my clueless critics.