Jean Robb v. Bett Willett - 04/11/15
A few days ago, Bett Willett wrote a robust criticism of Jean Robb's conduct as mayor on her blog, Blog by Bett, and suggested that Mayor Robb resign. Mayor Robb, in turn, responded via public-record email.
"No[body] cares what you think," she wrote. "I sure don't."
Mayor Robb is free to care or not care about what Bett Willet thinks. But politics is controversy, and public officials, Mayor Robb included, are standing targets for criticism. It goes with the territory. Robb should care what Ms. Willett thinks and what any citizen thinks, even if it's disagreeable.
This is not new ground for Mayor Robb. She tried (unsuccessfully) to block emails from her city account from people she didn't like. As my doctor might say, "Not good, not good."
People do read Ms. Willett's blog. Presumably, some people are interested in her commentary. Whether they agree or disagree is a harder question.
It's the same with this website. I know that a lot of people "click" on it. Discounting visits from China and Estonia, I assume that some people are interested in what I write about. I also assume that readers are (mostly) intelligent people who can make up their own minds about issues. I don't expect that everyone will agree with what I write.
I also know that from my correspondences that many people are deeply concerned about about the accusations of misconduct and the way that Mayor Robb conducts city commission meetings. Willett is not alone in her views.
I agree with Ms. Willett that Mayor Robb should consider stepping down. She's a cloud over this city, bringing unwanted, negative attention to the city and distracting from the business of the commission.
Undoubtedly, racial tensions in Deerfield Beach are on the rise. I won't lay the blame on Mayor Robb, but she understands the black political culture better than most of us and she has exploited it. Examples include her letter to the voters of Dist. 2 during the recent campaign and her public statements with reference to the "water jug" incident.
Mayor Robb does not have to resign in disgrace. She can claim health reasons or whatever. It would be better for her to resign now than to be suspended or removed from office for malfeasance, a looming possibility.