Saturday, February 15, 2014

Comments after watching the video from Monday night


We watched the video from the special council meeting of this past Monday night in which the separation of employment of Town Manager Gary Brown was modified in accordance with the previously negotiated agreement.

We have an observation or two.  First, we thought Chair Benet Pols presided over the meeting with a plomb and an even tempered demeanor.

Second, unless you have a professional certificate in public doublespeak, you know that Mr. Manager is being terminated by the town council.  Regardless of how any of the documents and public statements may read.  He is ‘getting done,’ or ‘being let go,’ or whatever else you want to call it.  Calling it something totally different is undignified.


So somewhere around minute 31 of the video, when Johnny Protocols says he’s concerned that the council action isn’t letting “this man depart with some dignity,” we called foul.  Sanctimony may be something Richardson mastered long ago, but we still find it distasteful, especially coming from him.


As we see it, two weeks pay in lieu of working for the final two weeks, plus 6 months salary and an array of benefits, and a promise that any references and what have you would only speak in positive terms for his years on the payroll are a pretty heaping bowlful of ‘dignity.’


Third, we are reminded that some of the supporting actors in this melodrama still owe the citizenry apologies for lying about the specifics of how they encountered the Pols meeting with developers on the Cooks Corner road plan.

We don’t recall whether we’ve ever told you of words we coined some years back: “compous” in adjectival form, and ‘pompost’ as a noun.  ‘Composity’ is, we suppose the adverbial form, though our recollection of early grammar terminology is long gone.

These are combining forms of the words compost and pompous, where compost is a polite term for rotting bleep matter, like composted manure you might buy in bags at Skillins or Brooks.  The untruths as we see them were delivered with composity, which makes them all the more offensive.


Further, we can’t help but note the comment that ”Gary Brown is Town manager for the next two weeks; appointing John Eldridge as the interim TM is not going to bring this council together” voiced by one ‘participant’ in the meeting, to borrow from the Ostrich style guide.  That same ‘participant’ apparently sees no divisiveness in lying about the circumstances surrounding this recent Governance Fiasco.

(Holy Cow!  What an idea!  Can we get a fully forgivable loan from the BDC to start a downtown hotspot with that name?)

During this discussion, another ‘participant’ said he prefers a retired, ‘independent’ town manager as an ‘interim,’ and he was the sole vote against appointing Eldridge to the post.  We thought this may have been a subtle reference to Don Gerrish, who was in the room, and who brought the now departing Mr. Manager on board.  Gerrish is also one of the ‘consultants’ vying to lead the town through the search process.

Johnny P echoed the sentiment, though he voted with the majority to appoint Eldridge to the interim post.

Our greatest disappointment with this whole phase of the meeting is that not a single councilor mentioned how distorted, contrived, and misleading the search process is by the widespread practice of giving glowing references to departing management individuals no matter how egregious, flawed, or derelict their job performance was.  Even though they’ve just been parties to such deception?

How could they not be concerned about what they are about to undertake, knowing full well how manipulated the public record, documentation, and reporting of our present ‘transition of leadership’ is?


Wink, wink, secret handshake, and all that.  How are we supposed to have confidence in our elected betters whey they can’t even acknowledge the obvious, sitting right there in the front row at the meeting?

It used to be that respect, you know, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, was something you earned and maintained.

Looks like those days are over.  At what cost we’ll only learn some years down the road.

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