Saturday, February 11, 2006

Opening arguments in the case for recall

by Anonymous

A vote is a precious thing. Once cast, it is, and should be, sacred. While our law makes provision for recall of elected officials, the bar is very high -- as it should be.

Yet there comes a time when a vote must be reconsidered, however reluctantly. When an elected official makes it so evident that he or she is using the office to the detriment of the public good, the public must intervene.

The time has come for the people of Gray to assert their right to govern our Town.

For actions inimical to the purposes of the Town of Gray, Andrew Upham must be removed from office.

He has willfully ignored the clear mandate of the people in a legal vote.

He has attacked without cause or explanation qualified and dedicated men and women who do not agree with his own opinions.

He has arrogantly demanded a standard of performance from others that he makes no effort to reach himself.

He has displayed remarkable indifference to the safety and well-being of citizens of the Town.

He has consistently treated members of the public, as well as Town employees, with contempt.

He has recklessly charged citizens of the Town with serious offenses, only to withdraw those charges without apology after the damage to their reputations had been done.

He has ignored the stated advice of duly appointed members of Town boards and committees with greater experience than his own.

He has refused to discuss important issues with members of Town boards and committees.

He has assumed to himself duties that are reserved for trained and qualified professionals.

His arrogance, his unwillingness to communicate with a large part of the Town’s population, his insensitivity to others have all combined to create a deep division in the Town.

All of these offenses are demonstrable and inarguable. Individually, they would be a cause for concern. But taken together, they lead to the inescapable conclusion that Mr. Upham’s continuance in office is a clear and present threat to the health, prosperity and well-being of the Town of Gray and its citizens.

It is time for the people of Gray to take back our Town.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Failed journalism and a broken "record"

Our self-proclaimed town watchdog appears to have become a lapdog.
After proclaiming the evils of the town fathers for years, Prata is strangely silent on Gary Foster's deletion of public documents. And she appears to favor Upham's desire to abolish fire-safety requirements for new housing in Gray.
A true watchdog would look for evil under every seat, not just the seats of those she dislikes, such as Mitch Berkowitz or Ray Clark.
Oddly, instead of looking further into Foster's deletion of public documents, Prata went out of her way to defend him. She has failed in her journalistic responsibility as a watchdog.
However, the record of that failure is hidden . . . because The Monument website has not archived any issues from early 2005. The "newspaper of record" has no record! Is this an attempt to hide something? Or is the "record" broken . . .
Nathan Tsukroff


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Some help for Gary Foster

Tuned in only briefly to last night's clown show, but as usual our boys didn't fail to disappoint.

During council correspondence, Denise Duda read a pair of letters that took Foster & Co. to task for their abusive behavior toward CEDC and other unapproved freethinkers within the community. When she finished, Foster felt compelled to opine that he and his pals weren't such bad guys, and that people who make such accusations should provide specifics. Let's see if we can help Gary out:

Matt Sturgis is screwed out of a council chairmanship that he, by seniority and tradition, had every right to expect would be his. This egregious insult causes Matt to resign.

Interim council applicant Julie DeRoche gets dissed when Foster & Co. extend the application period well beyond its original closing date in order to find a more amenable replacement candidate. Julie withdraws.

Foster, voluntarily and without prompting, forwards emails from dozens of irate Pennell referendum supporters to his publicist Elizabeth Prata, who then devotes an entire issue to mocking these private citizens and their views. When asked publicly and directly about Prata's unflattering characterizations, Foster refuses to disassociate himself from them. Most politicos would have said something vaguely conciliatory at this point, but not our Gary. Power means never having to say you're sorry.

Foster, Upham and Crane smear Ray Clark and Peter Gerardo for a nonexistent conflict of interest, and when that doesn't stick they change the crime to incompatibility of office. This also falls flat but the bozos continue to flog it for months.

Foster & Co. reject Pam Wilkinson's application for membership on a committee because "she didn't share the council's vision", whatever the hell that means. It was an act so outrageous that Foster personally apologizes to Pam -- long after the cameras are off. But she still doesn't get on the committee.

Same deal with Richard Hall.

And of course the yahoos viciously and recklessly attacked the committee my wife chairs, impugning her integrity, competence and professionalism. Based on unsubstantiated rumors, the committee is accused not only of failing to do its job but of inappropriate and "embarrassing" behavior. You guys do remember that, don't you? I sure do.

And let's not forget Mitch Berkowitz, Dick Cahill, Bill Dale, the SYT engineers, Dean Bennett, the Planning Board and a host of lesser luminaries -- all victims of this council's relentless, hypocritical finger-wagging about failed responsibilities, professional defects and intellectual inadequacies.

Foster, Upham and Crane appear to be incapable of working constructively with anyone who exhibits anything less than fawning obsequiousness toward them. Do they think people don't recognize such behavior for what it is?

Latest victim? Poor Jan Bourget, our utterly apolitical council recorder, who was harangued and made to feel like some kind of failure by the pathologically abusive Upham because she didn't transcribe Dick Cahill's verbatim comments into council minutes. Note to Andy: Jan records meeting minutes. She is not a transcriber. These are not the same thing. Do you ever actually think things through before opening your mouth?

On the upside, this modest little blog apparently impressed the hell out of Fran Monroe. I am content.

Say what?

A certain former town council member talked about a certain blog at a certain meeting on a certain day this week.
What did I just say?
Translation: Fran Monroe referred to "a blog" hosted by "a spouse of a committee chairman" at the town council meeting on Tuesday.
She didn't use any names and made thinly veiled references to people and actions.
Please - if you're going to complain about us, don't beat around the bush. Stand up and be counted! If you have the guts to stand in front of the town council and complain, be enough of an adult to present your complaint clearly and concisely.
We're not happy with the present council, and we make that very clear. Prata is not happy with Mitch Berkowitz or me, and makes that very clear.
Besides, we could use the publicity. People need to know where to find the truth about our town.
Nathan Tsukroff

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A twist on "Don't ask, don't tell"

Our current town council has given new meaning to the phrase "Don't ask, don't tell."
Our council does not ask what the majority of townspeople want, and ignores those wishes when given. A prime example is the 2:1 vote in favor of moving the library to Pennell. The council, newly-seated at the time, simply ignored the referendum vote and moved ahead with its own agenda to get a seventh court ruling to determine ownership of the building.
And then "don't tell" comes into play.
The council doesn't tell townspeople what its planning to do. Abolishment of the mass-gathering ordinance was presented as a fait accompli, without any input from the Public Safety committee.
Now the council won't ask Mitch Berkowitz for his input, and won't tell Mitch about their plans.
This is not the way to run a town. This is not acting like a democracy.
Gary Foster and Andy Upham should be ashamed of the way they have changed a democracy to an autocracy.
Sadly, this is how the rulers acted in the Soviet Union.
I certainly I hope Foster and Upham prove me wrong about this!
Nathan Tsukroff

Monday, February 06, 2006

We're back

That was a nice diversion. If you're ever in Florida's Big Bend country, this place is pretty cool, a vestige of what things must have been like in the days before The Mouse. At left is a picture of one of the locals.

Thanks to Nathan for keeping things interesting here. Site visitor statistics took a big jump last week. I see we've been discovered by various Politburo commissars and state media. Welcome aboard, folks. Stick around. You might learn something about yourselves -- but only if you stop gazing into that distorted funhouse mirror you keep holding up in front of yourselves.

Speaking of Pravda, I see this blog is THE talk among the ruling elite who hang out at Liz's wacky wingnut bistro. How odd -- you'd think they had better things to do than worry about what people are saying over here, an insignificant speck in the digital universe. But then, fretting about critics is much easier than actual leadership. And I suppose if I had just spent 8 months subverting democracy, smearing citizen volunteers, abusing competent professionals and setting my town back twenty years I'd be concerned about my image too. Demagogues can be sooooo sensitive.