The real petitioners have spoken

Wow! The forum page isn't malfunctioning afterall:

Council....... -- poo-poo, 07:19:47 08/11/04 Wed [1]

So Mark, what you're saying is that it is OK for our council people to continue to recieve fully paid health insurance, and a very generous salary for basically getting the city into the financial mess it is now in? They all (except one) sat on council during the last administration. They sat and watched as McG dug his own grave. It wasn't until after the primary that they actually did something about it. It's funny how the FD came out in support of the current admin. and did everything possible to ensure they were elected/re-elected for the good of the city. The first thing they do is take a giant dump on them by slashing manpower and closing fire stations. Beautiful. When someone wants to cut their numbers it gets poo-poo'ed. Sorry, but I would take FF's over council people anytime! I support Walter in his efforts to reduce councils salary and benefits. Also, if we don't need as many fire stations or FF's , we don't need as many council people either. Before you start hacking on me being anonymous, I am a city employee and it's not much different from the last admin. Trust no-one

Anonymous,heh? While I disagree with boisterous folks flying under the radar, I do understand the mindset. If, as a city employee, you come out and publicly chastise your elected leaders, they will then see to it that you go the way of the Dodo bird. Judging by your comments, I would have to assume that you work at a firehouse. If that assumption is correct, I ask that you do me a favor. Since so many members of our fire department signed Walter's mangled petitions, lemme know how many of them end up getting fired for having done so. I'm just curious.

Trust no-one?

Please don't put words in my mouth. How many times do I have to point out that I do not believe that any part-time city employee with a 401K measured in six, possibly even seven figures should be sponging off of the taxpayers for their health care? I've clearly stated where I'm at on that issue many, many times. Our current council folks should grandfather their health care benefits and put the kibosh to that entire program forever more. 'Nuff said.

Sorry, but I would take FF's over council people anytime!

There's really no point in further debating the fact that many of you who drag hoses for a living feel betrayed by the current administration. But cut-backs are not a zero-sum game. If we take a big-assed whipping stick to council, that in itself will not result in increased staffing in any other city department. It would only result in a few folks feeling satisfied with themslves for having stuck it to someone in a position of power (class envy), and it would cement Walter's platform for his next bid to get himself elected.

It wasn't until after the primary that they actually did something about it.

That is complete bolderdash and you know it. If you sat on council during that tumultuous period that was the last couple of years of McG's disasterous rule, McG would have trampled you underfoot just as he did to so many others on a daily basis. If I sat on council at that time, I would have likely ended up being arrested for aggravated assault. There was no taming that out-of-control beast, so let's not revise our painful recent history here, shall we?

Do they really receive a "generous salary?" Do they? I saw Walter's letter published in the Voice yesterday and he claims they earn $300 per hour. Does anyone believe that gross misrepresentation of the facts other than the dummies who gleefully signed their names and all of their immediate relatives names to Walter's petitions? That assertion is a bald-faced lie. Did he include the hours spent posing for ribbon cutting photos? Or waving at passing parades? Or when their home phones ring and upset residents fill their ears with complaints? Did he take into account how many times they hit the pause button because the press has called seeking comment? Did he consider that they have to field complaints and whatnot nearly every time they wander into a public place? Does he mention how many times they visit City Hall because of official city business when no one is looking?

Nah! Why tell people the whole truth when seeking their signatures to further your personal agenda? Just bang on people's front doors and spout non-facts such as city council earns $300 per hour. That'll stir 'em up alright.

I remember when some city folks were prodding me to run for a council seat. I had some fun with the idea, but $12,000 was not that attractive to moi. Why would I? So I can for all intents and purposes be "on call" 365 days a year? Muck that! When I come home from work, I don't want to have to suffer through Mrs. Mucklebucker's weekly phone call complaints about how some city employee was somehow rude to her puppy, how some pothole is ruining her entire life, or how the increased city fees have put a serious dent in the number of lottery tickets she can afford to purchase. If it's not worth $12,000, or $14,000, who in the hell would do it for $7,000?

Who? Business professionals with a proven track record? Or novices? Slumlords? Goofballs? Or people that just truly need a paltry sum such as $7,000? I recently listened to a grease monkey completely disparage a sitting council member who was at one time a distinguished national journalist. Consider the source. Now, who should I prefer to have running this city? A man that has rubbed elbows with presidents, or a guy who knows ball joints through and through?

And then there's the same tired complaints about our reigning Council Chairman, er, woman. She has multiple income sources. And? Since taking office, has she acted in a professional manner? Has she done what she could to push Wilkes-Barre forward? Or is everything she says, and everything she does somehow tainted only because she's not hurting for money?

Let's run the numbers, shall we? Our city budget was artificially inflated this year due to McG's staggering unpaid debts. But based on recent fiscal years, an average city budget typically runs between $32 and $35 million. And how much money does it cost us to cover council's salaries and benefits? $150,000 tops? Does anybody want to grab a calculator and figure out what percentage of our massive budget those costs amount to? Please, by all means, do it. Do it.

At that point, even the monosyllabatic among us should realize that what we're talking about here is not realizing any significant savings. What we're talking about here is little more than getting even financially with the folks that WE elected to make the tough, tough decisions that we all knew had to be made.

You support Walter's efforts? After reviewing the rampant scribbling that he thinks passes as responsible activism, I won't lie to you about your chances of getting even with whomever you feel the need to get even with. But you do deserve my sympathy.

It was 104 degrees in the shade. Not a snowball in sight. Junior Barnes was sitting on...

Check this e-mail:

*******I knew you supported Leighton but I never suspected that you took orders from him. Why would you do this. How much do you stand to pocket? I am stunned.*******

Here's a good one:


You are now a part of the establichment. You have crossed a line and will be seen as the hatchet man of the addminidstration. Your credibility is gone. Your site is shot. And no one will pay you any further attention.*******

Hey, you folks sound just like Walter. Bummer.

From today's Citizens' Voice:

Quite honestly, I expected the city to challenge it, as well as anyone they could muster up," Griffith said.

Muster up? Clueless. Absolutely clueless. Listen to me tell it! Before Walter even handed in his laughable petitions to Voter Services, I was already talking to another fully-engaged city resident about attaining copies of them and reviewing them for a possible challenge. Muster this!!! Oh clueless non-leader of ours.

Let's try this quote attributed to Walter from that very same Voice story:

What my circulators did I can't attest to because I wasn't there.

I think that ridiculous statement speaks volumes about his leadership capabilities, or apparent lack thereof. This was his baby from the get-go. Walter Griffith! He's our man. If he can't bring the elected bastards to their knees, nobody can!!! And yet, at the very first hint of serious trouble, he quickly distances himself from those that he alone employed to do his dirty work.

Is that someone we should vote for? Is that someone we should follow? Or is that someone that we should send scrambling back to his usual haunt in Nanticoke?

You know I listened...

..to WILK this morning and I soooooooo wanted to pick up the phone and call in. I decided against it.

I decided against it because I thought it would be much more fun to listen to what other folks thought of the front page stories today. I was not disappointed.

First, a lady from Nord End complained that the residents who stepped forward to challenge Walter's nonsense had "slandered" her and her husband who both carried petitions door-to-door. Wrong! The newspapers over-sensationalized their coverage as much as they could in an attempt to slant the story. The Voice had to mention that most of the folks challenging Walter's crap were supporters of our nine elected officials. Is that proof of guilt? Or proof that some smart folks still reside in this city? Rather than reading the papers and then crying "slander," maybe the mostly hapless folks looking to turn our system of government on it's ear every election cycle should read the "Petition Setting Forth Objections..." that was sent along to the proper offices.

And some guy from Wilkes-Barre called bitching about the increases in taxes and fees and such. The same taxes and fees and such that have not been increased since Danny White last quarterbacked the Dallas Cowboys. He was colorful. Those "sons-of-bitches," and "These morons," dominated much of what he had to say, but he was devoid of any facts pertaining to the current inpasse. Big shock there.

Then a younger-sounding guy called and said he refused to sign the petitions. Why? Because we need to pay a decent buck if we're going to attract the best and brightest into the public sector brouhaha. BINGO! We have a winner.

Anyway, stayed tuned. The hearing is scheduled for Monday, August 16. Suddenly, AC/DC comes to mind.

Shot down in flames
Shot down in flames
Ain't it a shame
To be shot down in flames

Bang on that wood-grained Gibson SG!