Tuesday, January 8, 2008

But the Definitive Clue Is...

Every year immediately after the Hillsborough Township Reorganization Meeting, there is a rash of online postings about how the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor have obviously been chosen ahead of time so why bother with the little play where they accept nominations and the committee members "vote" at the meeting?

Additionally, this year there were more than a few discussions about whether the Deputy Mayor would become Mayor.

Most use the completed plaques as proof of these decisions being made ahead of time. Jokes are common about the presence of a little engraver waiting in the back room to prepare the plaques as soon as the "vote" is completed:

Then there is this year's pre-printed List of Township Committee Assignments & Liaison Assignments that clearly showed "Deputy Mayor DelCore's" assignments.

But the most telling evidence of the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor being chosen ahead of time is the cakes served at the reception following the meeting:

Anyone who has ever planned a party knows you have to order those ahead of time. Unless Mike was waiting in the back room with a tube of icing ready to personalize each cake...


Val said...

Hysterical! But a tad *ahem* well, - you know.

Greg Gillette said...

I mentioned the pre-engraved name plates on my blog also. I don't believe it is that big a deal. What would be weird is if they didn't have the name plates or cakes - as a kind of fake show that they hadn't pre-determined mayor and deputy-mayor. Then everyone would be wondering what they were hiding.

Also - there was opportunity for public comment at the meeting - anyone could have called them out on this so-called "farce" - but no one did, because essentially it is harmless.

Val said...

You have to understand something, Greg (and you know that I was there). It would be beyond embarrassing to stand up at a basically ceremonious meeting, and state such a complaint. Imagine me, one of three Democrats in attendance, (oh - I forgot Steve Cohen) in what would quicly become a very hostile setting, making a point about name plates! It would have to be something a lot more serious than that to make me face a situation so precarious.

Yes, obviously, EVERY administration knows ahead of time who will serve as mayor and deputy (although the Dems fought quite a bit over it, as the Reps may possibly do as well). That's a no-brainer, and the Repubs should never have denied it to begin with. The fact that they denied it is why everyone points out how ridiculous their defensiveness is.

Another empty ploy they should drop is the "We Put People Before Politics" chant. My own example is all the proof needed to verify the blatant lie of this claim. And if that's not good enough, I can follow up with COUNTLESS equally revealing examples.

Politics remains alive and well in the boro - don't turn a blind eye to it. "Get real!!!" :-)

Spokey said...

What I find disappointing is that Greg, another elected official, seems ok with sunshine law violations. I too agree that it is not that big a deal, but why not obey the law and actually hash it out in the open? Is that too much to ask of our government?

Greg Gillette said...

Spokey - I do support Sunshine Laws. But if Kevin Davis calls each of the TC members and asks them individually who they are supporting for mayor and deputy mayor, and then makes up name plates based on that - I don't know if that is a violation of Sunshine Laws. At the BoE, we may all receive an informational email from the Superintendent or the Board President, but there is no discussion among the entire group except at board meetings. We do not "reply to all", or have any kind of a meeting in person, by phone, or by email that involves 5 or more members (which is our quorum).

As Valerie said, the reorg is kind of ceremonial. Their kids are there and they are all dressed up - and it is kind of a show. Hashing it out in public, when it has already been decided (without breaking sunshine laws) would be another sort of a show I think.

But really, I agree with you Spokey - I'd like to see it all out there in the open.

Val said...

Now for a stab at reality, folks.
Sorry, but I've been there and done that, with the group that was pretty conscientious about adhering to the letter of the law, being relative newbies. AND, I know the "other side" pretty well, from Pete on down. Plus, I've been involved since '96 - not as long as others, but long enough.

I am sorry if I disillusion any of you, but no political party ANYWHERE "hashes this out in public." That amounts to a fairy tale, and if any of you believe it happens in reality, you are far more naive than you appear.

Not saying right or wrong here, but just understand that there are certain realities. So why not drop the pretenses, and just move on?

My only point was that the current group should drop the pretenses as well, which they kind of did where Lisa was concerned. Those of us "in the know" know better, and will not get fooled by charades.

Greg Gillette said...

Val - was that directed at me? That was really quite pedantic of you, considering that we are on the same side on this!

Val said...

Sorry Greg, but you are not the focus. Hence, the plural form, "folks" and "any of you..." This would include the author of the blog entry.

What I was doing was relaying my observations and experiences from 1996 on in an honest, candid manner, sans the fluff and baloney (or smoke and mirrors if you prefer). I assumed that would have been appreciated, not met with defensiveness (again ....)

When I asked that pretenses be dropped, it was prefectly clear from the context of the entire subject that I meant that the TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE drop any pretense that they do NOT make these decisions ahead of time. They do. And you should avoid supporting their claim that they do not break the Sunshine Law here - they do - as did others before them.

The TC didn't hide the obvious this year, in regard to the decision being done ahead of the reorg. But in the past, this same group claimed that the vote for mayor, deputy mayor is indeed an "authentic vote," and the decision is NOT made ahead of time. Everyone has jumped on them since then, because that claim is so obviously ridiculous. Having explained all this, do you better undertand my intent?

BTW, "pendantic" isn't in my dictionary. I assume you were implying that I was talking down to you?

Greg Gillette said...

I have explained my understanding of the sunshine laws, and given some examples. I understand this stuff is decided beforehand. But I am not sure it necessarily violates sunshine laws, and I AM sure that any one of them up there at the reorg could have changed their vote that night. I know this for a fact. Of course it would have taken 3 of them to really change anything.

I thought you were being a little teacherly. Try spelling it "pedantic", as I did, with only one "n". See, now I'm being pedantic.