3-11-2004 Our two Steves

The city was in bad shape last year and it wasn't in the best of shape in 2002, as was indicated by the fact that the new administration had to raise taxes and fees this year.--City Controller, Bernie Mengeringhausen

Read it and weep all of you right-wing, neo-nazi war hawks. Al Franken and his liberal talk radio network are invading the airwaves and soon. How long do you see that lasting? Three months? Six months? A year? I don't believe it's supposed to last much longer than November. I think the entire untertaking is but another vehicle to attack the much dreaded Dubya and after the election it'd go belly up almost overnight. Al Franken and Judy Garbarfamo? No one could honestly believe those two frustrated commies could command a large audience and produce a profit.

Did we all see Kasia Kopec's piece in the Leader: Audit shows decline of Wilkes-Barre finances? According to actual auditors, we finished 2002 with a deficit of $767,266. Now who was it that told us right before the May 2003 primary that we were in the black at the end of both 2001 and 2002? Hmmm? Remember? That guy that used "Auditing for Dummies" when preparing the city's budgets. The very same guy that designed a theater and a parking garage on an Etch 'o' Sketch. The guy that built a call center and signed a lease with a tenant that stipulated that they remain only as long as they felt like it. Was anything he told us even remotely based on facts at all? Therein lies the biggest difference between our former mayor and our current mayor? Like it or not, as painful as it may be, we are now being told the truth of our present situation.

When I first read that e-mailed press release highlighting the first sixty days of the Skrep/Todd regime, I didn't think that much of it, and I never thought it would stir up so much controversy. It did take a jab at Steve Urban, so you had to figure he'd retaliate in the press. When I read the next morning that both Todd and Skrep had graded their performance after only sixty days, I thought it was kinda silly being so early during their reign. I also figured the SAYSO folks would be ripping them a new one. But I never thought that Steve Flood would go off the way he did. He graded them at 0 out of a possible 10? They don't even rate a score of 1 for good attendance and showing up at work being clean shaven?

Is there anyone that has worked under that dome during the past few years that Steve Flood didn't want to fight with? Is every single working day just another confrontation in whatever guide to good government he's been reading? Is every issue another chance to sit with newspaper reporters and recklessly spout off? Should every disagreement result in yet another court fight? I have voted for this guy twice in the past, but his penchant for turning everything into a donnybrook is fraying my very last nerve. Someone had better remind him about the benefits of teamwork and cooperation.

His tactics are quite often bombastic and disrupting, while Steve Urban continues to be more of a sniper than a commissioner. In my tattered book, the self-proclaimed watchdogs are beginning to wear out their welcome. They couldn't work with the Tom/Tom Twins, and now we have two new commissioners, but it all still sounds the same as it did before Todd and Skrep assumed control of the gavel.

If stirring up trouble is all that it takes to be a high level, elected county employee, I think I'm over-qualified. And so are those two. Our two Steves.

Please don't e-mail me and point out the mis-steps that our new majority commissioners have made. I am aware of them and I continue to rate their performance. I guess the biggest difference between myself and the two Steves is I'm willing to give our two new top guns a grace period longer than three weeks. Todd and Skrep will be graded on election day when it counts the most.

What's the latest casualty count from Madrid, Spain? 192 killed and 1,250 injured? Very nice. 1,500 innocent people got blown up on their way to work this morning. Reminds one of the 9/11 attacks, heh? And we've been treated to nine Democrat presidential hopefuls telling us that Dubya's 'War on Terror' is too aggressive. "We're gonna smoke 'em out, get 'em running and kill 'em," is reckless cowboy talk, while more innocent people are being killed for absolutely no reason at all. What we need is more diplomacy and more police work to thwart the terrorists of the world is the spiel John Kerry is giving us. I wonder if the families of the Spanish victims agree with that tact right about now. I kinda doubt it.

Alrighty then. The streets have been cleaned. The green decorations now adorn Public Square. The beer trucks are delivering to Keenan's at a feverish pace. All we need now is the city bandshell put in place. Oh yeah, and the St. Patty's Day Parade. Heck! I'm even going to wear my green briefs. When I first bought them eight years ago they were white. It must be that cheap laundry detergent wifeys been buying.


This just came to me via the e-mail inbox:

*******Hi Mark,
Just a quick note, the city of Wilkes-Barre will be selling t-shirts on Sunday at the parade, with all proceeds going immediately to the betterment of next year's parade (more entertainment). The shirts are long sleeve ($12) or short sleeve ($10) and there will be (Tom Leighton for Mayor committee) people walking throughout the crowd on Sunday with them, as well as 2 tables set up on the square with the shirts, and 1 table set up by the entrance to the Ramada. I don't have one yet...or I would have sent you a picture of it. Get yours early, and thanks for the support!*******

What? No Leighton bobble-head dolls? He promised! Save me a medium short sleeve. Summer is a coming. Hoo! Hoo!

Uh-oh! They seem to be going fast. From the inbox:




Whatdya know? Somebody got the gag. From the e-mail inbox:

*******Hey Mark,

HA, HA, HA!!! Very funny number you used for the city recycling calendars. You picked the wrong number though, you should have used 823-XXXX. That would have been even better!

If it hasn't been changed, it's McG*********'s home number.

Have fun*******

Damn girl! You're even more devious than I am. Who elses home phone numbers do you know?

Here we go. More on the shoppers who lack any semblence of pride or good sense at Sprawl-Mart. From the inbox again:

*******Just wanted to tell you I went back to Wal-Mart again today to see if there was any deals. Got another stomach ache laughing at the people there. It has actually come down to people running with carts in the isles! I was laughing my butt off.

Wal-Mart people are starting to put stuff out in carts in different places in the store. Not as much up front, I guess they realized how everyone was like vultures! Now they get it ready in a cart push it in a department and announce it over the speaker. Thus the cart racing in the isles. I felt like I was in Super Market sweep! I was hysterically laughing.

People were diving for $3.00 ironing boards, bathroom carpets and Easter candy for a $1.00 a box. They would announce it and the cart would be empty in less than 2 minutes. I noticed the employees started lying to people because people were bothering them so much. If one of them walks up to something 5 people are right there asking if its getting marked down.

It really is funny as hell.*******

What should I say to my spouse if I got home from work to find her all excited about being able to buy 4 ironing boards at such a great price?

How about, "I want a divorce," or, "Honey, you need freakin' help and soon?" I'm telling ya', we're taking Zayre's circa 1981 here, folks. Sprawl-Mart may want to consider replacing that security guard they've got who claims to have survived The Battle of the Little Big Horn. An ironing board riot? I would have to surmise that that news would make the CNN newscasts. What if they put Legos on sale and only a petite elderly woman stood between myself and the last carton? Don't even think about it you f**king bitch, or I'll elbow your freakin' eye sockets!

And I thought Aldi's had a scruffy looking clientele.

Gotta go. I was treated to too much kneeling on a concrete slab all day long. My knees look like they're sun-burned.