10-24-2006 Enough's enough

How ‘bout them…GIANTS!?!

It’s one thing to go into Dallas on a Monday night and get a win. But it’s a whole other thing to go in there and kick the dreaded cowpoke’s asses. Needless to say, I had me a ton of fun last night. And did anyone catch Brandon Short’s ferocious hit on the biggest jackass ever to don an NFL uniform--Terrell Owens? Thank Allah I didn’t have a beer in my hand when Terrell went borderline lights out. Because if I did, it probably would have been propelled right through the front window.

Go Jints!

So anyway, I awoke this morning only to learn that our mayor, our entire council and our city attorneys are being sued by a city resident. Well then, isn’t that just special. Wouldn’t want to miss anybody.

From the Citizens’ Voice:

W-B man files suit against city’s mayor, council and attorneys

From the Times Leader:

Resident files suit against W-B officials

Negligence and corruption, eh? As always, I went and got me a copy of the lawsuit in question and got to reading it.

Wow! It sounds so…dramatic.

“…intentionally assisted in diverting funds to a private party…”

“…laundering these funds in order to personally enrich a private party at the expense of the public.”

“…their intentional and willful misappropriation of funds.”

I must say, as needless and frivolous lawsuits go, this one sounds serious. Why, if I didn’t know better, I’d have to come to the conclusion that every single one of the city’s leaders was a lowdown common criminal. Every…single…one, I said. There’s not a good apple in the whole damned barrel, according to the plaintiff. They are money launderers all, and their actions were willful, intentional and downright criminal. That’s what the civil action claims. Bastards all!

But I do know better. And in my opinion, with the electorate being basically apathetic and inattentive save at election time, this lawsuit is nothing more than a politically motivated attempt to sully the reputations of our elected leaders from top to bottom. Supposedly, we’re going to be voting by districts come next March, so what better time is there for the historically inept city Republicans to have the gauntlet begin? This isn’t a civil action as much as it is a misguided, mean-spirited public relations campaign.

And even if it gets summarily thrown out of court as the abject absurdity that it is, the smear campaign will not end there. The plaintiff already stated as much by pointing out, “Do I think it will be dismissed? Yeah it probably will. That‘s my guess. They‘re all buddies in the courtroom.”

And there you have it. Proof of corruption. File a hastily prepared frivolous lawsuit. And then when it gets deservedly deep-sixed, there is your proof that not only all of our city’s leaders are corrupt…so are the county judges. Isn’t that neat? Apparently, no one is above corruption’s evil sway in this county. Not a soul. Well, except for the activist/candidates in the local Republican party, that is. So, everyone…that’s, everyone is corrupt? Everyone? Boy, is that a freaking stretch.

Funny, though. The people…yes, that’s THE PEOPLE behind this little publicity stunt never made even a whimpering peep when city funding was being misappropriated at breakneck speeds and with a very scary degree of regularity. I guess they somehow missed all of that.

Razing moves forward Greco's plans for plant

As for the demolition, city officials needed US$407,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds, commonly used for street paving, to pay the contractors when a portion of the roof collapsed. The city, however, failed to place a lien against businessman Thom Greco for the demolition expenses in the required time period.

Mr. Greco acquired the remaining three-story office building, smokestacks and miles of underground steam pipes in October 2002. At one time, the plant was the largest provider of heat in the downtown. The now defunct Wilkes-Barre Steam Heat Authority operated the plant until a dwindling customer base forced closure in 1991.

Then there’s some of my observations from way back when:

Ask the candidate

But how did Wilkes-Barre become a case-study in financial ineptitude? Well, try this quote from Todd Vonderheid about McGroarty’s now forgotten theater project: “..a blatant example of poor planning, horrific project management and a glaring example of why the public sector should not be in the development business.” (Times Leader, April 2, 2002) By the way, McGroarty’s target date for that theater’s opening was April 1, 2002.

As far as the “blatant example of poor planning” is concerned, let’s revisit WILKES-BARRE ASSOCIATES (Plaintiff) vs. CITY OF WILKES-BARRE (Defendant),” as filed IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF LUZERNE COUNTY, shall we? The plaintiffs sought an injunction halting construction of the theater project for the following reasons:

a. without proper zoning permit.

b. without land development approvals required by law, resulting in no administrative review or approval of the overall design of the Projects:

c. without PennDOT review, approval or issuance of required highway occupancy permits, despite the fact that construction was actually begun on a PennDOT right-of-way:

d. without a designed entrance or exit for vehicular traffic to and from the parking garage:

e. without a designated pedestrian entrance and exit to and from the theaters:

f. without a traffic study that shows the impact to existing roads and properties which would be affected by the construction:

g. without Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry approval, which is required prior to the start of any commercial parking/building project:

h. without erosion and sedimentation control plan approval from the Luzerne County Conservation District:

i. without required sewage planning module approval from the Department of Environmental Protection:

You wanna see j, k, l, m, and n, or are you getting the idea by now? What the heck, let’s do it-m.: without a general contractor or construction manager. Oh, hell, here’s n.: without any known/disclosed financing supported by firm commitments not contingent upon the satisfaction of outstanding matters, thereby placing the CITY and it’s citizens in an uncertain and potentially precarious financial situation.


n.: without any known/disclosed financing supported by firm commitments not contingent upon the satisfaction of outstanding matters, thereby placing the CITY and it’s citizens in an uncertain and potentially precarious financial situation.

So…how did Wilkes-Barre become a case-study in financial ineptitude?

No misappropriating public funds or misrepresentation there, huh? We built a $5 million hole in the ground without a care in the world, and I didn’t hear anyone squawking about it other than WILK’s Fred Williams and myself. And when it was all said and done, we couldn’t even pay for our beautiful new hole. Truth be told, most of the e-mail I received during those days took me to the woodshed in defense of the former mayor and his myriad of expensive albatrosses. Sorry, kiddies, but Wilkes-Barre was to wasting money during those sickening days what playing with ammonium nitrite and fertilizer is to getting yourself immortalized right after you are executed. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember anybody being so completely outraged they felt compelled to take action of some sort.

And I want to know who was in on this little plot other than the plaintiff. That is to say, I know, but lack the necessary proof. Don’t be fooled. This is not a case of a single resident doing a stare down of the evil, corrupt powers that be. Oh, no. We’re not all that naďve. We’re not that stupid. Putting the plaintiff aside, this was the work of some people who are completely self-centered. They seek to get themselves and hopefully their comrades elected and they need to destroy the incumbents to make that happen. Their laundry list of tired, vapid ideas aren’t plausible, so what else do they have other than the relentless mud-slinging?

So there we have it. He have a responsible administration that has and continues to push the city forward. We have an administration that has replaced the tumult, rancor and chaos that city hall came to be known for with teamwork, professionalism and careful planning. But it seems that some of us want to return to the disastrous days of tumult, rancor and chaos. With so many good things finally happening to and for this city, we have to put up with needless bullspit such as this lawsuit.

No biggie, though. This is still America and we are all entitled to our unalienable rights, which is to say, we are all entitled to our particular idiocy of choice. So choose wisely. You don’t want to be seen as the village idiot.

Whatever. Enough's enough on all of this utter balderdash, this abject absurdity, this laughable poppycock. I’m doing some more New York Football Giants. I’m still all agog after last night’s gridiron entanglement.

Lawrence Taylor wired for sound:

Collection of bone-crushing hits:

Toughest sumbitch ever: Mark Bavaro

Vote early and often