12-15-2004 The Department of eBay or: How to succeed at activism without really trying

Not only do we have activist super heroes running amok in this town. Now one of them has come forward as Wilkes-Barre's most astute Monday morning quarterback in recent memory.

From today's Times Leader:

Posted on Wed, Dec. 15, 2004

Big bucks for W-B truck on eBay stirs anger

Fire chief blamed as man pays $500 for fire truck, then resells it on the Web site for $9,300.


WILKES-BARRE - John Bonk earned an easy $8,800 in four months by purchasing an old fire truck from the city, then re-selling it on eBay.

Good for Bonk, who owns a trucking company off North Sherman Street, but perhaps bad for the city that sold it to him for $500.

The transaction has raised the ire of City Wide Towing owner Bob Kadluboski, who Tuesday called for fire Chief Jacob Lisman to resign immediately or pay the city $8,800.

The truck in question is a 1963 Mack B-85 Aerial Ladder Truck that the city bought new and retired from service several years ago.

The issue is whether the truck could be returned to the road fairly easily, as Bonk said in his Web ad - or only with great difficulty, as Lisman claims.

Kadluboski thinks the city should have offered the truck on eBay, and should cancel a planned Jan. 8 auction of city property and put those items on eBay, too. "It could raise $20,000 or $30,000 and pay to have the roof on the Heights fire station fixed."

Lisman countered that the 40-year-old ladder truck was sold as salvage, and it would cost a fortune to get it running. He said the truck's description as presented on eBay was overly rosy.

McCarthy's Tire service manager Mike Flynn looked over the truck for the city about four years ago. "It would take at least $6,000 to get it running, possibly a lot more, but at the time I saw it, it did look pretty good."

Bonk set the minimum bid at $500.

"I didn't buy it to make money, I bought it to restore it, but I couldn't get parts for the engine," Bonk said. "I remember that engine from when I was a kid, and I made it a condition of the sale that it be restored by the new owner."

Bonk said the new owner in Flushing, Mich., has a similar truck with a ruined body but a good motor, and added that moving the Mack to Michigan will cost the new owner up to $10,000.

A similar truck, a 1959 model, is listed on eBay to sell for a minimum of $3,000. The current high bid is $3,550 for the truck, which runs and is used regularly in parades.

Beyond eBay, there are Web sites that sell nothing but government property. Govdeals.com, Bid4assets.com and Govliquidation.com are three options municipalities sometimes turn to to fetch higher prices and avoid holding their own auctions.

As for whether the city could get more creative about how it sells equipment, Mayor Tom Leighton but: "Maybe, but people look to buy low and sell high. What's going to happen on Jan. 8 if somebody buys a truck for the city for $500 and sells for $5,000? This is just what happens."

Anger. Anger. How the f**k did that word make it into the story? From where I'm sitting, anger has nothing to do with it. Political grandstanding might have been a better way to describe what's goin' on here.

Big bucks for W-B truck on eBay stirs some political grandstanding

That's more like it, heyna?

Check out this line. This is a classic worthy of Comedy Central:

The transaction has raised the ire of City Wide Towing owner Bob Kadluboski, who Tuesday called for fire Chief Jacob Lisman to resign immediately or pay the city $8,800.

Allrighty then. Okay. I'll second that motion. Lisman either resigns immediately or he coughs up $8,800. But right afterwards, Super "Cash Only" Bob has to call yet another press conference and demand that Tom McGroarty pony up the $10.4 million he personally squandered or immediately fall on a rusted lawn dart. Or how about the half million dollars the city lost when McGroarty turned his back on $65,000 per year to secure the towing contract? Super Bob didn't seem overly worried about the taxpayers when that midnight deal went down, did he?

And where was Bob when Tommy McGroarty decided to trash that Tiller truck by leaving it exposed to the elements for three long years. Three years ago, it was worth some bucks. Now, it's salvage at best. It's not like that history piece had a roof on it or anything. Oh, and the mechanics cannibalized it for parts. And somebody vandalized it-numerous times. Where was the anger when the truck had not only some monetary value, but also some serious historical value? Where were the pretend bullies all in a dither back when it still mattered whereas that truck's resale value was concerned?

That's right. I almost forgot. Making money off of official city business on an around-the-clock basis.

Oh, those ragged taxpayer activists. What are we gonna do with those silliest of sods? They are so darned vocal when they have a personal axe to grind, an unstated political agenda, or an elected position to capture. Funny how quiet they are when their pockets aren't affected by the latest goings-on. Or filled by them.

If I had published the following quote, you'd all think I was f**king around again.

Kadluboski thinks the city should have offered the truck on eBay, and should cancel a planned Jan. 8 auction of city property and put those items on eBay, too. "It could raise $20,000 or $30,000 and pay to have the roof on the Heights fire station fixed."

And there it is, kiddies. How should we save the city from further financial destruction and save Ms. Teen-aged Wilkes-Barre herself? That's right, kiddies. You heard it from Super Bob first. EBAY! Yepper. That's f**king EBAY, kiddies. Who knew? Who the hell knew? Maybe Mayor Leighton should also resign for not posting that damned call center on eBay. And how about General Murphy? Why weren't those Healing Field flags sold on eBay? Somebody call the state attorney general's office and quick.

How about any halves of grilled cheese sandwiches the girls in the tax office can't finish at lunch? We post a picture of them on eBay and claim to see the likeness of Don Rickles, or Harold Lloyd on them. Some whackjob from Toledo wearing a John Deere cap might be on his third mug of moonshine, grab wifey's debit card and let it rip. "Well, dag flammit. Don Rickles sure as hell cracks my fat ass up. He shoulda won a goll derned Oscar for Kelly's Heroes."

This could revolutionalize local government almost overnight. This is some really big sh*t here, kiddies.

And we owe it all to Super Bob.

The Tiller on eBay

The Tiller on Firehouse.com

And then we have another ladder truck, a brand spanking new state-of-the-art ladder truck that drew zero attention from the local press all too eager to delivery the negative stories.

Ladder 1

This Fire Truck was purchased new by the city of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

That's from the eBAy page touting the Tiller truck and not from the local newspapers regarding our new truck.

Ask Super Bob how much that truck cost the taxpayers of this city. And ask the folks at the Voice and the Times Leader if they even knew that the city took receipt of that monster of a fire truck. Maybe they should spend less time coddling up to the egghead activists that wouldn't recognize efficient government if they tripped and fell over it, and start reporting the more positive news that happens our way.

Sez f**king me.

Here's another...keeper from today's Times Leader:

W-B hopes to see minority cops

Chief Dessoye would like to abolish the city's residency requirement for applicants.


WILKES-BARRE - Hoping to attract more minority candidates to the police force, Chief Gerry Dessoye said he'd like to do away with a city ordinance that requires applicants for civil service jobs live in the city one year before they can take the civil service exam. The proposed change, which would have to be made by city council, was among several issues Dessoye discussed during a recent meeting with Ron Felton, president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The meeting came on the heels of a controversy involving Frank Dudley, an elderly black man who claimed he was manhandled by police who cited him with jogging on a street and disorderly conduct. However, Felton said the Dudley case was not discussed extensively. The conversation focused more on how to improve the relationship between police and minorities.

Having black officers on the force - currently there are none - would aid that effort by showing there is an effort to make the department more reflective of the community, Felton said.

The lack of minority representation in the police department has long been an issue of concern.

Dessoye said opening the application process to a larger geographic area would likely attract more minority candidates as well other non-minorities who may be qualified, but have been shut out by the residency requirement.

"We have a minority population that, to the best of my knowledge, there were not many, if any, that took the last test. I would hope that would not be the case if we open it up to a larger pool of people."

Revoking the pre-employment residency rule would also make the application process more compliant with the police union contract, which requires officers to live within a 10-mile radius of the city.

The civil service rules were amended in 1998 to require applicants live in the city for one year before they seek to take the civil service exam, said Christine Jensen, the city's human resources director. The amendment was made via an ordinance passed by council, which means council would have to act to revoke the ordinance before a change could be made.

Felton said he would support efforts to change the ordinance. He credited Dessoye with addressing the issue and said he would work with police to seek minority candidates.

"He seems to want to have a department that is more reflective of the community it is serving. That's a good thing. Will that resolve all the problems we have? No."

As for me, I don't give a hoot if we hire cops from South Muckatoon with three puss-filled eyes and some uncurable hygiene diseases. Just hire some more freakin' cops and have them set about swinging some serious batons.

Try this on for size:

The lack of minority representation in the police department has long been an issue of concern.

Really? For who? For Ron Felton, that's who.

The racial makeup of a police department in a city this size matters only to those folks who aren't directly affected by crime. That's something that folks completely detached from the meaner streets sit around and fret about over shrimp cocktail and mixed drinks. But when somebody is trying to bust down the front door after dark, racial quotas never, ever enter the scrambled minds of the folks sh*tting their imported boxers and hurriedly dialing 911.

When whitey's ass is swinging in the breeze, he could care less if the cop that rushes to save it is black. And the same thing applies to black folks. To suggest that a complete lack of minority cops in a predominantly white city is a serious problem is useless bilge at best. Sure, stick a camera in front of the faces of minority folks and they'll whine on cue about the lack of minority cops. But, when the bullets start flying, that race gibberish flies out the back window faster than a perp spaced-out on PCP.

And from what I've seen of our cops in the field, they put their personal feelings aside and treat everyone in a respectful manner. I've gone on two police ride-alongs. One in Plains Township and one in Wilkes-Barre. On both of those occasions, I saw nothing but the upmost in professionalism, even during arrests, and even when we were obviously dealing with close to the worst that the world has to offer. The caliber of the individuals they were dealing with did not alter their approach to them in any discernable way. Whether they be black, white, hispanic, male, female, druggies, drunks, prostitutes, perpetrators of violent acts, or teen-aged girls busted for sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night. None of that mattered. The local cops I was lucky enough to ride around with after dark displayed nothing but professionalism. And I think that needs to be pointed out.

Sure, it'd be great to have some black cops and some (whatever) cops, I suppose. I don't care what any of them look like, so long as they do their jobs to the utmost of their abilities and keep my friends, my family, basically, my city and my CDs safe and sound. But the overriding concern for the entire community, regardless of race, should be that we have nothing but professional, well-equipped and well-trained cops. In that respect, I don't think we're lacking for anything other than sheer numbers.

And if you disagree with that, you're either 10-82, or 10-94, got it?

It's my web site thingie. I can go judgemental tin-pot dictator on ya'll anytime I like.

Whatever happened...to all of that "reaching out" the Dems demanded from the republicans after Dubya went and all but stopped their bleeding hearts on November 2nd?

The Bush bash is never going to end. Want some proof? Okay. Let's visit Kevin Lynn's latest droolings from his WILK web page:

Kevin's Thoughts

BERNIE’S FALL Watching the great tumble is instructive. Reminds us of the thin line between greatness and mediocrity. I’m talking about Bernie Kerick, who will soon disappear beneath the waves. His was a meteoric rise from New York beat cop to Commissioner, and it was all because he became then Mayor Rudy Guiliani’s personal cop. Kerick got lots of air time at Rudy’s elbow on 9/11, and followed Rudy into private industry, making millions. During the campaign Kerick became a GOP staple, warming up the crowd for George Bush. W liked the guy. So much so he named Kerick to be the new Secretary of Homeland Security. 180,000 people. Biggest cabinet department in the government. Bernie Kerick had arrived. And then—poof! Bernie had an illegal alien for a nanny. How could he possibly run the government department that would control immigration, and break the laws himself? He bowed as the rest broke loose. Bernie had an arrest warrant filed against him. Bernie had two—count’em TWO—lovers. At the same time! Bernie hadn’t been married twice, as he said in his autobiography, he’d been married three times! Any one of these could have been a deal-breaker, but taken all together they were overkill. Kerick was toast. Clearly, his patrons slipped up. They gave him big jobs, trusted him, advanced him, and never really checked him out. What a mistake! After all, if you can’t pick good people, what kind of leader are you? George Bush looks bad. Rudy Guiliani looks worse. So Bernie Kerick will pay with the rest of his sorry career. We won’t hear from him again. You see, there are hundreds of guys who could do his job. They just aren’t buddies with the right people. Bernie Kerick used to be, but not anymore. You can’t embarrass your patrons. Even when it’s their fault. Especially when it’s their fault.

You know, this guy and Mike McGlynn ought to get together and toss some throwing stars at Dubya's picture as some sort of unofficial therapy.

Get the f**k over it already!

First off, the growing list of scandalous charges against Bernard Kerik (Kerik, not Kerick) were "open secrets" among the members of the far-far-left-leaning New York press for years now. That much has already been established as fact, and even Kevin can't blame that on his arch-rival, (As funking if) Rush Limbaugh. Kerik (not Kerick) was a loose, loose cannon, and everyone in New York higher on the food chain than that of the lowly tadpoles knew it.

And yet, it was never reported. Never. Not once. Not even hinted at. An open (wink, wink) secret never to ever see the light of day on the commie newspapers of record. But a funny thing happened on the road to the Homeland Security Department. Bush upped and nominated Kerik. (Kerik, not Kerick) That's "Bush." You know, "Dubya." Hitler II. "Oil for whatever" George. You know who I'm alluding to, right?

Get the hell outa here! Dubya nominated Kerik? Well, then. There it is. Here we go. The time has arrived for all of Kerik's (Not Kerick) dirty little secrets to be exposed for all to see by the dirty little twerps that call themselves print journalists in New York City. Some of the very same folks Kev used to run with.

Bernard Kerik would have probably continued to fly under the radar with all of his "open secrets" in the bomb bay for years on end until that dumb-assed, staunchly pro-American George Hitler Dubya went and nominated him to a position of national prominence. Well, well. The time had definately arrived to completely destroy Kerik and embarrass Dubya during the bloody process. Isn't this great?

And as per usual, Kev's daily Bush bash was all for nought. Some of us can see through him no matter how hard he tries to dazzle us with his million dollar vocabulary, or his tales of drug-enhanced derring-do in all of those countries he once resided in and still prefers to ours to this very day.

Kev? You can’t embarrass your patrons?

You're way off the mark, jackass.

It's not so much that you can't embarrass your patrons as it is your patrons can be embarrassed by your patron saints in the press when it's politically expedient for them to do so.

Or in common parlance, Kerik was publicly crucified for one reason and one reason only: To embarrass Bush.

I'm happy to be able to school ya a bit, Kev.

This internet thingie must really piss off vapid windbags such as yourself.

You can't hang up on me here tough guy. Heyna?

Gotta go.

I gotta go visit Rush's site so I'll know what I think.

The foul-mouthed one is going 10-7.