1-26-2005 Mayor Pontificatus Non-Erectus


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The honeymoon is over, and people want to know where this money is going. In the last year, we've raised taxes, raised fees, and people want to know where the money is going. I tell them about downtown development, but they want to know when money is going to be spent in the neighborhoods where they live.--Councilperson (man) Phil Latinski, from last nights council foofaraw.

The "honeymoon" is over? Well, I freakin' guess! Is it just moi, or is our city council taking on an increasingly incendiary tone lately as it pertains to the mayor's job performance? Is there an election next month, or what?

Let's take a stab at this one, shall we. Hmmm. "People want to know where this money is going." I've been known to snort a few crushed Necco wafers at parties, but I was under the distinct impression that the McGroarty era known for keeping city council completely out of the loop was over. Call me a crazy shiz-nit snippily making my way through life, but that's what I thought.

Now why would I believe such a thing? I don't know...little things, like the mayor releasing the crime statistics in a timely manner for the first time in years. Or making costly proposals for high-ticket repairs to city buildings available to be published on the internet. In the past, when I wanted to publish any city documents on this internet thingie, I needed a little birdie to spirit them out of the big hall stuck inside of her bra. I don't know. After having to deal with an administration that treated accuracy and the truth as if they were violent new strains of a fatal viral infection to be avoided at all costs, I kinda got the feeling that transparency had finally arrived at city hall when Tom Leighton lifted his right hand and swore something or other to that superior being who is now too completely offensive to name here. And unless those Neccos had some long-lasting effects on my brain that I'm not aware of, I'd have to say that this administration has been on the up-and-up whereas communicating where we were, where we are and where we're going is concerned.

Again...I don't know. I honestly thought that our seven gender neutral council folks were privy to the latest numbers, the latest projects, the latest repairs, the latest lawsuits and the latest overdue debts that were retired, but maybe I'm off-base to assume such a thing. Maybe I'm a part of the exclusive inner circle that has access to the latest goings-on in this city. Or, maybe I pay closer attention to detail than some of our council folks do. Or maybe somebody wants to quickly pass the buck with a bit of political grandstanding when the voters start angrily clamoring for some detailed answers.

One more time:

The honeymoon is over, and people want to know where this money is going. In the last year, we've raised taxes, raised fees, and people want to know where the money is going. I tell them about downtown development, but they want to know when money is going to be spent in the neighborhoods where they live.

If he doesn't know, I'm wondering what the f**k we're paying him for.


To the e-mail inbox we go.

This was the very first response I received after I encouraged folks to comment on Leighton's performance during '04:

*******You F_ING HOMO__after we get rid of TOMMY THE GREAT were coming for you. F_U_F_HIM_AND_F_YOUR STUPID SH@T!*******

Whew! I did promise not to critique these entries, heyna? Can I? Can I? Can I? Oh, darn it!

From the less...hostile side of the e-mail inbox:

*******Although I haven't written in quite some time, rest assured I continue to check in everyday. I wanted to write you to tell you how much I enjoyed today's column. I echo your sentiments regarding consolidation 1000%. By the way, I also read that comment from that pinhead from the great megalopis of WB Twp...it pissed me off royally too. Those coal crackers get the golden calf dropped in their laps, next thing you know they think they're masters of urban planning.

Anyway, just wanted to tell you that if I ever owned a newspaper, you'd be my number 1 columnist. Your thoughts are better written, better reasoned, and more interesting than the "professionals."

Keep up the good work,

Michael LXXXXXXX*******

Gee whiz! Thanks, dude. Who knows, maybe I'll end up replacing Allison Walzer. Probably not. Rumor has it that immediately following the infamous stress ball incident, Todd Vonderheid became the front-runner for that position.

I'm glad somebody agrees with me. I really think this regionalization bilge is just an ill-advised, short-sighted substitute for doing what really needs to be done. Namely, doing away with the multitude of smallish boroughs that have been in a perpetual state of decline ever since the last of coal breakers went silent.

When your lone police car craps out on you and you have to borrow one from a neighboring city while the repairs that you can't really afford are being made-the writing should be on the wall for all to see. For the well-being of your constituents, give it up already. Well, one would think.

And right on cue...we had ourselves a reprise of Mayor Coal Cracker's comments in the Citizen's Voice this morning:

Wilkes-Barre Township enacted tax for the good of its residents

01/26/2005

Editor:
Good business, not greed, is what led Wilkes-Barre Township officials to impose the Emergency and Municipal Services Tax. We have never had a governor come to our financial rescue like Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. We must use every resource available to protect and preserve our community. We realize that any tax increase creates some burden. By rebating up to $50 per year on property taxes and by decreasing our local earned income tax by one-quarter percent, we hope to ease this burden for our residents.

We also realize the importance of police and fire protection and the maintenance of our roadways. In 2004, our police and fire departments responded to a combined 7,000 calls. Each year, the cost for these services and others increase substantially, and we also realize it is not our 3,200 residents generating the 7,000 police and fire calls per year.

By imposing the EMS tax, which equates to one dollar per week, we are relieved of raising property taxes for these services which are enjoyed by not only our residents, but by those working and shopping in our township.

It is also interesting to note that many of the same people condemning this tax do not find it a hardship to spend $52 a week - not a year - to purchase cell phones, beer and cigarettes. When times are tough, we all must learn to prioritize as individuals, families and government bodies.

Mayor Carl Kuren
Wilkes-Barre Township

********

Yikes! You already know how I feel about him blowing his own dubious horn while hacking on Wilkes-Barre. Excepting all of the shiny pyramids that he had nothing to do with having been erected, his culm fire of a town has disintegrated just as much as any other Concrete City of a forgotten culm pile place. The governor, i.e., state funds had nothing to do with Wilkes-Barre Township's current enviable financial position? Yeah! And pigs can frickin' hockey fight!

For three decades, Bore-Hole Township has been kept somewhat cash-rich only because it had some nearby land available large enough to construct the valley's one and only shopping mall upon. And then, lo-and-behold, Kevin Blaum went and forced progress down the township's throat despite all of the kicking and screaming coming from it's suddenly cocky top honcho. Whatever.

I take zero issue with his arguments for enacting the right-to-toil tax increase. But get a load of how he ended his letter to the editors of the Voice:

It is also interesting to note that many of the same people condemning this tax do not find it a hardship to spend $52 a week - not a year - to purchase cell phones, beer and cigarettes. When times are tough, we all must learn to prioritize as individuals, families and government bodies.

Holy freakin' moley!!! Has he been worshipping at the Church of Latterday Clintonistas???

Just so you know, "When times are tough" is code for those stretches when the government increases our taxes, or restricts the economy due to it's misguided policies. "When times are tough" means the folks like Carl have f**ked up what is normally a pretty good economic system.

Who the f**k is he to presume to tell us what we can and what we should do without? Oooooh! Beer and cigarettes! Those people working in Culmville must be a morally vapid bunch, heh? And what's up with the obvious cell phone hang-up? Was this guy born before electricity came to the coal mines? Still clinging to that trusty rotary phone of your's, mayor? If you're calling from a rotary phone, please dial 1 now to signify that you might have served under General George Custer. Holy muck!

Do they still have a big wooden Indian in front of the general store up there? Oh, that's right. I forgot. Discounting the Blaumville section of the township not sitting directly on top of a smoldering coal vein, Wilkes-Barre Township proper doesn't have a f**king store. Georgetown is the type of place you need to wander through every once in a while when living in Wilkes-Barre has ya feeling a little blue. Yes, folks. Things can get worse. The proof sits but a mile or two away. Follow the smoke plumes, you'll find it.

When times are tough, we all must learn to prioritize as individuals, families and government bodies.

Repeat after me: BLAH! BLAH! F**KING! BLAH!

Thanks for all of that pissant bullspit, Mayor Pontificatus Non-Erectus. I'll be sure to carve that deep into my f**king forehead right after I f**king sober up. All of a sudden, I need a smoke.

Where the f**k do they grow these people?

Oh. That's right. They grew him in Wilkes-Barre Township.

'Nuf said.


Then we had...both newspapers reporting that the East Station situation is going to stay front and center for the time being. That's not a problem from where I'm sitting. Unless, of course, if we deviate from the facts at hand and start making it up as we go along. That has been tried by some of late.

I loved this quote from the Voice:

"It's unfortunate that things weren't addressed in the past because now we've hit the fan," Chairwoman Shirley Vitanovec said.

We've? We've? Nah, not "we've." Something has sure hit the fan as far as the piss-poor condition of or firehouses is concerned, but I think she flubbed that line to some degree.

We've all gotta duck...when the sh*t hits the fan.--The Circle Jerks

Did you ever notice that these newspaper reporters seem to have no problem at all spelling her name correctly on a consistent basis. My Braves cap is off to the lot of them.

More from the Voice:

Be aware that myself and other council members aren't going to let it rest.--Councilwoman Kathy Kane.

Also chiming in was councilman and fellow Heights resident Jim McCarthy, who worried that the fire station on Northampton Street would not be addressed for another 12 to 18 months.

Councilman Bill Barrett also had plenty to say. He pressured the administration to decide what it would do about fire protection in the Heights and North End, so the residents would be more at ease.

"I think what would help us if we had some sort of plan," Barrett said.

From the Leader:

South Station needs to be done first but we do want to keep the fire burning on the Heights station, because those people do have a point.--Councilman Michael McGinley.

Keep the fire burning? That's an odd choice of words, heyna? Whatever.

Back to the Voice:

The bulk of the fireworks came later in the evening when Councilman Phil Latinski had the floor.

Latinski felt council had been left out of the loop when it came to fire protection. He also told his colleagues that as the legislative body that approves the mayor's decisions, council was just as responsible for the residents' safety as Leighton was.

During his presentation, Latinski focused his attention on the North End.

Fire Chief Jake Lisman said Tuesday that a new fire station would go up in the area of Hollenback Park this year, but Latinski cautioned that traffic flow could be a problem.

Latinski was adamant that if there were ever a traffic tie-up on the North Cross Valley Expressway, response time could be drastically reduced and the potential for fatalities would increase.

"I am concerned about the firehouses of the city, and I am concerned about the safety of the citizens in certain sections of the city," he said.

Yeah, baby! Now we're rockin'!!!

Back to the Leader:

Councilman Phil Latinski argued that another proposed fire station in the Hollenback Park area, meant to replace the closed Conyngham Avenue station and the open but decrepit Scott Street station, could be ineffective because of heavy traffic if it is built in the wrong spot.

Huh? Traffic flow could be a problem? Ineffective because of heavy traffic? If there were ever a traffic tie-up on the North Cross Valley Expressway, response time could be drastically reduced and the potential for fatalities would increase? He just lost me again.

The North Cross-Valley? Aren't there, like, numerous city streets that run under that roadway, and down one side and up the other side? What am I missing here? Time for another Necco's hit? What? A firetruck stationed close to the golf course would need to utilize the North Cross-Valley for what reason exactly?

What's the difference, anyway? The Northeast station sits in the shadow of the cross-valley. So, how it is a problem if the new-and-improved super station sits on the other side of that thruway? Is it me?

East Station sat on Northampton Street? No traffic to speak of there? The Northeast Station driveway was blocked by traffic waiting on the streetlight more often than not. And our apparatus departing that station had to wade through it before trying to deal with the traffic that quite often wouldn't yield to a screaming/flashing firetruck on the Boulevard. Can somebody help me here? I don't know what the muck he's going on about. I really don't.

And..."out of the loop when it came to fire protection?"

Funny, I'm not out of the loop. We've got five firehouses and they're all either falling apart, or very close to falling apart. They all need some serious bucks invested in them. And damned near everyone is demanding immediate action, while not pretending to know how to pay for said immediate action.

Out of the loop?

Who the f**k woke him up?

Oh, wait. I got it. Three councilmen are currently settled in one newly defined voting district with one available council seat and they will all be vying for the same seat during the next election go-round. Gonna need some ample press for the foreseeable future.

I can see where all of this premature finger-pointing is going. City finances? Fixin' your neighborhood? Fire protection? Well, don't frickin' ask your out-of-the-loop councilman, that son-of-a-bitchin' mayor won't tell him anything.

This oughta get real good before it's all said and done.


Sorry about...all of the feigned F-Bombs, but I'm in a particularly ramped-up mood today. Let's just say this is not a kid-friendly post. Anywhooey, borderline lunacy somehow passing as skilled leadership gets me all sorts of ornery on most days. I even e-mailed Sue Henry and told her of my need to beat on one of her semi-regular callers. Stay well away from me today. I'm a 10-47 waiting to happen.

I received the following quip via e-mail today:

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

I guess I'm having a bad hair day. I just knew I shoulda showered this week.

Later


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