The late, great Empire State Governor Hugh Carey once stated, “The days of wine and roses are over.” In his inaugural address on January 1, 1975, Gov. Carey declared, and I quote, “This government will begin today the painful, difficult, imperative process of learning to live within its means.” Carey then proceeded to bring the state back from the brink of insolvency.
Like the New Yorkers back then, we deserve better. We deserve to have our local government’s financial house in order. We, too, need to begin the painful, difficult, imperative process of learning to live within our means instead of passing the problems and the bills on to our children and their children and theirs.
On the national level, every child born today (those who will actually work for a living – not the “undocumented” or other freeloaders) is born $46 thousand in debt – debt that they did not incur other than while gestating peacefully in utero.
Have you ever wondered why kids are so angry at the world? Maybe it’s because their dull-witted parents keep electing the same corrupt politicians – post turtles put in office by special interests – who do not even have to hide the fact that they are stealing everyone blind. Perhaps those parents are too busy watching cable TV, smelling the roses and drinking lots of wine – and not paying any attention to world events – while their kids are facing dismal futures with eternal debt.
We also deserve to know why there is a $22 million shortfall in the town employee pension fund and why this is not being fully addressed on this mayor’s watch. Like other public debt, this is being passed on to future generations to add more misery to their lives. At some point, the buck has to stop.
The mayor also violated the charter several times – as well as the First Amendment along the way – banning a bi-monthly newspaper from town buildings because of a citizen’s commentary in it – taken directly from the minutes of a charter-mandated committee that she stacked with non-resident town employees in clear violation of the charter. She is one very special mayor…
At a town council meeting prior to the so-called Annual Town Meeting back in May, the town’s external auditors stated that it would take 21 years to make up the $22 million unfunded pension liability if the town started immediately.
I spoke about the issue and other finance matters at the ATM for about 30 minutes – with no rebuttal from the administration – and the Ledger’s scribe did not pen one word of what I said.
Maybe that’s why the mayor has done nothing about the problem: she didn’t get to read about it in the Ledger.
All she did was to squander another $2.4 million in future CPA tax dollars for the purchase of the former Emery Estate at King Oak Hill – without any reuse plan. The building is contaminated with lead paint, has asbestos in the heating system, has asbestos sidewall shingles and has mold issues. The estate will cost the town $75 to $100 thousand a year to just sit there and rot, plus mortgage payments of another $250 thousand a year.
Not to worry, they are just tax dollars that you will pay whether you have a job or not.
Or just pass the bill on to your kids…
In addition, the not-so-exact Emery “replica” of George Washington’s Mt.Vernon home has structural damage from a fire in the attic some years ago. And yet this pig-in-a-poke purchase is being lauded by her sycophants as the crème de la crème of her turn at the town’s helm. Like Chris Matthews, they probably are getting tingles up and down their legs.
As an incredible aside, it was the late Dr. Emery who first brought the long-used term “Post Turtle” into the mainstream vernacular in a book he wrote in 1979. There are purportedly references in the Bible as well.
But I digress…
So what is the mayor’s reuse plan other than to keep the public away until the problems are resolved at further cost to the town? Well, she doesn’t have a plan. She’s waiting for someone else to do her thinking for her – as usual. The ideas will come from hand-picked appointees who will agonize for months, wringing their hands and wracking their brains; all to have her say, “But where are we going to get the money? Shall we send out the school kids with tin cups – again?”
The town cannot even afford much-needed roof repairs for the Teen Center or for the Wessagusset School– about $1 million needs to be borrowed – but we’re blowing borrowed money – $2.4 million – on contaminated property instead.
That’s pretty special because she’s known about the roof problems for some time…
The mayor is also waiting for someone to hand deliver some ideas to her on what to do at Legion Field and to provide her with a funding source as well – because she has neither a plan nor a clue.
We also need to know why she entered into a “joint enterprise”, as concluded in a ruling by Division of Administrative Law Appeals (DALA) Magistrate Sarah Luick (I would simply have called it “collusion”, but that’s just me), to enhance the former mayor’s pension by more than $33 thousand a year, for a total of $79 thousand and change (that’s $1,535 PER WEEK, kiddos, 68% of which comes from we taxpayers), in addition to taxpayer-guaranteed COLAs and 70% of his health care paid for life.
We need to know why she passed the buck to the state to adjudicate the matter when the law is and was quite clear. The ex-mayor (“ex” in USMC terminology generally means disgraced) had recourse through the Civil Service Administrator to process his fallacious claim, but as the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) and DALA determined, it was all a sham transaction involving the former and current mayor with the help of the town’s revolving-door Solicitor.
Now it has been sent to the Contributory Retirement Appeal Board (CRAB) for a third opinion and another impending well-earned defeat for Madden and his newest attorney, GG. PERAC’s Assistant General Counsel used verbiage from my pro se amicus curiae brief in PERAC’s answer to CRAB, which is very cool. At least I think so because my legal positions are right on the mark.
CRAB allowed an extension of Madden’s appeal after his attorney-brother missed a filing deadline because of some illness – he was probably sick from carrying his brother’s muddy water for free.
That’s my take anyway.
So what is this mayor’s lame excuse for engaging in an outright violation of law and common sense – or “joint enterprise” as the magistrate put it? Did she take the advice of the ex-mayor’s Solicitor, the same one who became her Solicitor and a campaign donor, too (yes,Virginia, I have her donor list) and just go along for the ride? Probably…
From now until the election, the mayor will attempt to get all the free press that she can through her sycophant friends at the Patriot Ledger. She recently petitioned the state to have the only cable company in town, Comcast (which is drooling at the thought of 2,855 new subscribers at LNR-SouthField), give its subscribers seven more days to pay their bill because, quoting the mayor, “I think it’s very unreasonable … they are living paycheck to paycheck and sometimes that extra week makes a difference.” The Ledger gave her front page, top of the fold to state that. What an embarrassment to the town!
It makes me wonder what the Ledger would do if one of its delivery personnel kept getting stiffed week after week after week – payment and tip. Without mentioning any one subscriber’s name, they would probably offer the one doing the stiffing two free months just so their circulation numbers would stop their continuing free-fall into a bottomless abyss.
No one would dare suggest that Comcast subscribers cut back on the 200-plus channels they get. That would be too much of a sacrifice in the mayor’s eyes.
Perhaps she thought Comcast would feel badly that some folks are living paycheck to paycheck and might cut them a squeeze on their $50 a week boob tube addiction.
This was just another diversion thrown up by this mayor in order to get some free, front page headlines. I have a headline the Ledger can use with my permission: “Weymouth mayor plans to locate the $22 million she failed to provide for the town employees’ pension fund!”
Look at it another way: she did what the feds did. They stole Social Security blind and are sticking your kids, my kids and all of our grandkids with the bill down the road.
That’s called Leadership 101 in this mayor’s eyes. But then that’s what people like her do. They run up the bills, beard the check, and then stiff the waitress to boot, which is a double-stiff, because the waitress has to pick up the tab, just like our kids and grandkids will have to.
And she wants four more years to finish the job? … on whom?
Bob Montgomery Thomas
***© Copyright 2011 , All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed