Source: Sherman Publications

Goodrich politics can be such a dirty game

January 05, 2011

Dear Editor,

The recent (Goodrich) election saw a shift in the balance of leadership. Goodrich residents have voted in a council whose platform was less spending and less taxes. The new council hopes to hire a professional outside firm to take a good look at village operations and expenditures. Ways to streamline or modify operations would likely be identified. If so, those items would then get a good hard look to see if the citizenry would be better served by making changes or not. Doing this is absolutely sensible. Well, the “good old boys,” who have been in power far too long, are trying to paint this as money wasted. There is an old political tactic that says, “If your own platform isn’t what the public wants, attack your opponents’ character.” And so the political dirt begins.

The disruption at the recent village council meeting was the start. A dozen or so people, many who were not even village residents, caused a ruckus. Their obvious goal was to have the first meeting go badly to discredit the new council.

Then we see “good old boys” backers blasting the new group with absolutely unfounded and ridiculous remarks in editorial letters to the local newspapers. All intended as scare tactics.

Following that, our village manager keeps mum on the fact that the new council members needed to be sworn in before the already scheduled council meeting.

Next “good old boys” backer Norm Bass petitions to have our new council president recalled. This was in the works even before the first official meeting of the new council. In his newspaper letters, Mr. Bass refers to the efficiency study as a survey (wrong). He states they want to pay $20,000 for it (wrong). The initial estimate was $10,000 to $12,000. When the higher figure was presented, the council unanimously turned it down. Council Presidnet Wartella also did not fire the street code enforcer. He resigned due to his involvement in another legal case. He says she wants to transfer street and roadway maintenance to the county (wrong). She suggested that we discuss available options for possible savings. He claims the previous council has cut taxes by 20 percent and saved $50,000. I see hidden taxes added in the form of processing fees on our sewerage payments. I see the reserve funds being depleted by a cool million or so in the last few years. Finally, in his latest letter, he (Bass) says that he has not been found guilty of any felony. In all fairness, I‘ll do my own internet search on Google.

Most recently, former “good old boy” Dave Lucik wants to have the leading vote getter Doug McAbee removed from the council for not signing and turning in a copy of the oath of office within 10 days. This is just ugly. The document was handed to McAbee in the village office and no one mentioned those requirements? Shouldn’t they have asked him to sign it at that time? Being a first time council member, he obviously was unaware of this. Oh, and the line to sign on was folded over on the back of the oath.

And now the recall attempt.

I believe they were making these plans the day after they lost in the election. Make no mistake here, this is dirty politics. Our previous council has had plenty of time in office but they just don’t get it. We’re in a near depression now and we have to change direction if our village is to survive. Our residents have elected to give this new slate the next two years to find and implement measures toward those goals. They deserve those two years without being assailed at every turn.

Jerry Kaczperski