I've been out for a bit. Not that I didn't have something to say, I just wanted to wait, read, and stew on our assemblies attempts to wrap up "attendance gate".
So here's my spin on this debacle.
I listened to the entire meeting last Thursday, Ishmael was right, mostly ho-hum business as usual, followed by the much anticipated subject at hand.
Sort of a let down. Two of the concerned/affronted parties were not in attendance for personal reasons and one showed up to face the music. Although Stutes excused herself from the debate/vote, she still managed to get a word or several in edgewise. Whereas I give her credit for attending, I must admit that ignoring the chair and proceeding on to defend her position is indicative of why she chose to sign on as a co-plaintiff in the suite against the borough.
Some of us may believe that the three assembly members who are requesting reimbursement only sought to protect themselves from personal liability and assume we should support that. However, the entire borough board did seek outside representation, nor did they sign on as co-plaintiffs in civil action against the very body they represent.
This case is far from over, further litigation is on the horizon. In my opinion the three assembly members that joined Mr. Stephens sought to insulate themselves from legal liability by joining the alleged affronted party. Then they expect us tax payers to pay for their current and future costs. I would have to ask that if the borough agreed to this would we not be paying Mr. Stephens fees also? After all he is a lawyer who is seeking payment for his services in the settlement of a case the three have co-filed in.
Perhaps our leadership is simply lending out the proverbial amount of rope that the suing assembly members will hang themselves with. Perhaps, given that a large section of the assembly is divided on this issue, they are simply at a loss as to what resolution to seek.
How about this? Don't make a decision.
Maybe it is time to hold a special election. Let us decide, let the supposedly wronged parties on the board,plead their case to the voters. Let the constituency decide if our tax dollars should pay and coddle members of the assembly for not accepting that the majority rules.
Yup, that's right, a truly public forum where we can hear their justifications and decide as a neighborhood, what we feel is right.
I heard a couple of comments from assembly members that night which spoke of the quickest & easiest solution to this problem. I would remind those who feel this way of my basic tenet in life.
The right thing to do is not always the easiest thing to do. It will not always be the popular thing to do; but it will always will be the right thing to do.
Enough squabbling, put it to a borough wide vote and let us decide.
Lastly, I have followed this closely and arrived at my own conclusion.
Whatever the outcome of this situation, eventually all three of the co-suing plaintiffs will come up for re-election. Regardless of my past votes, I will not vote for you to retain your seat. New members or old is irrelevant to me. You have shown true colors in this crisis and I will not choose to give you another chance to undermine the democratic process I believe in.
Sleep on that.
End of the Blog
9 months ago