I posted this earlier today. In the comments, University Park Community League chairman Fred Hamm addresses an accusation from “ForsakenOnDyer” that he encouraged Steve Metzger not to run for City Council.
I can confirm that Steve Metzger told the crowd that he recieved a phone call from Fred Hamm, the president of the UP Community League, strongly encouraging him not to run. Steve later elaborated in response to several questions that Fred told Steve it would be bad for his career if he ran for city council.
I’ve heard from a former candidate for UP City Council say something similar: They were asked “forcefully” to drop out of the race.
Hamm says, at least with Metzger, that’s not at all what happened.
ForsakenOnDyer, I’m going to post a reply to your blog and I’m going to identify myself and not hide behind the smoke screen of anonymous blogs. I’m Fred Hamm, the current Chairman of the University Park Community League (UPCL). I don’t know what was said at Gigi’s house, as I was not there. I do know what was discussed in at least three telephone conversations that I had with Steve Metzger. Not once did I ever implicitly or explicitly “encourage him not to run.” Metzger sought UPCL’s endorsement, and indicated in a letter to me, dated January 12, that he would wait to file his papers with the city because he wanted to see if the UPCL would endorse him before he went to the trouble of filing. (I am happy to provide a copy of this letter.) It’s obvious now that the UPCL did not endorse Steve Metzger for City Council. Contrary to what Steve wrote in his letter, he filed his papers before the UPCL announced its endorsements. So I called Steve just prior to the deadline to determine what his plans were. We had a cordial conversation, but it was obvious to me that Steve was still upset that the UPCL had not endorsed him. He said he had not decided what he was going to do – that his daughter was getting married that weekend and that he would focus on the election after the wedding. He also asked me what the ‘other candidates’ (Cooke and Wasserman) were going to do. I told him I had no idea, as I did not have a dialogue with either of them. He said, “Well, I’ll drop out if they’ll drop out. But if there’s going to be an election, I’m going to stay in.” My response was simple. I said, “Steve, I encourage you to run if this is something you want to do. Although the UPCL isn’t supporting you, I respect your desire to serve. That being said, you must know that the UPCL will strongly support its candidates and will aggressively campaign for them.” Metzger replied, “Well that’s fair enough – I would expect that.” I extended my best wishes for his daughter and his family as they approached the wedding day. It was quite cordial. * * * A week or so later, Steve called me back to discuss the UPCL. I shared with him what the UPCL did and how he could get involved. QUESTION: If I had in fact encouraged Steve not to run and made the ridiculous claim that “it would be bad for his career”, why in the world would Steve Metzger call me back? In fairness, I don’t know if Steve Metzger is making the comments that are posted in ForsakenOnDyer’s blog. If Steve did not make these comments and ForsakenOnDyer is simply pushing untruthful comments out there to ‘rally the troops’ then shame on you ForsakenOnDyer. On the other hand, IF Steve Metzger is in fact making these comments about me, privately or publicly, I say to Steve Metzger, “Shame on you Steve. I can’t believe you are misrepresenting the facts in order to advance yourself in this election. Nothing is more important than the truth – – nothing.” Steve, I welcome a response from you if you’d like to ‘clear the air’. Since it’s easy to say anything about anybody in an anonymous blog – I welcome the opportunity to smoke this out publicly. I’m very comfortable with the truth and I’m only interested in what’s in the best interest of our community.
W. Frederick Hamm, Chairman
University Park Community League