Trantham remarks draw fire
Senior Center staff defends care of elders (**see note below)
By Jesse Keane, Thursday, 25 August 2005
For the Tundra Drums
Amber Petersen, coordinator of the Adult Day Program at the Chief Eddie Hoffman Senior Center, arrived with other center employees at the Aug. 9 Bethel City Council meeting to object to a radio discussion on KYUK critical of the center.
“We were accused of neglecting, abusing, and ignoring our elders,” she said. “We were accused of shirking our responsibility to make sure elders are taken care of.”
These accusations, she said, were supported on the show by a city council member. “He said that all the horrible things that had just been spoken about the senior center were absolutely true and correct.”
Petersen was joined at the microphone by colleagues and elders. Mary Gregory, a supporter of the senior center, said, “If anyone wants to challenge us, let them try it for one day.”
Mayor Hugh Dyment cautioned his fellow council members on their public statements. Words are very powerful, he said.
“As council members, if we are going to speak in public, we should have the facts at hand,” Dyment said.
Councilman Dave Trantham, who spoke on KYUK about the senior center, expressed frustration that the senior center employees had not tried to speak with him directly before appearing before the council.
“I’m surprised that the mayor allowed it,” he said. “This was probably an attempt to discredit or embarrass me, but it didn’t work.”….
Neglect of Bethel Elders again -
The radio discussion was about neglect, not abuse, by the operators of the Senior Center (see letter to the editor, Delta Discovery, posted here
http://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2005/08/17/ letter-to-the-editor-on-neglecting-seniors/ Interesting that the City staff directed the ad hominem attack on Mr Trantham and did not respond to the charges of neglect.
Mr Trantham called in as a citizen; never identified himself as a city councilor; and never spoke for the City Council.
Mr Dyment is a “weak–mayor” [see Wikip] who functions as discussion facilitator for the Council as a whole. Or serves in this case to threaten first amendment protection of free–speech. This is the same Mayor Dyment who believes the City’s restrictive religious oath of office should stay in place or be considered simply as “ceremonial deism”. Not too many small time mayors can get in whacks at the entire first amendment, with facts on neither hand.