Why the PCB Election was a tremendous victory for the City

Burnie ThompsonUncategorized

Why the PCB Election was a tremendous victory for the City

Mike Jarman is not representing Ward 4 now because he defeated Cherie Crim.

Mark Sheldon is not the new Mayor now because he defeated Josie Strange.

To view it that way is to start the story in the middle.

Instead, let’s start the story at the beginning.

Mike Jarman represents Ward 4 now because Hector Solis wanted to make his getaway. 

Mark Sheldon is the Mayor now because Mike Thomas couldn’t stand  being there anymore. He hated it. He’s been counting down the days during the meetings for nearly a year.

As far as the elections goes, that’s not for us to decide. You and I can’t get anybody elected. That’s not even our job. We can do all we can to help a little, but that’s about it.

But it most certainly is our job to link arms and make the ground rumble under City Hall if we see corruption.

George Washington said, “Assert your rights or except every imposition heaped upon us.”

One way to assert our rights is to vote. Another way is to express our informed opinions. Still another way is to send emails to local, state and federal government so that they are on the record. We can attend meetings and make public comments.

But there’s a bigger way to assert our rights than those, even. We can shine a Spotlight so bright that there is nowhere for the corrupt political or government official to hide.

Unlike the 24-hour cycle of day and night, for the corrupt officials there should only be sunshine. And they shouldn’t get a good night’s sleep with the lights out, either. 

Think of it as a four years of them constantly looking into the sun and being unable to find any shade. And the worst offenders don’t even get sunglasses. It should be miserable to be corrupt. 

A constant Spotlight is how to assert our rights, and it’s the best disinfectant at City Hall.

During World War II General Doolittle said that victory belongs to the one who believes the most. Then he paused, and said, and to the one who believes the longest.

Well, I believe to my core that public trust must be restored.

That the Rule of Law must be returned from the last Council’s Law of Rulers.

That the First Amendment must be restored, and public records be made available to us without barriers because they belong to us after all.

That Sunshine laws must be enforced.

That job promotions in City Hall are merit based-rather than being reserved for those with big connections like husbands who sit on the Council. 

That elected officials stop exempting themselves from the rules they force the rest of us to live under.

That ethics laws are followed without exception.

And that ultimately the climate of retribution and intimidation inside City Hall be replaced with respect.

You know, the one-percent sales tax in the City pays their salaries. Pays for their multi-million dollar City Hall without so much as a thank you. Instead they adorn Thomas Mahal with their names and their pictures. 

They need to be reminded that they work for us, not the other way around. That we are their constituents, not their financiers. 

Last night’s election was a tremendous victory.

Think about it: The three men who so brazenly abused our public trust over the past fours are gone.

Mario Gisbert was sent packing months ago.

Mike Thomas and Hector Solis had four more years if they wanted it. They both say they would’ve won reelection easily.

But the Spotlight disinfectant burned too much, and all the time. Everywhere and always. 

Those men can’t be anywhere without enough darkness for them to hide, and backrooms for them to huddle together. 

So since our job is to chase away the most corrupt government officials, we can celebrate our mission accomplished.

We can’t do everything. But that doesn’t absolve us from doing all we can.

All we can do is all we can do, and all we can do is enough, as A.L. Williams used to say. 

And so tomorrow … at 9 in the morning, we’ll be watching as the newly elected ones take their oath to the Constitution, so help them God.

And while they do so, we’ll be asserting our rights. Like the Watchmen and women we are.

You and me.

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