Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The purges continue

Since the beginning of the Foster/Upham/Crane/Duda era last summer (hereinafter referred to as the FUCD period in Gray's history), there hasn't been a single council meeting at which some productive soul hasn't been attacked, threatened, or accused of misbehavior. Not one.

The latest group of citizens to come under assault are the volunteers who make up the Community Economic Development Committee. And this time its personal. CEDC's chair is my wife Julie. The committee's crime: heresy.

CEDC believes that poor zoning and a lack of tax incentives (such as TIFs) are the primary obstacles to business development in Gray. They believe this because that is what businesses are telling them. The town council, on the other hand, despises zoning and proactive government (unless it involves food fights over Pennell). In their rich fantasy world, desirable businesses will come to Gray if we improve our brochures, not our zoning. And they get very angry if anyone says otherwise.

In FUCD Gray, such a difference of opinion means all-out war. CEDC tells this council something they don't want to hear, and council responds by threatening to disband CEDC -- with prejudice.

At their December 20 meeting Foster, Crane, and Upham attacked the committee with their trademark recklessness. Here's Foster giving his impressions of what transpires at a CEDC meeting:

But there are also - you know from feedback I have received - and I haven't - I am not the liaison and I haven't attended their meetings - but there is inappropriate discussions that have taken place that really don't have anything to do with promoting Gray or conducting business or - I have heard the words "embarrassing" used, I have received information of incidents of - just discussions of a personal nature - that is just - we can't have that on a - our committees ought to do work for us.
A real class act, our town council chairman.

And so we get Order #57 on the Jan 3 council agenda: "Review and act upon Amending the Council Rules to abolish the Community Economic Development Committee. Sponsor- Town Council"

First, though, committee members will be called before the Inquisition to confess their crimes. Here's Foster's invitation:

Dear Julie and members of the CEDC,
the Town Council is requesting your participation at the regular Council meeting on January 3, 2005, in a discussion of the performance of the CEDC, its purpose, and its value to the citizens of the Town of Gray.

Gary C. Foster

Its possible that an abject apology, coupled with some robust grovelling and loyalty oaths, will allow the heretics at CEDC to continue serving their masters in some diminished capacity. But they better not misbehave.

The entire sorry transcript is posted in the documents section at right, or here.