15 Dec 2012
The Special Town Meeting voting results and just a few indicators in the subsequent days reveal a slightly revised posture from our selectmen; before, they simply operated on the premise that they, and only they, possessed the wisdom to determine what was best for our Town. Now they have added a dimension to this position; not only are they right, they are the only ones who are right and, in fact, who have or will ever been right.
This outrageously arrogant attitude revealed itself at Special Town Meeting when the Governance Committee, carrying the tainted water of the selectmen, would not, then could not, fully and accurately answer the simple question of whether the DOR had recommended against piecemeal changes in the Town Managers Act. The eventual answer seemed to be, “yes, but they were wrong.”
Additionally, the justifying “theme” of the week, that the Town Managers Act was fatally flawed and in desperate need of being changed, has morphed into a theme that its failures were compounded by or led to the failures of each and every Town Manager in recent memory. The implication is that these Town Managers, appointed by these very Selectmen, suffered from being ‘strong’, i.e. law abiding, managers who were thus unable to recognize and heed the special wisdom vested in these selectmen and were, accordingly, unable to perform at an acceptable level.
No matter that at least two and, in one case three, of these Selectmen made the decisions that hired these individuals. No matter that these managers were allowed to perform under the watchful eyes of selectmen Koed and Carlson without correction or dissent for, literally, years. No matter that the managers Griffin and Lombard are having their records revised as the Selectmen attempt to portray them as failures while this process is speaking volumes about the Selectmen’s ability to make hiring decisions and, by extension, any decisions at all.
Put simply, we have reached the tipping point where, in order for the Selectmen to be “right”, everybody else has to be wrong, past, present and future. The selectmen recognize that, for anyone else to have ever been right, and, thus, for them to have been wrong, destroys the entire argument of their being, that of omnipotent quasi-divine wisdom which overrides any other considerations in making decisions which are best for the Town and justifying them in any meaningful way.
This posture is the entire operating premise which will now compel them to ignore the voting at Special Town Meeting and proceed, once again, to do anything they wish, just as if Special Town Meeting was some kind of “advisory only” exercise granted to the general population on this and other special occasions by a benevolent higher order.
This situation is a modern version of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”; cronies and other sycophants support and compliment their omnipotent rulers while the rest of the population concludes, “they indeed are naked”… and it’s not a pretty sight.