24th Ward Committeewoman Shoots Messenger

Shooting the messenger has commenced. 24th Ward Committeewoman Teri Powers (see below email) is spreading a rumor that I was reprimanded and suspended for tweeting at work. Neither happened.

Early last Spring, I was summoned to Sharon Carpenter’s office and told by her that my new assignment was to write a book for her on the City’s Colonial history, with a Forward to be written by her, to be her gift to the people of St. Louis on our 250th Birthday.

At the end of the book meeting, Sharon Carpenter brought up Twitter. Keep in mind, I had not tweeted anything disparaging about my boss, made any comments about the Recorder’s race, or ever represented myself as a Recorder employee on Twitter.

Sharon Carpenter told me “everyone” expects Recorder employees to tweet on behalf of her, be supportive of her re-election, and that my tweets were “confusing” to people and “upsets the Board (of Aldermen).”

I told her no one had mentioned this to me. I also explained that while I am the majority poster, the 7th Ward Twitter account has more than one user, many an announcement posted by other than me. She suggested we use initials.

Then Sharon Carpenter asked me to “do her a favor” and refrain from Tweeting between 8 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday even during breaks and lunch, vacation and sick days.

I told her that I would seek counsel on the matter. I did. Life’s too short. I chose to do the least complicated thing and not bring a smart phone with me to work to avoid any real or imaginary conflict. But I also decided to ignore her requests regarding my personally not tweeting during sick and vacation days and everyone on the account using initials. I am continuing with those choices under the new Recorder. I miss out on a lot but it’s much easier this way.

I was not reprimanded for tweeting. I was not written up for tweeting. I was not suspended for tweeting.

There could not have been anything of the sort because there was no policy on social media, email, playing games, or internet use in general, for office computers or personal devices, in our employee manual under the former Recorder. There was a rule, however, banning the reading of books, newspapers, and magazines unrelated to work at our desks.

There was a conversation between me and my former boss, with no one else in the room, about writing a book and it ended with a brief discussion about Twitter and then the subject was never spoken of again. Those are the facts.

Teri Powers also claims that Ed McFowland hasn’t shared “his professional work history or qualifications,” which is only true if you haven’t bothered to look at his website where his bio has been posted for a long time http://ed4recorder.wordpress.com/about/

Marie Ceselski
7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

—–Original Message—–
From: er
To: stlcity7thward
Sent: Fri, Jul 25, 2014 9:37 pm
Subject: your website reply

Marie,

My home computer is not compatible with your website. I apparently am not as “pious” as you are or concerned about whether or not my manager is behaving; nor do I feel compelled to be anybody’s watchdog or “whistle blower”. But then, I’ve never been reprimanded for tweeting when I am suppose to be working or suspended for the same – and, no, I didn’t get this bit of information from Sharon Q Carpenter.

Let he without sin cast the first stone – and I think that precludes both of us and most of the people we know. There are bigger problems and misuse of public funds, supplies, etc. than anything such as what you have accused Sharon Carpenter of doing or not doing.

I continue to think how very sad and miserable your life must be that you would deliberately plot against your employer.

I am a single mother who raised my children from preschoolers and managed to earn a master’s degree and complete a two year post graduate program. I cannot recommend any man for public office who has failed to support his own family and does not share his professional work history or qualifications as to what (aside from a lack of character) to hold a public office. Apparently you and I define wrong doing differently.

Sad to be you,

Teri Powers

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