4-15-2003 No show

Natural ability without education has more often attained to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.--Cicero

Dummy me. I stopped at the post office this morning at approximately seven a.m. and the place was all abuzz. The service counter was open, a radio station van was broadcasting in the lot and I had to wade through the mass of humanity just to make a drop in the local mail bin. I drove away perplexed. Later, while listening to WILK, the reason for the increased activity was announced to me. It’s tax day! Oh! Okay. Whatever.

This just in from the e-mail inbox. The Tom Leighton yards signs are in and you can acquire one by sending your name, address, phone number or whatever you feel comfortable sending to TomLeightonsigns@aol.com. Tickets for the Tom Leighton fundraiser, May 4th 4-7 p.m. at the Ramada on the Square are also available and can also be had by e-mailing that address.

I cracked up big time when I read this in the Leader this morning:

Mayoral hopefuls meet North End residents

WILKES-BARRE - The North End Citizens and Taxpayers Association hosted a "meet the candidates night" for mayor and City Council Monday at the Holy Cross Episcopal Church on North Main Street.

Republican candidates for mayor Christine Katsock, Harry Haas and Jim Verdekal Jr. attended.

On the Democratic side, councilman Tom Leighton and Jack Smith attended. Incumbent Mayor Tom McGroarty did not show.

Hey, five out of six isn’t bad. The sixth was probably out campaigning. Oh wait, a new directive from city hall on that. Campaigning will now be referred to as ‘trying to lose weight’ when the mayor does it. He told the Voice:

"If I decide I want to walk down the streets and see what needs to be fixed and lose a little weight, you should be happy for me."

A little? Don’t flatter yourself! He’s got a lot of campaigning, I mean walking to do if he’s ever going to fit in those geeky Key Club sweaters again. Isn’t it interesting that he has become interested in Walk Abouts all of a sudden. He just wants to see what needs fixing and if the ‘Paving for Votes’ program doesn’t kill all of our DPW guys, they’ll rush right up there and fix whatever has been broken for the past few years. He’s just trying to lose a little weight and the workout is that much harder if he comes bearing gifts ( bio bags) and campaign flyers (seven page letters). Once again, he believes that by insulting our intelligence he’ll secure our vote. You should be happy for me? We’ll be happy for you when we learn that you’ve finally found a new job. We wouldn’t want you to lose too much weight.

Lots of other hopefuls are out going door to door and not one of them are claiming to be on a workout binge. They are all calling it campaigning.

The North End Citizens and Taxpayers Association didn’t need to hear from him anyway, they’ve had his cell phone number for quite a while now and have worked up some nifty publicity for each other’s benefit. They attend city council meetings and put council on the spot and then take turns at the podium with the mayor when the television cameras arrive. “We are gonna tear this eyesore down.” Whoopee! Mayor good. Taxpayer group good. Wilkes-Barre still sucks and now has one less possible tax generating property. If this is progress, I’ll show you how to start a structure fire with a butane torch. What a bunch!

I’ve stated that if this guy were to actually win a third term I would be leaving Wilkes-Barre forever and that is still my intention. I’ve met others who had different ideas about what to do in that event.


What would we call it if the mayor were to go door to door handing out free bleach and a seven page letter? Compassion?

Check this e-mail. I was flabbergasted when I read this:


Holy frig! Sentinel Hill Rd? Direnzio Heights? Our paperboy? That was a long time ago. The carefree days of spinning on the puke machine at the corner playground and chasing the girls around Bradley School was the last thing I could expect to be reminded of in an e-mail. How about taking a sled down David Humphreys Road? Now that’s balls!

Let’s try another:


Here are my latest observations. At the present time McGroarty is in what I will call the five stages of a mayor loosing the campaign race.

1. Denial......this we know has already occurred from the quotes in the paper. This step has already past. "It's not me....it's council's fault."

2. Anger......no explanation needed here either. The mayor on more than one occasion has been known to flip his lid at everyone from the city workers to the average resident who hasn't supported his ideas, agenda, and things he has gotten us all into....EG: Call Center, Theater, Intermodal Garage, street lights, traffic lights...etc...

3. Bargaining.....well, I guess we are coming to the end of this stage. I'll pave your street for a vote, I'll give you yard bags for a vote, give me another term and I will fix all the problems that council created.....or so he alone believes. This step more than any other has actually made me believe that his years of reign are over. The people of this community have to recognize this as a last minute barrage of work for votes campaign.

4. Depression.....The one that I will keep a close eye on, for it will lead him in two directions. Either, one of cooperation with council and the new incoming mayor, until the end of his term, to at least save face and leave us with a bit of dignity. Or two, the one I feel that he will ultimately follow because of his childish, vindictive ways,....that of the sorry loser who will at every turn make problems for everyone and every thing associated with the city until he is forced from office on December 31, 2003. Time will tell.

5. Acceptance......The verdict is out on this one. It is entirely based on step four and the path he chooses to follow. I'm not sure if he will ever accept the fact that he has caused this city more harm over the last eight years by ignoring the real problems. Sad, but the city's trash routes and the methods by which they pick up the trash are not the pressing problem that every resident has waited for him to solve.

So there it is. I believe that we are coming to the end of step three. It will be damage control from step four until he is gone. God help us if he actually gets back in. This city cannot withstand four more years of total mismanagement by one. Vote May 20th for the future of the city. Vote for the chance of a better tomorrow in Wilkes-Barre. There is only one chance....Vote Leighton Mayor! ******

Dude, I was looking for the acronym. DABDA syndrome? I totally agree. Denial? You betcha! Anger? Very often! Bargaining? Oh yeah! The big question is; are the residents of Wilkes-Barre as stupid as he gives them credit for being? Is the “curbside” vote as strong as he prays it is? I doubt it. I much as the city is praying that he is on the losing end of things on May 20th, I think the scariest part of his long run would be the lame duck phase of his troubled run. I can’t see him being a gracious loser. Why would he change now?

I really do resent his playing to the senior citizens all the time. I really do. Politicos talk and talk about keeping our young here for the duration and spit all over themselves about attracting meaningful employers at every opportunity, but their actions speak louder than their oft-repeated words. Do our mayor’s actions suggest that he is interested in keeping the young here, or do his actions suggest that he’s content to rule over a dying city filled increasingly with nothing but seniors and the criminal element? If, and that’s a big if, he ever shows up for the great debate, somebody should ask him what he has done for the younger residents of the city. What has he done to attract young families to the city? What has he done to convince those Wilkes and Kings graduates to settle down here? What has he done to attract high-paying employers? In a word, nothing. Reverse-gentrification and crime are acceptable to him as long as he retains his perch high above it all.

We ask for a bright future, but he seems content to seek the votes of the folks that were Wilkes-Barre’s future in the past. If we sell out the younger voters for the older ones, who will be a part of Wilkes-Barre’s future then?

Hey, it should be officially proclaimed that Wilkes-Barre is celebrating “Be nice to your copper dudes” month for the next 35 days. Now that the election season is finally heating up, they are all working double secret overtime in an attempt to convince voters that there never was a problem with force levels in this city. Overtime costs are no longer monitored or worried about. The copper dudes and DPW guys will work as many overtime hours as it takes to prop up this flailing regime.

I heard Lt.#512 on WILK today. His Voice is unmistakable. The only thing missing was a sidekick going “Heh, heh. You said butt!” Actually, he done quite well on the air. Well read and well spoken and I totally agree. The days of appeasement on the world stage have got to end.

This e-mail is cool.


I think you're mis-using the following:


I believe you mean:


But, you sure are right on about McG., and the college kids, too.

A Wilkes grad, born and raised in WB, and only living in the suburbs because I found my dream home, I follow the sad decline of my hometown very closely, and with great sorrow.

Sincerely hope you've stirred up enough ire to allow reasonable people to outvote his legion of blue-haired grannies who think he's cute.

West Nanticoke Dude******

Actually, I use adobe on purpose. That’s my silly little way of pointing out that this Nord End family is nothing more than common folk. No, our adobe is not actually constructed from mud bricks, but it’s nothing to get too excited about. We’ll never own anything quite as impressive as the double and triple dippers of the county and that’s just fine with us. All we ever asked for was a clean, neat and safe city to be commoners in.

Gotta go.