Letter from Councilwoman Mendenhall: Asking Sims, Douglas to step down is the choice I have to make

Sep. 20, 2013 @ 06:56 PM

To the citizens of High Point:

For each of us there are times in life when we deal with difficult situations or have to make touch choices.  Sometimes our decisions are not the wisest and often the situations are not of our own making but instead confront us.

Those of us who are elected to serve this community face those hard decisions frequently.  For me nothing I have experienced in the years I have served has been as tough to deal with and in many ways as sad as witnessing the events of the past few months.

I have no hard feelings for either Mayor Sims or Councilman Douglas. I wish in the deepest part of my being that these circumstances were different.  Unfortunately for all of us this is not the case.

Asking two elected officials ( for whom I bear no animosity ) to step down certainly is not an easy decision. Yet I believe it is the choice I have to make.  During these past weeks we have dealt with the city’s business but have not faced the issues causing so much concern among us as Council members and the community as a whole. While these issues are personal in nature, the fact that the two people dealing with them are elected officials removes them from the realm of the private and makes them public and nothing anyone can do or say will change that fact. I am also sorry that for some reason both the Mayor and Councilman Douglas seem to believe that certain city staff or Council members have been responsible for the media coverage that has occurred. I have no personal knowledge of any such occurrence nor do I believe it to be true.

I regret that these issues exist, but unfortunately they do and Mayor Sims and Councilman Douglas have to face that fact. The problems facing the Mayor and Councilman have been with us as a Council when we meet to conduct business and we have tried to ignore them. I do not believe we can continue to do so and function effectively. 

The situation has been caused by the actions of two members of Council and the silence of the remaining seven members seems to some to imply that it is being condoned by the group.  For this reason I have decided to make this statement.

Overwhelmingly I have been confronted by citizens who believe that these two officials should no longer be entrusted to make decisions affecting our community. People are upset, disappointed, frustrated, and embarrassed for our city. I share their feelings.  

It is my hope that both Mayor Sims and Councilman Douglas, understanding that their continued service is creating tension and unrest in our city in addition to the strain it is putting on Council’s ability to act in a manner appropriate to leadership of this city, and because they too care about our community, will step down. I truly believe it is the honorable action for them to take.

Judy Mendenhall

City Council, Ward 3