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Feud Between Former Indio Mayor, City Manager Reaches New Heights

Former Indio mayor Mike Wilson sorts through binders of city documents in his Indio home. He served on the city council for 13 years until his election defeat last November. Wilson and Indio City Manager Glenn Southard have an ongoing feud.

In a March 2008 council fight, Wilson told Southard, “You lose. Shut up.”

Southard replied, “Too bad, Mike.”

Wilson fired back, “You and I are going to have some fun.”

Indio’s businesses aren’t doing as well during these tough times. That means less tax money coming in. Wilson accuses the city manager of wasting taxpayer money.

“There are $207 million of bonds and loans that the residents and the taxpayers have to pay back. Where’s the money coming from?” asked Wilson.

So when Wilson asked city hall for public documents he says will prove his point, Indio’s city attorney sent him a letter telling him his e-mails were now blocked.

“It’s very degrading,” replied Wilson.

Nobody at city hall will say why the former mayor is blacklisted. City Manager Glenn Southard referred our questions to his assistant, Mark Wasserman, who wouldn’t answer if Wilson harassed city employees with his e-mails. Wasserman only said there were “personnel problems.”

E-mails obtained by News Channel 3 show city staff writing pleasantries and smiley faces when responding to Wilson’s requests.

Indio’s city attorney says he will still work with the former mayor to get the public documents he wants.

It comes down to whether the people of Indio face a sudden tax increase if the city’s budget is worse than publically known.

Wilson stated, “They paint a picture, because the City Manager is egotistic. He does not want on his watch any negativity on the city’s having financial problems, so they’ve built this smokescreen and the smoke is starting to clear and it’s time to pay the piper.”

KESQ News Team

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