HAYDEN — Hayden Councilman Roger Saterfiel officially withdrew from the interim mayoral race on Friday.
He also asks the Chairman of the Council, Matt Roetter, to resign.
“It’s time for Hayden City Council to begin the healing process,” Saterfiel said. “Maybe new blood is what we need.”
Too much time was spent focusing on board members, he said.
“I hope the board can come to some sort of consensus now that I have stepped down,” he said. “We know our community better than the governor.”
Saterfiel, who served on the board for 14 years, will now be able to participate when candidates are interviewed at 5 p.m. Monday. He would not have been able to participate had he remained in the candidate pool.
Had he done so, Councilman Ed DePriest would have pulled out of the process because he said not all applicants would receive fair and equal treatment. And if that had happened, Gov. Brad Little would have had to step in to make an appointment.
However, with four council members and no tiebreakers, the governor could still end up appointing the acting mayor. Whoever is chosen will serve former Mayor Steve Griffitts’ term, which ends in January 2024. Griffitts announced his resignation Feb. 22.
The animosity has been on full display at times during recent council meetings, between council members and the public as well. DePriest drew the ire of community member Teresa Roth. Roth made public comments during Tuesday’s meeting and messaged DePriest on social media.
“I don’t want to cause division, but Hayden is not going to lay down and be rolled over,” she wrote. “If you and Saterfiel already know that Saterfiel can’t win. The vote has already been taken. If he doesn’t drop out of the pool of candidates, things are going to get very ugly.”
DePriest recently referenced emails from Roetter to Saterfiel and Hayden resident Joy Richards.
The press acquired these and many other emails through public records requests. Some information was redacted before being given to La Presse.
The “public record”, as defined by the Idaho code, includes, but is not limited to, “any writing containing information relating to the conduct or administration of public business prepared, held, used or retained by any state agency, independent public and political body, or local agency, regardless of physical form or characteristics. However, personal notes created by a public official solely for his or her personal use do not constitute a public document as long as those personal notes are not shared with any other person or entity. »
“BRING IT ON.”
This sentence, in capital letters, is the subject of an e-mail from Roetter to Saterfiel.
The email was sent on April 6. Roetter touted his affiliation with “top litigants”, his success in suing his own attorney, and how he pushed a major corporation to file for bankruptcy.
Roetter welcomed, even seemed to encourage, a challenge from Saterfiel.
“I must have said something that pushed his buttons,” Saterfiel said in an interview with The Press on Friday.
In recent meetings, Roetter got defensive when DePriest appeared ready to share the contents of the emails. Roetter said he wouldn’t allow DePriest to release the content because it’s “private.”
Another email was sent by Roetter to Richards, who is active in the Hayden community. In that email, Roetter said he was “struggling with morale [sic] issue regarding Roger.” He then alleges that Saterfiel had an affair in the past and explains how his current wife, Stephanie, wrote a letter to the editor in support of Roetter’s opponent in a city council election.
“Stephanie’s letter supported my opponent who was on probation in California, never voted in Idaho, lived in Hayden for a year and a half and was a car repo,” Roetter wrote to Richards. “The letter said she could be framed by Roger and Dick (Panabaker) and was therefore the person to vote for.”
Regarding his personal life, Saterfiel told The Press the allegations were “false barbershop gossip” from 42 years ago when his ex-wife was Roetter’s wife’s hairdresser.
He said Roetter still resents him for the letter his wife wrote in support of Roetter’s opponent.
“I believe that in America, your support and your vote should not be held against his family,” Saterfiel said.
Richards said she thinks DePriest and Saterfiel have taken the high road in this series of events. Richards interacted frequently with board members and regularly attended board meetings for about a year.
“Roger realizes that even if he was mayor it would be so controversial with Matt still on council,” she said. “The common denominator of this whole problem is Matt’s behavior. He makes fun of and shames people.
“Roger and Ed have decided to put Hayden’s interests ahead of their own beliefs. They are men of integrity and they back down because of Matt. They want the city to win.
“Matt Roetter is the common denominator in this unfortunate situation. He wants to fight. He’s the one who caused all these grudges.”
Saterfiel said he was shocked, but not surprised, when he received the antagonistic email from Roetter, which he described as “out of control.”
“Matt Roetter has a history of bullying and that’s how he works,” Saterfiel said. “I found it very threatening.
“When Matt made it personal, he crossed the line,” Saterfiel continued. “I’ve been in public service for 42 years. I can work with anyone. When you start taking it personal and attacking my family, you cross the line.
“He’s shown so many times that he doesn’t deserve to represent the people of Hayden,” Saterfiel said. “The citizens of Hayden don’t deserve any of this, but sometimes you have to go through a horrible process to expose what’s really going on.”
Roetter did not respond to multiple attempts to reach him for comment.