8. Who is out to get whom?

Many people have been puzzled and disturbed by the bizarre behavior demonstrated by Ms. McKeithen at the January council meeting, where she used her time on the dias to issue vague accusations and insinuations that she was under attack by others.  The Almanac report did not do justice to the incoherence of her mutterings at the council meeting, although Rene Batti called it a “stunning message.”  Rather Ms. Batti opted to change what most everyone there experienced as “mad ramblings” and followed up with an interview to get more clarity from Ms. McKeithen on her incoherent statements, at which point McKeithen accused Council member Lewis by name.  Our inquiries about this incident found several hypotheses for this behavior.

First theory: McKeithen really loves pointing her finger at others, especially to accuse them of things that she knows she is guilty of herself and was totally primed to accuse someone of something but wasn’t able to lay her hands on anything remotely plausible, so she just came out with her strange and over-blown accusations of whatever was on her own mind (or perhaps that she herself had been doing).  This seems to be largely therapeutic for her.

Another theory that was articulated:  McKeithen is increasingly expressing the conviction that people are out to get her.  This kind of paranoia is not an uncommon syndrome among elderly people.  (Furthermore, given how many people she has attacked and sent packing for one reason or another, there is no saying how far off her belief may be!)

The third speculation:  At the beginning of that meeting, Widmer was selected as mayor, having been Vice Mayor.  He then had to announce his selection for his Vice Mayor.  It was clear as he articulated his dilemma, that he saw his choices as being between “effectiveness” and “fairness.”  So let’s review:  Prior to Widmer, Dobbie and been Mayor, prior to him, McKeithen had been Mayor, prior to that it was Marsala and Carlson.  That left only Elizabeth Lewis, who had been on the council for three years and had never been mayor.  The prior year, she should have been selected as Vice Mayor but, in a rather odd and frankly troubling set of votes (starting with Widmer launching an “abstain” attack on Lewis, thereby blocking from the nomination of Lewis as offered by Jerry Carlson) her nomination failed because of Widmer.  Then, as if planned, Widmer himself (a newbie councilmember of a mere 5 minutes old) was quickly nominated in her place as Vice Mayor by McKeithen and Dobbie, and Widmer supported that vote. Well, perhaps Kathy thought that by showing her friend Widmer so much favoritism and nominating him to be Vice Mayor ahead of Lewis (a three-year veteran of the council whose turn it was was), that Widmer would reciprocate to throw his support to her, i.e. the “effective” choice.  As it turned out, Widmer chose Lewis and did the fair thing, and eschewed McKeithen (or whoever McKeithen had been pressuring him to select). At any rate, his choice drove McKeithen to distraction and she was so full of rage at that moment that she just had to vent by finding some way to attack Council member Lewis and everyone else who she saw as being out to get her, even with no basis in reality.

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3 thoughts on “8. Who is out to get whom?

  1. To the creator of this web site:
    I believe you have raised some important questions regarding the last twelve years of Atherton Politics. You have a right to Freedom of Speech. Given that Council Member McKeithen has campaigned on Accountability and Transparency, the questions seem appropriate.

    However I believe you should delete the current paragraph three of question eight.
    Regards,

    Charles Marsala
    Council Member 2002-2010

  2. John Johns emailed the police Chief Guerra on October 18, 2010 stating; ” I respectfully request that a criminal investigation be initiated upon Kathy McKeithen for having violated the Brown Act and for having lied about having done so underr oath…….The reason that I am writing this e-mail is, first and foremost because of a double standard that I see Ms.McKeithen having applied . She seems to insist that her adversaries be held accountable for what she perceives to be a failure to respect the rule of law, while being blind to her own indiscretions…… In retrospecct I believe Ms. McKeithen issued this rebuttal because what she revealed to me was probably discussed in closed session and that she feared criminal prosecution. in essense Ms. McKeithen realized that she could be convicted of a misdemeanor is she stood by what she told me. I will also say that I am aware of many instances in which Ms. McKeithen revealed the substance of closed session discussions to me directly or through uninvolved third parties. For example, most recently I was made aware of the fact that, during my negotiations with the Town on a settlement Ms. Rainey would be leaving her firm before the end of March at a time before her departure was announced in public….These unauthorized disclosures have occured over four years. For example in August 2006, Ms. McKeithen revealed to me that the City Council, in closed session read the Lance Bayer report on Mike Hood. ….She told me that Councilman Alan Carlson teased her about how many calls I had placed to her on my cell phone. …I also heard directly that Kathy McKeithen and through an uninvolved third party that Ms. McKeithen had voted against granting me a settlement during the same October 3rd 2007 closed session because she felt as though I deserved more money than what had been offered…. I also believe that Ms. McKeithen has, in the past, and currently acts with total disregard for the rule of the law….It is for the above reasons that I respectfully reiterate that a criminal investigation of Ms. McKeithen for unauthorized disclosures of closed session discussions be initiated I am aware of three people to whom Ms. McKeithen has relayed the substance of such closed sessions to. I suspecct there are more….. I am carrying at the moment is the knowledge that she knows that I know, she has acted improperly and that she prefers I remain banished frmothe kingdom , so to speak.”

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