Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Does anyone smell sausage cooking?

Brunswick sausage, that is.


We’re sitting here all mopey, enjoying the afterglow of two hours in the dentist’s chair this morning to have a couple of implants put in.  It was quite a thrill; watching the use of a clicking ratchet under our hood, as it were, as if we were an engine having new spark plugs installed. 

Lord knows the old ones had lots of miles on them, and were fouled pretty badly.  So our editorial voice was not firing on all cylinders.  Fully synchronized internal combustion is still some months off.

Chance presented us with a day old edition of The Ostrich while we were there.  (We can’t help but wonder whether Chance and Shirley are acquainted!)

In it, we found two items that inspire continued confidence in the citizenry and governance of our perfect little town.

One was an update on the status of the move to our new “town hall,” the Bowdoin McClellan Building, and the continued slow-rolling of those involved in finally telling us what the final bill will be.  Town Manager Gary Brown is at the head of that list, and reportedly would not disclose the estimated figure, as councilors Benet Pols and John Perreault had requested. 

But Brown went so far as to say “preliminary numbers ARE NOT WAY OUT OF LINE with what was presented in the CIP,” which is about $800,000, according to the report.

We certainly feel better about things given that confidence builder; how about you?  Maybe it’s time for Pols and Perreault to remember that Brown works for the council, rather than the other way around.  Perhaps they should have directed Brown to provide the estimate, since he’s clearly seen information, instead of requesting it.

But hey; nobody likes making waves, right?

The other item was a letter supporting the candidacy for the town council of a local real estate saleslady .  You can see our thoughts on her candidacy here and here.

We understand that editors of The Ostrich are generally not conversant in the gritty realities of town operation, nor are they likely to challenge offerings that support town status quo, or status quo plus, if you get our drift.  They reserve their umbrage for those of us who challenge the status quo, which is why this ‘media outlet’ was born.

And we also understand that candidates frequently draft their own endorsement letters, and then ask others to submit them as their own.  In this case, the distinction doesn’t matter, because when the assertions in the endorsing submission are clearly and blatantly false, both parties get to share in the blame and the shame.

For example, when the author says as follows:

I might get to a handful of Town Council meetings each year, but Jane is almost always there, and prepared with insightful notes, comments and questions.

And follows up with this:

She’s never afraid to challenge the council with tough questions about the projects the town is engaged in — even if it means ruffling feathers.

In view of such words, you know for a fact that the writer, and the editor who approved the submission, are both totally clueless to the conduct of Town Council meetings, and how the public gets to participate in them.

We’ve testified at our share of such meetings, almost always ‘prepared with insightful notes, comments and questions.’  Anyone else who has done so knows full well that you don’t get to say your piece at any time on any subject, and you are especially wasting your time if you ask a question. 

No one on the council is going to respond to any question, unless they decide to demonize the testifier for even asking it.  Which has happened to us on more than one occasion.

So we unequivocally dismiss the letter supporting Jane as a contrived, misinformed, and horribly unsubstantiated endorsement.  And a shameful indicator of The Ostrich’s current day editorial integrity and reportorial rigor.

And we ask again, with no expectation of a meaningful response, ‘where’s Jane when it really counts?’


Jane may be running, but it looks to us like she’s running away from, rather than towards, a better Brunswick for all of us.

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