Shawn recently started a thread on this Lakewood Observer Observation Deck forum, titled “Next Board Meeting” (viewtopic.php?f=7&t=11026), asking to “stop in” on the next LO Board meeting.
Shawn Juris wrote:When is the next LO Board meeting. I would like to stop in and address the group.
If you have followed the Observation Deck through its many years, you would know that discussions sometimes get quite heated. Participants, using their real names, often disagree in this public forum.
Over the course of time, Shawn Juris and Lakewood Observer publisher, Jim O’Bryan, have managed to have conflict over many issues, especially in this forum.
Here is a screen shot of the Shawn Juris’ e-mail to me, minus part of my e-mail address.
In case you have trouble reading that, here is the full text of the letter.
Shawn Juris wrote:Steve, I am sick and tired of the Lakewood Observer's bullying and shenanigans. Jim O'Bryan has got to go. I will use the full force and power of my position to make this clear. I look forward to our meeting.
Obviously, he still wants a meeting.
Shawn Juris wrote:I look forward to our meeting.
It seems that the message he wants to present to the LO Board is that “Jim O’Bryan has got to go.” By that, he may mean that Jim should stop being the publisher, give up ownership, leave town, or something else.
Shawn Juris wrote:Jim O'Bryan has got to go.
Remember, Jim is a private businessman in Lakewood. He has products here in Lakewood, and his media products are licensed throughout the county to the Heights Observer, Parma Observer, Westlake/Bay Village Observer, Great Lakes Courier, Campus District Observer, Collinwood Observer, Euclid Observer, Lakewood Observer, and others.
Ironically, as Lakewood officials talk about “economic development” ad nauseam, Councilman Juris attacks this private business owner. Agree with Jim O’Bryan, or not, his products are a community asset that have served our city, library, schools, and nearly every non-profit organization in town.
What I have written so far is an aside to the real issue with the communication from Shawn Juris. This line is the most telling and disturbing.
Shawn Juris wrote:I will use the full force and power of my position to make this clear.
This aggressive language can be interpreted as threatening to use the power of office to end a private business, or to separate the owner from his business. This is a Lakewood City Council member who is threatening to use the “full force and power” of his position against a Lakewood business because of “bullying and shenanigans.” Shenanigans? Shawn sounds like the bully, and his threat to use his position on Council against a citizen is “unacceptable behavior.”
Shawn Juris wrote:Jim O'Bryan has got to go. I will use the full force and power of my position to make this clear.
So, what does this statement imply? Hubris? Conspiracy? A threat? Abuse of power? Restraint of 1st Amendment rights? Is it ethical? Is it even legal? What are the limits of force and power? The message is not "clear."
This e-mail should be an embarrassment to Shawn Juris. Unfortunately, it will probably embarrass his colleagues on City Council, and other officials at City Hall. This statement by Shawn should be denounced by all parties.
Lakewood residents should be treated evenly under the law and practices of the city. They should be confident that each is treated fairly, and without retribution. Shawn’s communication indicates that this is not the case. It is up to the entire body of city officials to make it clear that Lakewood will not follow this path.