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Second Round of Robocalls Hits Ward 1

Mayor Pat Kelly was behind the first survey. He couldn't be reached for comment on the second.

A robocall survey hit Brentwood’s Ward 1 for the second time in two weeks.

The second round of calls went out on March 24, asking residents what "personality traits" they thought were important in someone seeking elective office. No specific elective office was mentioned in the questionaire.

"We wish to stress that no individual candidate has sponsored this poll," was stated before the questions were asked. The backer of the calls was not identified.

On March 10, residents of Ward 1 received a robocall survey seeking their views on Brentwood city government. At the March 14 board of aldermen meeting, after several residents responded negatively to the calls, .

Patch tried to reach Kelly this week to ask if he had paid for the second round of calls, as well as the first.

Phone messages left for the mayor at city hall, his office at , his cell phone and home phone, from Tuesday through Thursday evening, were not returned.

Ward 1 aldermanic candidate Maureen Saunders said she doesn't like that the supporter of the poll wasn't identified.

"If I have a question I ask it out in the open," she said. "I enter my name and address when I ask questions at the podium at board of alderman meetings. I am not afraid to go on the record."

Jim Bischoff, running against Saunders, said he didn't know about the calls until Tuesday.

"I don't know who is behind it or what's going on," he said. "It's unfortunate that somebody has made this municipal election into this."

City Administrator Bola Akande said she hadn't heard of the recent calls.

"Since this is the first time I'm hearing about it, the city was not involved in doing it," she said.

A drive around the ward Tuesday morning uncovered half a dozen residents with caller ID who don’t answer calls from anyone they don’t know. One did, though, and shared how he voted on the poll.

“I voted for (Maureen Saunders)", Tim McGee said. “We need accountability in the city.”

Read interviews of and in Patch.

Mel March 30, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Who's behind all the nasty letters being sent out against Maureen Saunders? No one signs their name to them and there is no return address. I've received three so far. The content in the letters is beyond normal and scary for a small, local election. I definitely would not vote for the candidate who is behind these letters. Has anyone else received the letters?
Lily March 31, 2012 at 02:45 PM
My neighbor said they had received 3 letters as well.  This ugly behavior brings shame on all  Brentwood citizens and further sullies the reputation of Brentwood. The gateway fountain says Brentwood City of Warmth -  Not Hell Fire. Play fair and help to be a positive force that does the right thing for our community. Mud slinging is bad behavior.
Tenacious April 01, 2012 at 02:36 PM
It's Mayor Kelly's method of operation to do things in a sneaky manner. Has he or Jim Bischoff disclosed yet that the Mayor created a position within the city (unbudgeted) in 2009 just for Jim's brother? The position was not advertised but just given to this individual. Does Mayor Kelly know the role of the Ways and Means Committee? Does he know anything about human resources? Does Jim Bischoff believe that this was a fair hiring practice or does he not care because he stood to benefit from it? Seems he has this politician thing down pat already. But what would you expect if Pat Kelly is your mentor.
Mr. Completely April 02, 2012 at 12:12 AM
OK, for those who are new to Brentwood Politics, here's how it works. Mayor Kelly & Company decides who they want to win the election, then his cronies (commercial developers, lawyers & a handful of church going folks from Magdalen) send out hate mail to the residents saying awful things about the opposing candidate. When confronted Kelly and his hand picked board of alderman react with disgust and condem such campaign practices-LOL!. So at the end of the day who cares what some dope sends out in the mail? Here's the best bet for Brentwood voters: Vote FOR the candidate that is the subject of the hate mail, in this case Saunders. If she is enough of a threat to the Brentwood Boys Club that they resort to sending hate mail to your Brentwood home, she must be doing something right. Go Saunders!
Just Curious April 02, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Great comments, all! It will be such sweet justice when Pat Kelly's scare tactics and bullying backfire and Maureen is victorious! I am most curious about what Pat Kelly and his cronies are hiding and why Maureen poses such a threat to them, aren't you?!? Everyone in Brentwood should be wondering the same thing.
Russell Madden April 02, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Ditto – Great comments! Mayor Kelly was responsible for both robocalls. He confessed to the first one -- even revealed that he wrote the questions! There are likely 2 reasons why he's now hiding from reporters and refusing to fess up to the second one: (a) Kelly's admission about the first call sent tremors through our city. It struck residents as strange and creepy. “If the mayor wanted to take our pulse on these issues, and even wrote the questions, then why didn't he have the courage to record the message in his own voice and begin it with ‘Hello! This is Mayor Kelly, and I'm calling today to solicit your views...’”? (b) The language and themes in Kelly's second call were strikingly similar to those in the hate mail that began arriving in Ward 1 mail boxes 3 days later. You be the judge. KELLY'S CALL: “This is a brief automated poll to measure voter perception of personality traits they consider desirable in a person seeking elective office. ... Question 1: Do you believe it is fundamental to display self control in public meetings?” HATE LETTER: “History will brand [Mrs.] Saunders as the town bully, unable to control her emotions. … She lacks civility needed in public office.” Seems to me that anyone with the money and motivation to do the robocalls would be equally capable of doing the hate mail.

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