Kim Stemler: Carmel Needs Transparent Reporting

I’m writing in hopes that official processes for filing complaints against elected officials and staff can be made transparent, posted on the City website, and reported by the media.

Since my report became public, I have become a portal for people’s stories.

It’s all hearsay – with no proof other than individuals’ words. To date, I’ve heard 52 stories ranging from inappropriate language/behavior, sexual touching (which I believe is considered sexual assault), threatening Carmel residents and businesses, tenant harassment and peeping tom, and reports of inappropriate use of city departments to personally benefit the Mayor as well as use of city departments to go after individuals and businesses as directed by the Mayor.

Again, I have no clue what is true and what is not. And some of the stories break my heart.

These stories should not be coming to me. They should be going to the City.

When people come to me, I suggest they go to media or the City. But there exists a culture of fear and intimidation in the City. People are afraid to come forward for fear of retribution. Further, people report feeling even more uncomfortable with the close relationship between the City Attorney and the Mayor.

I believe taking the following steps may help relieve some of the anxiety and fear. Further, it shows that the City cares about its residents, businesses, and guests.

Carmel Folks: Would you be willing to do the following:
* Clarify what the process is for reporting various violations (including those enumerated above) by the community from an elected official or staff of the City?
* Clarify what can be reported anonymously and what can’t?
* Clarify if the independent investigator can speak with individuals without getting the City involved and if so, what is the process? (This question has come up a lot in the past few days.)
* Put these on your website?

MEDIA & Carmel Residents Association: Once the City clarifies these processes in writing, would you be willing to report?

Thank you for your consideration.

Kim Stemler


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