Saturday, September 27, 2014

Protocols, Backside Awards, voting, not voting, etc…

We hope you’ll forgive us for a moment of editorial indecisiveness; we can’t decide which of these photos belongs at the top of our post, so we’re using both.  Perhaps after reading what follows, you can tell us which you think would have been the best choice.  (For those with bad eyesight, that’s a fox digging a hole in the right hand image.)


On Tuesday of this week, we posted this item about the selection of John Eldridge to be the new Mr. Manager of our perfect little town, assuming he and the council can agree on terms.  Which might not be as easy as it might look, given that only 5 of the 9 town councilors voted to offer him the job.

This leads us to the thoughts we want to pass along now.  “Protocols” are involved, of course, for more than one reason.  As one among us is fond of saying, we must have protocols. 


We’ve also realized that awards come into play.  In this case, Side’s now famous and sought after Backside Award, for meritorious performance in the course of holding public office.

The first reports of Eldridge’s selection included these words:

Councilors Suzan Wilson, David Watson and Gerald Favreau voted against the motion, made by Councilor Steve Walker. Councilor John Richardson did not attend the meeting because of a prior commitment. 

Although she has also received calls from her constituents in support of Eldridge, and thinks he would do a good job as town manager, Wilson said "the old libertarian" in her was interested in "shaking things up" and moving in a new direction.

Speaking immediately before the vote, Watson said he was opposed because the decision was being made without all councilors present.

In an phone interview Monday night, Richardson, who did not attend the meeting, said he received notice of the meeting on Friday afternoon, too late to reschedule an existing commitment in Rockland.


Subsequent reporting by The Ostrich added these illuminating words:            

On Monday, two councilors — David Watson and Suzan Wilson — said they voted against making Eldridge manager on Monday because Councilor John Richardson wasn’t present.

(So are we to understand that if Richardson was there, they would have voted FOR Eldridge?  How the hell are we to interpret that?  They would have hung Johnny out to dry?  Are you kidding?)

Richardson on Tuesday morning said he is congratulating Eldridge.

Richardson said he was unable to attend Monday evening’s meeting because of a scheduling conflict due to his work with the Maine Labor Relations Board. He said he was informed of the council meeting Friday afternoon, and did not have time enough to reschedule with the labor board.

“I was never told there would be a vote of the town manager,” Richardson said.

(Note to readers: make sure you don’t have a mouthful of Coke or other carbonated beverage before reading the following whopper, or you could end up flushing your nasal  passages with it.)

Asked whether the council ought to have held the vote, Richardson declined to comment beyond stating, “I don’t want to make this about me.”


Richardson also declined to state whether he would have supported Eldridge’s nomination, but noted that he had been in favor of making both Eldridge and Bennett finalists.


Let’s move on to our analysis of the reported circumstances.  As we said in the post on Tuesday, one of the things you learn through years in Augusta is when you need to be in Rockland.  In this case, for work with the Maine Labor Relations Board that could not be rescheduled.

Not to mention the fact that our man JP1 (Johnny Protocols) didn’t know the meeting would be about selecting the new town manager.


As to that claim, here’s the meeting notice we received Friday afternoon, September 19th, with a time stamp of 3pm:

Special Meeting Agenda
September 22, 2014
5:00 P.M.
Council Chambers
Town Hall
85 Union Street
Roll Call
Acknowledgment that meeting was properly noticed
Executive session – Personnel matter regarding Town Manager search process per 1 M.R.S.A. §405(6)(A)
Action may or may not occur after the executive session. 

It’s pretty clear, don’t you think, that it wasn’t going to be about anything OTHER than selecting a new town manager?

Now as to that claim that it was too late to reschedule his commitment to work with the Maine Labor Relations Board on Monday evening in Rockland.  Lucky for you, we have reporters in the field who can look into such things.  One of them contacted the Maine Labor Relations Board office, and surprisingly, they had nothing on the three calendars they maintain for Monday night in Rockland.  Nothing for the Board itself, or the Mediation Panel, or the Board of Arbitration.


We’re sure this must be some record keeping anomaly, and that Johnny Protocols can clear things up.  And when he does, we’ll gladly publish the explanation here, and withdraw our doubts about the accuracy of his reason for missing the meeting.

Until such time as he does, we’ll offer our view of things. 

As we said when he got elected to the town council, we saw it as the commencement of his rehabilitation to set the stage for seeking higher office once again.  We all know he won’t be denied, and that he considers it his due.

We expect the rehab will continue with him being elected to chair the council when the transition to a new council takes place around the first of the year.  Benet Pols isn’t running to keep his council seat, and from our view, we don’t see anyone else challenging Johnny, so our money says he’ll slide right into the position of GoJo, the Governor of Brunswick, to coin a phrase.


This will buff up his credentials and visibility for seeking the State Senate office of Stan Gerzofsky, who will be termed out in 2016.  If Johnny wants the office, who’s going to stop him?  And from there, he runs for Governor in 2018, if not an available federal position.

<s>The photo just above shows the lifelong BFF’s conferring on the strategic nuances of such a master plan.</s>


Vital to such a plan, we all know, is for Protocols to keep on the right side of those who would support, direct, and fund him in such an upward climb.  We’re convinced some of the powers in the shadows wanted him to vote against Eldridge, and others wanted him to vote for him.  The only way out was to use the moves he learned in Augusta to avoid doing either.  At least that’s the way it looks from our offices.


Oh yes; thanks for reminding us. We almost forgot to announce the Awards.  And hoist the flag that goes along with them.  We must advertise our local products as often as possible, mustn’t we?


We admit that our judges are heading for the door at this late juncture on a weekend day, but we snared the envelopes from them before they left.


The first awards, at the Three Donkey level, go to councilors Suzan Wilson, a prior winner at this level, and Dave Watson, for their bizarre and inane explanations of why they voted against the motion to offer the job to John Eldridge.  That being that they didn’t know what else to do because their Svengali was not there to give them courage.  And for expecting us to believe that had he been there, they just might have voted in the affirmative.

<s>Here’s a publicity shot they posed for after making their statement:</s>


And now, this week’s grand prize winner, at the Five Donkey level is….


….Councilor John Richardson (AKA Mr. Speaker, JP1, Johnny Protocols, and GoJo to Side readers!!!) 

Five Donkey’s are the call for demonstrating rare and distinctive creativity in explaining why he had to miss the meeting; and for sheer chutzpah in believing anyone, and we mean anyone, could possibly believe the sentiment “I don’t want this to be about me.”


We, of course, in order to preserve our reputation for integrity in such matters, promise to reduce Johnny Protocol’s award to the Three Donkey level should he provide information that clarifies his Monday evening conflict in Rockland.

Rockland, Maine, that is.  On MLRB official business.

1 comment:

  1. Wasn't it Ronald Reagan who said," Keep your friends close and your enemies closer".