In this case the word is “fact”.
So there I was staring at the Casey Foundation report that I mention here, trying to put together a cogent post while clearly having summer brain. Then, almost at that exact moment I get a comment posted from “Ox” the online moniker for Chris Oxenham, newest appointee to the Housing Commission. Here is the comment in its entirety:
“This post was just brought to my attention and it should be pointed out that misinformation is being spread. While I appreciate your enthusiasm for local issues you have a point marked there that states "a rich white man to the housing commission to replace an African American woman who has dedicated her career to affordable housing" aside from me wondering how you got access to my tax returns to be able to make a comment about me being "rich", it should be pointed out that I did not in fact replace who you said I did. While you may personally dislike me which is fair game and I have no problem taking hits from you about my postings and comments, facts should still triumph over fiction.”
What is simply amazing to me is that Mr. Oxenham could have simply given an update and left it at that but instead choose to outright state that I was providing misinformation and “fiction” in my declaration on who he would be replacing on the Commission. Of course I cannot know his intent but I suspect that there was a good deal of hubris in making such an accusation towards me when the facts are easily discernible through public information.
So, first of all, he is correct when he states that he “did not in fact replace who you said I did.” However, my statement that he was nominated to replace her specifically is ALSO correct. His statement is, at best, an update not a correction.
Mr. Oxenham was originally nominated to replace Ms. Mitchell, but the Administration eventually changed its mind and decided to have him replace the term limited Mr. Riemer. The Council discusses this briefly when Mr. Oxenham is approved . If you go to the page with the supporting documents on his nomination resolution you will find a memo from Chief Administrative Officer Lonnie Robbins to Council Chair Mary Kay Sigaty dated July 30 . Here is the word for word text of the memo:
“The Administration requests that Council Resolution No. 109-2015 be withdrawn at the Council's next legislative session.
Also, with regard to CR 110-2015, the appointee, Christopher Oxenham, will be replacing Michael Riemer. Mr. Oxenham will not be replacing Regina Mitchell as previously indicated.”
I will not be so bold as to presume it was my blog post which convinced the Administration of the error of its ways. It was much more likely the result of negotiations with Council members who are, as they should be, taking the responsibility of approving such nominations seriously. Like I said, Mr. Oxenham’s comment is, at best, simply an update. His referring to my post as misinformation and fiction over facts is blatant obfuscation. Pretty quickly and easily proving one of the reasons I was so uneasy with his nomination to the Housing Commission in the first place. The comment, however, does highlight a whole series of new questions for me.
Mr. Oxenham said, “This post was just brought to my attention”.
Was the attention bringer a member of the Kittleman Administration?
If so, did they also request that Mr. Oxenham obfuscate the history as he so clearly did?
If so why would the administration run from the change or want to pretend this wasn’t a change? Are they afraid to admit they made a mistake or yielded to pressure? Are they afraid to admit that they gave into pressure to keep racial diversity on a County Commission?
All just questions, for now without answers.
 I believe you can find it at the 12-minute mark.
 My post in question was dated July 23