4-23-2003 The Hoi Polloi are pissed!

Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.--King Whitney Jr.

I’m sure everyone read that a city resident, Chris Bilardi, headed down to city hall and requested that the mayor be relieved of his duties, whatever they are. I may be off base, but I believe that I have been bumped to #2 on the list of city residents that can expect some sort of childish retribution. The lit butane torch might be left on his window sill, rather than mine. Isn’t democracy in Wilkes-Barre just wonderful?

I was checking the latest posts on the BLOG and came across this one:

******Comment: So some citizens went to Council calling for VLP's head for his misdeeds. Anyone recognize any of the names given? I am curious to know if they have a political agenda or if they are that fed up with His Worthlessness.******

I can answer that one. Chris Bilardi is a Nord Ender who has had enough of the mayor’s misadventures and enough of watching Wilkes-Barre disintegrate before his very eyes. I’ve gotten to know him to some degree and what he wants is to live in a prosperous and safe city. Don’t we all? I must add that we don’t see eye-to-eye on every issue, but we both want the same thing: To live in a great little city. If Wilkes-Barre was in capable hands, you probably would have never, ever heard of him. If Wilkes-Barre wasn’t reduced to an intolerable mess, I’m sure he would have been content to tend to his property, seek his thrills and enjoy his life as just another near anonymous, tax-paying city resident.

Unfortunately, Wilkes-Barre is a mess and Chris has decided that now is not the time to remain silent and watch what little is left of the city be whittled away by a small group of incompetent pretenders with bottomless pockets. This dude is not afraid to confront the people that are oh so willing to collect their bloated paychecks as the city continues to spiral downward. He is a true patriot in every sense of the word. Some of us residents are willing to paint a bulls eye on our backs in our endless pursuit of open and honest government. Some aren’t willing.

While Chris may not be the biggest guy in town, his courage is second to none. His actions back up my long running claim that the hoi polloi are pissed. Chris, you are born again hard.

It seems that the mayor has managed to create another monster.

Here’s the statement that he presented to council:

Planning session, City Council meeting, Tuesday, April 22, 2003.
Regarding the Mayor’s Performance.

I. The Redevelopment Authority:

a) The Mayor failed to appoint the necessary three members to conduct business, which leaves the City ‘on the hook’ for the Call Center payment.
b) Also because of this willful neglect, the Redevelopment Authority has defaulted on its line of credit (that is, the loan).

II. It is the Mayor’s fiduciary responsibility to appoint members to the Redevelopment Authority - he is not doing his job.

III. The Theatre project has been stalled as a result of this manner of neglect.
a) Regarding the previous incarnation of the Redevelopment Authority: How is it that $1 Million was spent on Dyer Lane, when it was assessed at only $400,000?
b) Then there is the lawsuit against the City by Allan Finley. From what we understand, the plans for the Theater did not fit the site. The Mayor has yet to respond to this suit.

IV. Using taxpayers’ money for re-election campaign:

a) First, we have the suspicious $11K copy machine, which was purchased curiously close to the time of the distribution of those seven page documents that accompanied the new yard waste bags. As we understand it, it has yet to be determined where the paper was actually purchased, and with what monies, and what time/man power was involved in their replication.
b) The seven page letter mentions “I” and “me” thirteen times, and “Mayor McGroarty” five times. The bulk of that letter outlines the Mayor’s alleged successes and accomplishments, as well as outlining his future plans for the City.
c) The Mayor himself had hand-delivered these bags and letters to select households within the Parsons and Miners Mills sections of the City. If he has personally delivered these bags and letters to these areas, he had better be prepared to do the same for every other household in every other part of the City of Wilkes-Barre. Otherwise, we can assume that he sees these two areas (Parsons and Miners Mills) as his potential power base in the up coming election.
d) There is also the frenzy of asphalt that we have all seen over the last few days and weeks. The Mayor claims that certain residents asked for this months in advance. Yet, no resident of Thompson Street, for example, asked for such repaving, seeing that it was done only three years ago. Streets such as Northampton go untouched.
e) As a result of all the above, we see a strong need for the State Ethics Commission to investigate this situation for improprieties of use of taxpayers’ money for his campaign. The Mayor can deny this all he wants to us, but we must let the State Ethics Commission decide.

V. Street lighting: The lack of proper street lighting creates a seedy and unsafe atmosphere in the downtown. Drug use, drug dealing, prostitution, assaults, and other crimes are flourishing in this atmosphere. This is especially so for all of the downtown residents.

a) Our streets are growing progressively dangerous and our neighborhoods are decaying. Only the other day, one of us heard over the radio that a female Wilkes University student was held at knifepoint on a campus sidewalk one morning. But, this never appeared in the papers, as far as any of us know.
b) Several residents from the high-rises, such as Ten East South and Provincial Towers, for example, have gone on record (by way of signing the Petition to the AG) that they are frightened of the rampant, un-assuaged crime taking place on our streets.
c) Every single person currently running for office (be it Mayoral or for Council) has this crime situation as utmost on his or her agendas, with the exception of Mayor McGroarty. It is in this situation in particular that we can see highlighted this man’s ineptitude. He is a complete failure as Mayor of Wilkes-Barre City. He has failed to secure true protection for those who live and work within the City.

VI. Regarding the Intermodal Complex, where there is currently an investigation by the EDA: the Mayor will (and has) blamed everyone for this disaster: the State government, the County government, and, of course, City Council. Yet, he will not hesitate for a moment to grab credit for an inkling of success.

a) When the Mayor received the $418,000 advance from the EDA due to “hardship,” this money was supposed to be used to purchase the Classic Bride property, but instead, was used for something else. That “something else” is currently unknown and unaccounted for.
b) Hence, yet another lawsuit. How many lawsuits can this City stand? All this due to one man.
c) It can also not be forgotten that he wants to have this particular property demolished. He wants to do this without any plan in place for what to do with this to-be empty lot.

VII. Further regarding re-election of the incumbent Mayor: he has been hostile and uncooperative with business owners, and has done nothing to attract ‘new blood’, ‘new money’ and investments to the City. He has been selling the City short by focusing solely upon elderly voters, to the neglect of the rest. He shamelessly takes advantage of those on fixed incomes, hoping for their alleged ignorance of his improprieties and mismanagement.

VIII. What he is most proud of is his platform of “not raising taxes”. To keep taxes low, he will crow about “doing more with less”. A moment’s thought will illuminate this absurdity. There is no such thing as doing more with less. Only by cutting back on services and the employees of those services can taxes be lowered. Only by doing this and allowing the City’s infrastructure collapse, can this illogical plan operate. The City is falling apart. The equipment our service people (such as the police) is ageing and falling apart.

IX. If Council is privy to any additional knowledge that the general public is not, we implore you to please use it to the fullest extent of the law; to hold this man responsible for his ineptitude, mismanagement, and abuse of his position and powers. Enough is enough. The City of Wilkes-Barre cannot survive another four years of this man. We, therefore, ask this evening for the effective removal of Thomas McGroarty from the office of Mayor.


According to the Leader, voter registrations are on the rise in this county. They seem to feel that it’s because we have open primaries, or because we have some interesting names running for elected office, but I still feel that the times they are a changin’ in Culm County. Being considered a backward, rust belt city that is behind the times is no longer acceptable to the populace that is hungry for better. With the advent of 24 hour news channels and the internet explosion, I think the younger folks that have remained in this area have come up to speed so to speak. If that’s the case, the folks seeking elected office are going to have to do much better than their good-old-boy predecessors. Culm County may finally be on the verge of breaking free of the one party shackles imposed upon it.

You can scope out the primary ballot at the county web site. This is the very first time that anything of value to the residents has been posted on the county web site. I’m telling ya’, we’re turning the corner. Keep the pressure on.

Ballot Diagrams

Oh jeez! Now the boulevard is being paved. Or at least, some of it. This “paving for votes” nonsense is almost embarrassing. While I will be totally gleeful when our mayor is finally sent packing, I almost feel bad for him. Almost. The residents of the troubled city are reacting to his woeful attempts to save his bloated bottom with mostly disdain and scorn. His thinly-veiled election year gambits are quickly blowing up in his face, whether he chooses to recognize it or not. It’s almost sad watching his final days in power. Almost.


Here’s a good one. This e-mail led me to a Scranton Times story about the political nonsense in Carbondale.

******Ok.. this is classic "valley politics" if I ever heard it. Just read the last paragraph. Sound like anyone we know? Glad to see it just isn't W-B, but this is amazing. Check out the link. ******

Here’s that last paragraph:

Mr. Jordan said times are tough and he has to make decisions that are best for the city, not what's best for a few people. "These are politically appointed jobs and I have the decision who gets them and I have the decision who gets them taken away. These people know that coming on board."

In this city, our flailing mayor is currently calling city employees onto the carpet because they have Tom Leighton signs on their lawns. What our mayor doesn’t realize is that the employees of this city have had enough of his threats, back-stabbing and bald-faced lies told to the press to paint them as greedy in the eyes of the city’s residents. Guess what? There aren’t any pool tables in the city’s fire houses. The mayor made that sh*t up! That’s what he does.

Here’s another post from the BLOG. Somebody, please tell me that this is not true. Remember kiddies, James Conmy and Mike McNarney are only a phone call, or an e-mail away. If a city administrator (barely employable hack) works to support totalitarianism, expose him to the residents as the SS storm trooper that he is.

Private joke time. Imagine that! A city employee collecting a salary, while getting disability pay from the same city, because he couldn’t do a single chin-up in a firehouse. I’m gonna’ delete this web site and start working on the script for Wilkes-Barre: The Movie.

******Comment: It seems that a city adminstrator wants the names of all the Fire Fighters who have posted Leighton signs in their yards. I guess he has no memory of the brotherhood he left (when he wasn't sick or injured) behind. WE ARE UNITED and will all have signs in our yards before long so I guess the number will be in the 80's with the exception of a few die hards who can't leave the teat. This Mayor has to go with all of his whine for pay cronies. So Mr. City Adminstrator if you think we are intimidated by your threats I will say one thing to you where were you when we were getting beat up for the last three or four years BROTHER? Respect gets respect and all I can say to you and yours is see ya!******

The weenies with the well-worn knee pads at city hall had better think about who exactly they are willing to piss off as the mayor’s last days play out. After the primary, you’re going to have to deal with these people when you’re not calling in your unemployment claim. I’ve met quite a few of our selfless “hose dudes” and I wouldn’t want to be the hack that sought to bring more sh*t down on them in the waning days of the mayor’s last stand. That’s just a bit of good advise. Do what you must weenie. I’m glad I’m not you.

Ask and you shall receive. What’s in that trailer that we parked on the median strip a while back? The e-mail fills us in:

******Mark, first, I hope the family's doing well, I can't wait to go to the circus, and wait until the protesters who smell worse than the animals tell me that the animals should be free. I always reply with "Free on rye with ketchup and mayonnaise!" That always pisses them off. This year, if that as*hole yells in my ear with the bullhorn while I'm carrying my son, I'll make him the newest act at the circus."The amazing bullhorn in the ass guy!"

About the traffic trailer. That's normally used for D.U.I. Checkpoints, and nasty accident scenes at night. It contains mostly flood lights, and traffic pylons. I'll I.M. you the rest of this sh*t.


The family is doing well. Thanks for thinking of them. I know your family is in good hands. The animal protestors make about as much sense as our mayor. They huff and puff and get their picture in the paper, but they have nothing constructive to offer in a real sense. They play their games, while we deal with the fall-out.

Me gotta go. I have an itch to scratch and it's called Cheap Trick!

Keep demanding better folks.