Trailer court residents aren’t ‘trash,’ Waynesville council members affirm
By: Darrell Todd Maurina
Posted: Monday, February 22, 2010 10:27 am
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Feb. 22, 2010) — Responding to questions from a former trailer court manager, Waynesville City Council members said that none of the council members supported calling trailer court residents “trash.”
Some council members went further, saying comments like that by employees might be grounds for discipline — if they actually were said.
Barbara Wall told the council members that she wanted answers.
“I recently was handed a comment that was supposedly made by either a female board member or a city employee that was very inappropriate,” Wall said. “The comment that was supposedly made was that people that live in trailers are trash. That is not necessarily true because we have a lady who has lived in our court who has lived there since 1965 which is the day she bought her trailer, and she worked in our community until she was unable to. We still have got one who runs a local apartment complex, and she happens to be a very upstanding lady. I try to be, and I do not appreciate that.”
Wall also told the council members that she’s been falsely accused of running a dog kennel at her home because she sometimes helps out the Waynesville city animal shelter at the request of Waynesville Police Chief Bob Carter.
“I don’t board anybody’s animals,” Wall said. “Now if the city, such as Chief Carter calls … and says, ‘Can you help us out with the dog shelter because we are overbooked,’ I would say, ‘Hey, bring them down,’ but I do not board animals. I have three that are my own.”
Councilman Ed Conley said he’s also received complaints about similar comments supposedly made about trailer court residents.
“One of the ladies who lives in the trailer court contacted me last week and was very upset over that, and I assured her that to the best of my knowledge, that wasn’t said,” Conley said. “To the best of my knowledge, no member of this council would make (that) remark. If an employee made a remark like that, I am sure there would be some grounds for some discipline.”
Mayor Cliff Hammock agreed.
“Absolutely,” Hammock said. “Certainly this is something that the administrator and myself will look into further … I think we should have our facts.”
City Administrator Bruce Harrill said he had already investigated when Conley brought the concerns to his attention.
“Of course I knew that no city council member at any public meeting said anything like that. I did talk to different staff members and I could not find any staff member that said anything like that, and of course it would be a very inappropriate remark,” Harrill said. “I see no evidence that was actually said.”
Councilwoman Twyla Cordry said she “would never have said anything like that” and before acting, wanted to make sure the trailer court comment was actually made.
“We’ve had some issues with some of other groups recently on the he-said, she-said stuff. I want to make sure that you understand that I don’t think any of us on this board are he-said, she-said type of people,” Cordry said. “I don’t see us addressing a he-said, she-said type of issue. If someone wants to stand up and say, ‘This person did it,’ then we can address it, but unless someone is willing to say who said it, then I don’t know how we are to address it.”
Cordry encouraged Wall to provide a name of the person who made the comment; Wall said she didn’t have the name and the person who heard the comment would not give her the name.
That’s not good procedure, Cordry said.
“If you know who said that, then I think you ought to address it with them, or you ought to let us know so we can address it with them. To have us just address a blank statement, I don’t know what we could do about it,” Cordry said. “And as far as a city employee making a statement like that, we can’t control people’s personal opinions but we can certainly let them know how we feel. I feel horrible about anything like that.”