It’s time for the Ely City Council to come clean.

The city created a mess by its actions against the non-profit Nevada Northern Railway. It must now plainly tell the people why.

Let’s break down current events involving the city and railroad.

First, the council unanimously voted to remove the chair and the vice-chair of the railroad’s board, saying that the two were doing a stellar job.

We then playfully asked what happens to citizen volunteers who do a perfect job — public execution?

The mayor wrote the newspaper in a surprisingly unprofessional way to criticize our assessment, saying that the councilman who praised the board members (he later voted to fire) was only one person on the City Council and not everyone shared his praise of the railroad board.

We understand that, Madam Mayor. You make our point for us — the mayor and the city council are not being honest here. If the city thinks fraud or mismanagement of the railroad has occurred, then man-up and make the case. Don’t say nothing during the meeting then go level cheap-shot accusations.

Second, following that duplicitous episode, for which the mayor and the city council received much criticism, the mayor and two councilmen showed up at the railroad office on a day they knew it was closed and demanded to be let in so an accountant from Las Vegas could audit the books. The manager of the railroad was on vacation. When an employee of the railroad told them to come back when the railroad office was open, the trio broke in the office.

We’re not making this up.

They removed a second-story window air conditioning unit, entered the office, and downloaded files from the railroad’s computers.

We don’t care who you are or what you might think of this issue between the city and the railroad, that’s irresponsible in the extreme on the part of the mayor and the council.

To compound the bad judgment, they then lied to the newspaper by saying the sheriff gave them permission to break in. The sheriff has publicly said he did nothing of the sort.

Today The Ely Times publishes a Q&A with the manager of the S&S Shortline. The relationship between S&S and the railroad is apparently a key issue in the dispute. We invite the mayor and members of the City Council to read it.

We’re open, as our readers are, to trying to better understand exactly what is the burr under the saddle of the city in regards to the railroad. And we again ask the mayor and the city council to stop playing games; stop saying one thing and doing another; and for goodness sake stop burglarizing office buildings and tell the people plainly what is your beef?

In other words, and we mean this in a most respectful way, put up, or shut up.

— SF