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Editorial: Mayor was out of line in his job walkout

“You ran away and left us to do the job that you could not do.”

 — Nguyen Van Thieu, President, South Vietnam

Willmar Mayor Frank Yanish walked out and slammed the door Tuesday night from the Willmar City Council’s Finance Committee.

The walkout occurred during discussion of his proposal to cut $228,000 in dues, subscriptions, organization memberships, travel and training from his proposed 2014 budget. His proposed budget included eliminating $35,150 in annual dues for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities.

Throughout the budget discussion in recent weeks, Yanish was unable or unwilling to explain his proposed cuts, except to say he was in a cutting mood.

A bigger issue is that his city budget proposal was unbalanced. He proposed cutting $228,000, but failed to articulate where the funding was being reallocated or whether he planned to cut taxes for that amount in order to balance the city budget.

Yanish failed to address the fact that he was also proposing cutting mandatory training or contractual training that the city is required to complete.

After Yanish was stopped during a personal attack on a council member which was ruled inappropriate, he got up and left the committee meeting.

The City Council made the right decision in reviewing Yanish’s proposed budget,  rejecting unsupported cuts, making appropriate fiscal decisions and moving on with the budget process. They no longer could wait for the mayor to make sense of his budget.

Yanish is a good and well-intended man and a respected businessman. We appreciate and thank him for his public service.

Unfortunately, in recent months, he has not been doing his job as mayor very well. Prime examples have been this budget process mess and his growing frustration and inability to handle budget questions. His meeting walkout was certainly inappropriate and unprofessional.

This has not been good for Willmar or its citizens, which we all care about.