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Here’s The Scoop…A Look Back…Political High Hopes…Hit The Skids…In 2008

“I EARNED CAPITAL IN THE CAMPAIGN, POLITICAL CAPITAL, AND NOW I INTEND TO SPEND IT”…….

The opening of Frank Rich’s article in the New York Times…hit home with this writer…this resident…this voter…for what has transpired over the last year…with the newly elected…new majority…the “New Guard”..

As we look back over the past 12 months in LBTS……political high hopes…hit the skids…the promise of change…was squandered…manipulated…and lost due to  1 “bloviator’s” belief of “entitlement”…need for “payback”…and acting as if there was a “mandate”in the results from the January 29,2008 LBTS election…

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‘IN his first press conference after his re-election in 2004, President Bush memorably declared, “I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it.” We all know how that turned out.’

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Frank Rich not only hit home with his reflection of Bush…(whether or not you voted or supported Bush…his point  on this is undeniable)…but he really got to me with his  “uh oh” feeling coming forth so soon after the win for “change”…with Obama…and that “sinking feeling” in his gut…coming right out of the gate….

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‘Barack Obama has little in common with George W. Bush, thank God, his obsessive workouts and message control notwithstanding. At a time when very few Americans feel very good about very much, Obama is generating huge hopes even before he takes office. So much so that his name and face, affixed to any product, may be the last commodity left in the marketplace that can still move Americans to shop.

I share these high hopes. But for the first time a faint tinge of Bush crept into my Obama reveries this month.’

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/opinion/28rich.html

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The last month of campaigning……last year at this time…we were at each others throats…in the waning days for changing the majority on the dais in LBTS…Behind the scenes it was like living in the house with an alcoholic…or a batterer…and keeping a deep …dark …dirty little secret…out of the light of day…

We counted down the days…til after… the campaign…no matter the outcome…we were done…no more fighting..no more threats…bullying…dealing with unstable personalities…an existence of living in highs and lows…with no middle ground……it would finally be finished…we could have our lives back….free to go our own way…

Adding to the heightened drama was the talk of who was a definite winner and who was not…who did what and who did it when…revisionist history…before it could even be called history… in the all- inclusive….strangle hold of a world this bunch lived in….One person’s achievement…would be downplayed…as we were fully separated and divided…at this point…so the Sentinel choosing Dodd…was met with…disdain and jealousy……from the faction that later on would throw him under the bus….many times…

Following the debates…candidate’s would be critiqued in a manner that belied the belief that maybe …just maybe…. the bullying Commissioner…did not want the big win after all……insecure in his  future control…..the loss of his Sainted  “David VS Goliath” role… after the election…

On election day…we worked  the polls…in the early…early morning to the close of voting….never leaving…never letting up…finally making out way to the election night results…both from the voters and from the campaign…..

What the voters giveth…and the Mc-Gang taketh away….

We should have seen the writing on the wall…that “tinge” Rich refers to in his article…as McIntee and wife…pulled the rug out from under the biggest winner of the night…Stu Dodd…when he neglected to acknowledge the “help” of the Mrs. …(we beg to differ with this self indulgent assertion…her role was more hindrance than help is the honest” broom boys” truth ….until the very end)….the Mc-Gang…of MacMillan and wife…swiftly joined in….and there and then…we should have realized…it wasn’t finished…all the crap…we had endured…it was just a precursor of what was to come…..

It did not take long…with the Vice Mayor position…and the McIntee madness of  insisting he was “owed”…any discussion…otherwise…was undermining…and it meant “war”….so we “folded” for the good of the “new majority”…after being promised …..by Mc-pal…Commissioner Silverstone…” a kinder, gentler Jerry”..would be coming ….with this “deserved” position…Yea right!…

February …Swearing in….It began…..

The rules….the hierarchy….the cop-mentality….the payback…the town according to McIntee and his Mc-gang…….

We faced the ridiculous…no names of Commission members allowed to be used…Jarvis Hall not allowed to be used by non-residents…despite the short- lived official “Town Historian” explaining the Jarvis’ words at the dedication of the hall said otherwise….(they made sure the “historian” was soon history…in the CIC …the BTSTimes…and at the Commission meetings)….

We endured the “right out of the gate”….embarrassing “perks”… health insurance…said to be for the “2 Hats” pal…( stated to anyone around…pre-election)… cell phones….and talk of increasing Commission salaries…along with a failed attempt to get the money for insurance not taken….put forth by the Mc-Manager….

We dealt with payback…and insults…to past Board members…Commissioners…Administrators…Residents….newspapers….websites…

We had a no questioning allowed “policy”………just sit back and follow the lead of the Town Manager…with her substandard hires…and hiring practices…with  a hand-picked  Town Attorney…Special Magistrate…Assistant To…becoming Assistant Town Manager…and heads of departments….code citations…independent decisions made…belying the form of government LBTS operates under…whether it was banners…flags..entries…or pavilions…

We scratched our heads as the “savings” on public safety flew out the door with a dilapidated land/ hotel purchase…and the buying of trucks…cars…and ATVs….promised with assurance of the quick sale of  the west-side warehouse making it a wash….

We actively approved the overturn of Overlay Districts…..only to find out….unfortunately we were  duped……not realizing…sinister undercurrents…were working behind the scenes…to thwart the quick repair work  required to rectify their demise….all planned and calculated…to stop the town in its tracks…and keep 33 feet…no matter what the voters …or the Charter said…

We may have felt pride and hope with the return of the “new” VFD…finding it short lived at best….. observing  on the day of their taking over…at the ceremony….all those faces of VFD members…looking more like they were at a funeral…were really mirrors into the behind the scenes…..fallout…from the departure of their Battalion Chief…and the de-facto “2 hats” Vice Mayor/Training Officer Mc-Chief actions……enabled by no accountability…and no oversight coming from within the department…or within the Town Administration….

We saw the increasing anger…the increasing disregard …on and off the dais…towards anyone who questions…or disagrees….the accusations..the half truths…regarding ethics decisions….the endless bloviating…the yells of “traitor”…”witch hunt”…the Mc- “slap” site…the threats…the bullying…..the ongoing attempts to stop the flow of public records information being requested in town or from the VFD……..constant acts of bad behavior……continue to be the status quo…

We saw the promises….pealed away… fiscal responsibility flubbed……decorum disregarded…….inclusion obliterated……transparency tossed…accountability abated…..

What we have in 2008….. is not  a new majority…it is a non- majority………made up of….

“2 Hats”McIntee and Silverstone…Mc-pals…joined in the VFD/Commission and at the hip……

“Old Guard” Mayor Minnet…who has increasing approval numbers from both “guards”……due to her fiscal votes…and her dealing with the Vice Mayor…

“Independent” Commissioner Dodd…happy to be in this position…doing his job….away from the “under the bus” crowd…..

“Sandra Day O’Connor” Commissioner Clottey…..who really has the “catbird seat”…being planted firmly in the middle…with the deciding vote….

In conclusion….in this writer’s opinion …. that initial pre-election “tinge” that crept in ….has given way to what now is  a “tidal wave” of regret…….and for the loss of what might have been….

more to come….

Tomorrow…2009…..

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