Petty politics envelops Napa City Council

Petty politics envelops Napa City Council


Well, it looks like petty politics and the good old boy system have entered the Napa mayor's race ("Rare disagreement flares at Napa City Council annual planning retreat," Jan. 16). Great odds since it seems to be four against one. I would like to commend the Napa Valley Register for bringing this to our attention.

So let me get this straight, Doris Gentry is the current vice mayor and she has used the title in some of her campaigning. Is there a law, city municipal code, or city policy that prevents her from using the title? I've looked for any prohibitive law, code, or local rule that says she cannot use the title and I can't seem to find one.

So the current mayor makes up some story that the use of the title gives candidate Gentry an "unfair advantage" in the campaign. Then the mayor goes on the say that she has never seen anyone use the title in a campaign. Well there's always a first time and just because she's never seen it used doesn't mean it can't be done. Maybe it can't be used because the mayor is supporting the other candidate?

What's interesting is the mayor, at the end of Mr. Sedgley's term as vice mayor, asked the city clerk if someone could serve as vice mayor twice. It appears that the mayor was angling to have her candidate for mayor get a second shot at vice mayor. Perhaps then Mr. Sedgley could use the vice mayor title in his campaign?

So it appears now the current council will debate whether or not Doris Gentry can keep her position as vice mayor. It seems to me that four of the council persons have a direct conflict of interest in that decision. Since one person is running for mayor and the three others have endorsed that candidate, they should be recusing themselves from any debate or vote on the removal of candidate Gentry from her current position. Recusing themselves from any debate or vote would seem to be right in line with Mayor Techel's statements regarding "fairness."

My grandfather, who was a second-generation Napan and business owner, told me when I was a young man that "politics is a nasty business." It has certainly reared its ugly head here in the city of Napa.

Just to be clear, my wife and I will be supporting Doris Gentry for mayor.

Tom and Pam Johnston


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