5-11-2003 Nine!

"I am amused by the notion that a 12-year city councilman who runs for mayor suddenly has some plan to help the city. Where were these plans for the last 12 years?"--Mr. McG in today’s papers

Again I ask “Is it me?” The mayor just described himself when he first sought the mayoral spot in 1995. He was a three term councilman who’s biggest accomplishment during those twelve years was the erecting of a traffic mirror on Scott street. He had big plans for the city, but we all know how they worked, or didn’t work out. I am amused by the notion that a mayor who ascended from the council to the position of mayor would belittle a councilman who hopes to also ascend to the city’s top spot as somehow not being qualified.

Our current mayor was swept into office while running basically unopposed and was the exuberant, micro-managing man with the ultimate plan. Almost eight years have passed and the city has been laid waste and all of the mayor’s grand schemes have turned to mud, both literally and figuratively. Now that his legacy as the worst mayor in the history of the city is set in stone, he expects us to cast doubt on another three term councilman who has “some plan to help the city?” I have to admit, as the primary grew closer and closer, I expected better from him.

I thought he’d have some sort of cohesive plan in place to peck away at his opponents platform and then offer us some sort of reworked agenda to correct the malady of ills that the city faces. Instead he has clung to this misguided “I didn’t raise your taxes” gambit while he ignores the current demoralizing state of the city. Despite the fact that his fingerprints are all over the myriad of crushing mistakes made during the past eight years, he continues with the “Council did it” falsehoods. Now, he tells us that he finds it amusing that a councilman could have a plan to help the city. He offers us nothing in return for our votes.

If this turns out to be a cohesive reelection strategy then I’m going to trash this site and start publishing critiques of new releases in the record (age showing) industry.

Here’s a preview. Most of them suck.

Toon Dude knew the name of Jim Morrison’s chickie: Pamela Coursen. He won himself two tickets to opening night at the Holeplex. If that thing ever actually opens, I will spring for the two tickets, but he’ll probably have to remind me. Depending on things go next Tuesday, he can redeem them late next year, or never.

Check this dimwitted curmudgeons entry into the debate from today’s SAYSO column:

If the mayor had any “gumption?” Right! He doesn’t have any judging from the condition of the city. This is the man that paid $5 million for footers. He will never be accused of possessing anything vaguely resembling common sense.

He should eliminate “paid drivers and get volunteers” in the fire department? When the electrical outlet bursts into flames, or Auntie Ann drops to the floor while grabbing her chest, will the volunteers arrive on scene within five minutes? When someone runs the red light and you find yourself dazed, bleeding profusely and staring at your deformed steering wheel, would you rather have the first responders deployed nearby and ready to roll on a seconds notice, or would you prefer to page them while they’re off fishing in Shickshinny?

This sort of drivel is typical from the mayor’s dumb cluck supporters. He demonizes a certain group and the pinheads among us that vote, but never actually examine the issues swallow his useless pap hook, line and sinker. Consider the source. A city of 42,000 plus should do away with paid firefighters and instead embrace a volunteer force? That could only result in minor structure fires getting out of control and also delaying the excellent response times of our paid city paramedics. There’s a name for that sort of thing. I think undo death and destruction works nicely.

And what of the financial cost to the taxpayers of paying our firefighters $40,000 a year to quickly respond when things go horribly awry? I’ve got news for the dolts living among us here. There are forklift drivers in the area that earn $40,000 a year. $40,000 a year is not an exorbitant salary when you consider what we ask these dudes to do. They face the flames, they breath the soot, they rescue the toddlers and unfortunately they get to see six year-old girls hung in basements on occasion while we’re busy seeking our thrills.

Thanks to the mayor’s ugly habit of constantly demonizing our fire department, we actually have a numbskull asking for a volunteer fire department. On May 20th, he can count on the support of the dunces, the fatheads and the lunkheads.

One of the mayor’s supporters wants a volunteer fire department, while another wants to address the increase in crime in this city by creating an auxillary police force. By clouding every issue, the mayor has dumbed down a fraction of the populace. The dolts.

RUTRO! Here’s the text of a letter sent to both The Citizens Voice and the Times Leader by a city resident.

To Whom It May Concern:

On April 30th, 2003, the police received a domestic abuse call from Victoria Argenta at 345 North Main St. The police arrived at 10:10am.

Tom McGroarty and Chief George squashed the report.

The police report number is: 0304023106

Virgil Argenta is presently on 24 months probation for assault in Scranton. He has been known to be abusive to his spouse. This man attempts to portray himself as ‘the’ family man. The public deserves to know the truth.

Please reveal the truth.

I heard that scanner call and I also know that the mayor and chiefie held a closed door meeting as soon as that call came over the scanner. Is that much to do about nothing, or does it harken back to the Frank Crossin incident? Are our laws selectively enforced depending on who breaks them, or who supports who? I think that the press needs to take that incident number and investigate exactly what happened that day. Maybe it was no big deal. Maybe it was a big deal. If people want us to vote for them they need to conduct ALL of their business by the light of day.

I call that open and honest government. Christine Katsock calls it “transparent” government. Tom Leighton used the word “accountability.” The facts should not be filtered from us by self-serving politicos. The days of back room deals, ‘me first’ forward thinking and the squashing of certain police reports has to end if this city is to ever revisit the days when it was a hustling and bustling place.

Do you want our votes? Then explain incident #0304023106 to us.

Would you prefer volunteers, or paid firefighters when junior begins gagging uncontrollably on his Happy Meal?

The Gage!

The BLOG posters are beginning to feed on themselves and that bothers me. If I may, I’ll offer a friendly reminder here. What we all desire is a great place to live. I really don’t care which union supported whom, or which union worked the polls. It took most of us apathetic residents a few years to see through the haze of obfuscation and useless press releases that have dominated the city for close to eight years. What is done is done and the time to pull together and make this city a great place is upon us. One man managed to fracture the spirit of this once proud city, but after he’s put in his place, we’re all going to have to pull together, work together, volunteer, forget our petty differences and remake Wilkes-Barre into a wonderful place. I have every confidence that we’re up to that daunting challenge.

Here’s a snippet from a BLOG post that was thrown up there today:

******My brain is in gear, and I am voting for Tom Leighton for mayor...not because I expect to get a promotion, or a raise, or any other benefits...I'm voting for him because I want the city to prosper. When the city prospers, so do it's residents. I'm a resident first, and an employee second. Thank you.******

I want the city to prosper.

I hear that! On May 20th, we’ll send the message that rancor, tumult and utter chaos is in no way to be confused with progress. After that message is loudly sent we’ll need to work together, so let’s not vent too much of our frustrations and in turn feed on ourselves. This war is about to end. Hang in there boys and girls.

9 days to go folks.