Saturday, May 05, 2007

The View From The Cheap Seats by Jerry Hafferkamp

The View From The Cheap Seats
By Jerry Haferkamp

The other day, I was asked how I liked the city election. My reply probably wasn’t what the questioner expected. I liked the election just fine. The people were given the chance to voice their choices, and they did. Should I be happy with the results? My answer would be “some yes and some no”, but you can’t always win.

Should we be happy with the way the campaigns went? That’s an emphatic “no”. While I had hoped the ‘For Sale’ sign would be removed from the mayor’s office, I wanted it to be removed because it was not for sale. Quite the opposite occurred. The sign came down because the purchase was completed. It was replaced with a “Sold” sign. One would have to wonder what benefits would be coming to Mayor York’s supporter that was willing to spend fifty eight thousand dollars to get control of this office and the majority on the City Council.

There also has to be some concern when wrong ballots were given to voters. Even worse was that some lifelong residents were turned away and told they couldn’t vote because they didn’t live in the city. This wasn’t an isolated individual. Several city residents received this treatment, even though they presented valid voter cards and an I.D. proving city residence. I don’t know how this happened, but I’m sure steps are being taken to prevent a recurrence of the problem. In elections that were decided with fewer than ten votes (in some cases), these votes could have made a change in the outcome.

Then there are also the problems caused by such “groups” as Citizens for Responsible Government, which wasn’t really a citizen, and certainly not a group, but an individual infusing money into a campaign under this name to keep the real purchaser of the election at least partially hidden. When these distortions and lies were mailed, wouldn’t it have been more intellectually honest to say “Paid for by One Man Wanting to buy The Mayor and The Council”? Then again, expecting honesty from the faction that mailed this garbage is like expecting a blind man to see.

There is one particular falsehood that the mayor perpetrated on the voters that needs to be corrected. She claimed credit for the “successful” Convention Center. It must be the “new math”, but a venture that loses $200,000 annually is not a success in my book. They claim success because it loses less than they projected it would. Now that’s spin if I have ever heard it. She also failed to mention that the Convention Center is failing miserably in attracting tourism, one of the big selling points used to get voters to approve its construction.

If the old chide “Liar. Liar. Pants on fire “ is true, it is no wonder Patti wants the Fire Chief to be close by.

That’s the view from the cheap seats