Mayor calls former mayor the ‘B’ word


The same member of Portsmouth City Council who once, in his evaluation of Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen, suggested he get a prescription for Viagra, has now used a derragatory word in an email referring to a former Portsmouth mayor.

In an email dated Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, and addressed to all members of Portsmouth City Council, City Clerk Diana Ratliff, City Solicitor John Haas, City Auditor Trent Williams and Wastewater Director Rick Duncan and obtained in a public records request by the Daily Times, current Portsmouth Mayor Jim Kalb writes: “I know that most of you don’t even want to acknowledge her with a reply, but the bitch lies…”

In the “subject” section of the email, Kalb referenced – “$1,275,503 city tax dollars spent on Cincinnati/Columbus engineering firm that could have been spent locally.”

It was in reference to a Cincinnati Enquirer story about the Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District spending as much as $680 million in public money during the past decade with little or no oversight from anyone outside the agency.”

In an email from Jane Murray to members of City Council, with the exception of Kalb, and Jo Ann Aeh, she referenced $1,275,503 city tax dollars spent on (a) Cincinnati/Columbus engineering firm that she said could have been spent locally.

“Yes, that’s right. I got those numbers from Trent Williams only yesterday. $1,275,503.51 tax dollars sent to Strand and Associates that could have been spent with a firm that owns property on Second Street, employs people who work on Second Street, pays property and income taxes to the city of Portsmouth — Howerton Engineering,” Murray wrote in an email dated Friday, Feb. 12, 2016. She also attached a record of scores of invoices.

That email apparently prompted the response from Kalb, who is currently mayor of the City of Portsmouth.

“First, I’m fully aware that this email could be made public, but it’s nothing that I wouldn’t say to anyone,” Kalb says in the title line of the correspondence.

“I see that Jane has reared her ugly (literally) head again. (Wonder why just a few were omitted from Jane’s emails???? We all know why.) Someone needs to send Jane and her entire email list a letter with the facts to shut her up. She distorts the facts, fails to tell the whole story about anything and flat out lies to people. I’m always up and ready for an early A.M. email binge, as a matter of fact I’m past due. She works hard at trying to destroy the reputations of others to bring them down to her level.”

It is at this point in the email that Kalb calls Murray the derrogatory name.

“I know that most of you don’t even want to acknowledge her with a reply, but the bitch lies….I hate the thought of anyone reading her trash and thinking it’s all the truth. It’s clear that she just won’t give up by being ignored; she needs to be seen/known for what she really is.”

The email continues – “To Jane (the shortest term mayor ever serving in Portsmouth history); WHASSUUUPP???? I purposely didn’t email this to you, but I have no doubts that it will be copied to you. Why do I not receive your emails when sent to all other Council members? Don’t have my address? My email address is [email protected] which is easily found on the city’s website (which you provided a link for so others could email their Council representatives).

The email concludes with – “PS. Thanks for the ‘plug’ on your website saying the last time the city’s funds were not in a deficit was in 2007. Guess you forgot who was mayor then, huh…..I’ll be counting the days before you remove or revise that. Shrugs and Hisses, Jim K.

The Daily Times made a public records request with the office of City Clerk Diane Ratliff for the email.

A telephone message was left for Murray seeking comment, but it was not returned by the newspaper’s deadline.

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By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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