Mayor Hoi Polloi

Clothing is wonderful, but let them go naked for a while, at least the kids. Water is necessary, and then generators, and then food, and then clothes.--Teresa Heinz Kerry

Forget donating money to the Red Cross to help allieviate the suffering of the many hurricane victims. Instead, send along a meager stipend accompanied by a supportive note to Teresa imploring her to purchase some medication for herself.

I've never been..

...a member of any union, nor do I ever hope to belong to one. I'm wondering though, for the unionized rank-and-file, does it bother you that your union dues automatically go to Democratic candidates no matter what? That would certainly annoy me. No matter who the Dems nominate to be president, there stand the unions proclaiming them to be the very best thing since Silly Putty, sliced or unsliced. If the Dems nominated, say, Leonardo, the former Teen-aged Mutant Ninja Turtle, the unions would welcome him to the fray with an open warm mouth. What gives with that bunk? Doesn't that bother the average union dude? The methodologies involved with this predictable process totally escape me.

From the e-mail inbox:

*******Why is it you feel compelled to call names?  Why is it that because my ideas differ with what you believe, I am considered wrong in your mind?  Who appointed you judge and jury?

  We, citizens, all love this city and remember what it used to be like.  However, I believe there are many ways to bring about the change. 

  You truly are rude!

  I have to be going now, taking a trip to South Carolina.

  Please don't refer to me by anything other than my name.  I deserve that much respect.

  Claire M. Wert

P.S. So glad I could give you something to write about>

  Claire Wert*******

Rudddddde??? Moi??? Come on. I've been called crude, even blunt, but never rude. One guy said I deliver my opinions attached to an anvil, so I guess maybe rude works afterall. Okay, I'm rude, but I'm getting much better during my old age. You should have met the earlier installments of myself. Yikes!

You asked a question, so lets get into it.

Why is it you feel compelled to call names?  Why is it that because my ideas differ with what you believe, I am considered wrong in your mind?  Who appointed you judge and jury?

  We, citizens, all love this city and remember what it used to be like.  However, I believe there are many ways to bring about the change.

Why is it that I feel compelled to call names? Firstly, it's fun. And secondly, your short-sighted efforts at delivering some serious payback (?) to our elected officials causes more name calling from the populace than you'll ever get from me. Follow the daily exploits of the SAYSO pages and read all of the endless, useless name-calling sludge coming from the very folks that your misguided vendetta has motivated.

The latest, from a fellow Nord Ender, (I've got his usual syntax down to a science) goes to extremely great lengths to prove that council person (politically correct generic bullsh*t) Bill Barrett is a double, no, a triple-dipper living high on the hog at taxpayer expense. That's complete bilge, and that's the sort of negativity that results when some of us run around the city carrying petitions and casting needless aspirtions upon everyone at city hall.

You've certainly stirred up the proverbial Bald-Faced Hornets nest in this city, but that's not much of an accomplishment when you consider that those very same hornets possess a brain no larger than a grain of grits. Name-calling? Don't be so willing to point your taxpayer activist finger at me so quickly. You're the one with the counter-productive and devisive agenda.

Why is it that because my ideas differ with what you believe, I am considered wrong in your mind?  Who appointed you judge and jury?

Ideas? What freaking ideas? What will the witchhunt against our elected officials accomplish exactly? What will be the end result of your meaningless vendetta? Significant savings to the taxpayers? What in the world are you folks trying to do? Are you trying to save .1% of an annual budget typically in the $35 million range? Sorry, but I am not buying any of that petty and vindictive snake oil that envites the denigration of the elected folks not even one full year into their current terms.

Who elected me judge and jury? That one's easy. I did. And I have a four-year track record of being correct on most of the important issues of the day. Why? Because I do my homework meticulously and I also happen to save every single printed word from our two local newspapers as they pertain to Wilkes-Barre. Basically, this mostly nondescript adobe has become a local political library of sorts. And I will always feel completely free to criticize anyone who I deem to be putting my city at risk in any way.

I really thought that after we dispatched the former mayor, and fought off the electoral challenge of an organist that the city was finally in good hands and the seemingly endless rancor would come to an abrupt halt. Our nine elected types have definately exhibited nothing short of cooperation, teamwork and good fiscal sense since being voted into office. Enter one Walter Griffith.

While once our local newspapers delivered only a steady barrage of daily black eyes to Wilkes-Barre, now they deliver a steady stream of good and downright hopeful news for our battered city. But while the latest news emanating from Wilkes-Barre has been inexplicably upbeat for the first time in many years, there are still those stories that continue to paint Wilkes-Barre as the hapless asshole of the state. And Walter Griffith is the usual suspect driving the negativity that encapsulated this city just a short time ago.

If you believe that his constant railing against our city leaders is a positive development, or somehow enhances our tattered image; I'm here to judge you as being totally incorrect. If you mistakenly think that his overly-abrasive assaults on the elected folks trying desperately to change our fortunes is a positive step, I'm here to sentence you to thirty days in McGroarty's infamous hole.

However, I believe there are many ways to bring about the change.

If it's positive change you seek, I fail to see how discrediting our elected leaders in the eyes of the hoi polloi brings about anything even remotely positive.

And this constant wrangling over their compensation levels which amount to that of a zit on the ass of our city's budget smacks of a nonsensical, short-sighted and ill-timed vendetta being waged by a bitter man that couldn't sell his ill-prepared snake oil during the last election go-round. He couldn't attract enough votes to run the entire show. Now he seeks only enough signatures to run the entire show. And yet, you fail to see this destructive and devisive circus sideshow as the complete folly that it is?

If it's enduring positive change you genuinely seek for this formerly shell-shocked enclave of ours, I say you're going about it all wrong.

Judge and jury? What do I always tell you folks?

Never be judgemental of others, or you will be judged very harshly.

You gave me something to write about? If there's a Wilkes-Barre resident even more prolific than myself, I'd be surprised to learn as much.

Enjoy your trip.


Since our basic theme...

...seems to be 'Negativity on Parade,' let's delve into yet another dubious letter to the editors of the Voice.

Is it 'negative' to put important issue before the W-B voters?



The commentary by Sunday Voice editor Paul Krzywicki in the Sept. 5 edition suggests that "The City has stagnated for years due to a lack of vision under past administrations" and "The decline of Wilkes-Barre did not happen over the past eight months. It took years of poor management."

I agree with these observations, and I have a few questions. Who were our past administrators and managers? It was not Walter Griffith or any member of his, as Mr. Krzywicki put it, "small faction."

Since when is circulating a petition to have an issue, one that is of great interest to the voters of Wilkes-Barre, placed on a ballot considered a negativity, as so stated by Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton?

As I see it, over the last several years, "negativity" has been the banner of city council. Every time former Mayor Tom McGroarty attempted to make positive moves, they were stopped by council. When I questioned the council regarding the stagnation of various projects, Councilman Tom McGinley stated that council's "hands were tied." Maybe that is why they used their feet to trip the mayor on his every move.

If council's excuse is that their hands were tied and they could not make progress with our last mayor, and all final decisions are the mayor's, why do we have a council and why do we pay them?

What is happening now in Wilkes-Barre is positive, but we cannot ignore the negative. We cannot just sweep it under the rug. If we do this, there will never be a true positive.

Patricia Gilligan


Okaaaaaaay! Would anyone even dare to stupidly suggest after suffering through that dimwitted letter that this former McGroarty supporter is not calling for an all-out Jihad against our sitting city council? This is not negative? This is positive? This is productive? Healthy?

Walter, what have you done?

Suddenly...we've all become budding legislators. I feel another self-satisfying, but ill-advised referendum push coming on. Thanks to Walter's mostly destructive contributions to our political landscape, Mayor Hoi Polloi is poised and ready to unseat Mayor Leighton and all of our city council members.

Who deserves the blame for the past, or who earns what are at best lackluster peripheral issues when stacked against our severely under-staffed police and fire departments. This obsessive-compulsive council hatred is proof that the mentally overwhelmed have become completely emboldened by Walter's mostly sad, sad antics offered up to us as enlightened leadership.

One should know that their groundless arguments are hopelessly adrift when abject negativity presented as a positive force for change boosts the morale of those so enthralled with the negative.

And what of this "important issue?" What is the important issue that needs our immediate attention? Sticking it to city council? Is that the #1 most pressing issue on our list of important things to do? If so, we're never going to progress past being a formerly bustling podunk.

What is happening now in Wilkes-Barre is positive, but we cannot ignore the negative. We cannot just sweep it under the rug. If we do this, there will never be a true positive.

Huh??? Don't ever allow this chick to play with jumper cables, okay?

Accentuate the negative positives??? Positives are fine, but one negative wipes out ten positives??? Yeah. Whatever. And fractional divisions thereof.

Despite the fact that snide disparagement of our elected nine seems to be quite the rage these days, it shouldn't come as a surprise being that Walter has waged a non-stop campaign designed to tarnish the reputations and the future intentions of the folks he sought to unseat. If unchecked bitterness is not deemed to be a negative in this city, it's obvious to this rude person that the easily chumped among us have been conned by the likes of a relentless snake oil salesman.

I, for one, will continue to put my faith in the people that promised us progress, not promises.

I understand that if they fail to deliver what they promised, I can diligently work to end their political careers in this smallish town. But I also understand that they haven't been given enough time to deliver what they promised us. And I fail to see how slashing their salaries, their benefits, or their throats at this critical time will deliver anything positive to Wilkes-Barre proper.

So, should we stick it to them? Should we all become class envy warriors according to Walter's self-serving plan? That's what the "positive" folks that supposedly adhore negativism are telling us to do.

I think we know better.

At least, I think we do.

Later, kiddies.

Think positive.