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Troubles in Taneytown?

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The following was posted on Facebook by the Mayor of Taneytown (Christopher G. Miller) in Carroll County on September 17th:

I apologize for bothering everyone on this Sunday with an issue like this, but as things start to transpire, I can not sit idly by. I’ve wrestled with what happens to myself after making a post like this, but I’d rather not be complicit to items/actions that I believe to be unethical. No position is worth that. Please be aware that a lot of this is not my story to tell & due to multiple suits against the City, I am limited in the amount of details that I can disclose but I will try my best to bring forth what I believe is happening.

Upon taking office as Mayor, one of the first issues I began investigating was reports of retaliation within City Hall. These reports were not new; they were concerns I had heard during my campaign. After a thorough review of multiple instances, I have come to believe that a climate exists within City Hall that has enabled retaliation against City Employees.

I have repeatedly raised these concerns with my fellow Elected Officials, only to find that my warnings have largely fallen on deaf ears. This has left me questioning how to proceed when those around me seem unwilling to hold people accountable. Legal opinions I have received have only heightened my discomfort, as they appear to be more punitive against employees and evasive to transparency in nature.

The question I keep asking is, “Who holds the council accountable when they won’t do it themselves?” The residents of Taneytown currently lack the power to hold those involved accountable without transparency. I have considered bringing this information to the public, especially as continued inaction seems to embolden those who engage in retaliatory behavior. Yet, I have been advised by colleagues to let the situation “play out.”

Due to ongoing legal matters, I cannot delve into specifics. However, I firmly believe that individual conduct by an Elected Official has normalized this troubling climate at City Hall. I have done my best to reverse decisions and policies that I believe were retaliatory, but even those items have faced roadblocks & sabotage. I believe eventually I’ll become a target for action by the Council for my involvement in bringing these issues to light & trying to fix the climate.

Since taking office, my conscience will not allow me to let these activities continue unchecked. Matters are often moved to closed-door discussions and confidential emails with attorneys, keeping them hidden from public view. The lack of transparency and apparent disdain for the residents of Taneytown by some Elected Officials leaves me with little confidence that meaningful change will happen willingly.

I know everyone has a lot going on in their lives, but I urge the public to stay vigilant in the coming months. There’s a reason some don’t want “outsiders” in these seats. Transparency is crucial for instilling trust in government agencies. Without it, residents have no means to hold their Elected Officials accountable. Despite warnings from colleagues, I believe that this culture cannot continue unchecked. The answer to the question of accountability lies in transparency with the public.

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In addition to the post above were comments and replies to that post on Facebook. This is part of one interaction in the comment section of that post:

  • Comment: If you make a post about needing transparency then actually be transparent. Name the names. Fire the employees that are responsible. Let the public know which council members are not representing them ethically
    • Reply from the Mayor: Unfortunately a lot of it is not my story to tell & there’s a fine line of what I can legally disclose (due to multiple suits against the City). I’ve done what I can on the matter and believe I’ve worked diligently since coming into office to fix these issues, but it’s at a point where this is out of my hands as I’ve tried to bring these issues up to multiple members of Council & the City Attorney.
    • Additional comment: I would assume that he may be referring to the article in the newspaper today.
      A suit has been brought against the town by a former police officer who was fired (retaliation) for being the whistle blower in regards to seeing actual harassment by the police chief towards an employee. That’s what I gather…and it all happened prior to our current mayor being elected. Apparently there are multiple suits….

      • Reply from the Mayor: I expect more of the what has transpired to become public knowledge next week. I unfortunately can not divulge much of it myself due to the suits & circumstances behind it all.
        I have come to realize a pattern & climate at City Hall, that is not conducive to a working environment for employees and to my belief, is retaliatory in nature.

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Here is that post on Facebook:

Here is a recent news article about Taneytown: (NOTICE – PAY WALL IN ORDER TO READ THIS ARTICLE)

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