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This is post number 2000.
The only real significance is it is 150 posts more than where Tommywonk stopped exactly one year and fifteen days ago…
If some future historian looks back, I can only guess they may kindly make some note of the quality of thought that underlies these efforts, but my guess, is no one will ever notice…
Irregardless, as long as the urge to put thoughts down for others continues, we will go on. As usual, with no goal, no direction, and no ulterior motive. Probably upon reflection, my biggest surprise, right here, right now … is that I still enjoy it so much, and can’t wait to jot my thoughts down, click the button, and send them off to where ever cyberspace and the vast internet ocean, lets them drift….
For each of you who have become regular over the years, … thank you friend…
1) Advocate raising the top rates to 40%
2) Advocate raising capital gains rates to 40%.
3) Only corporate tax credits offered, will be in direct proportion to new physical capital, invested in America. No tax credits for foreign investment. No tax credits for buying another company outright. No tax credit for anything speculative in nature.
And don’t worry what Republicans say… Hell, they were arguing we should get out of the war against Germany and Japan, during the election held in the middle of WWII…
They didn’t win, btw.
The story goes that Warren Buffet, rather worried about his investments early 2008, wanted to talk to God… God told him to use his phone and he’d send him the bill… He got and paid the $333 million dollar charge. His investments flourished, too… That would be the end of the story, except he was down in Sussex County recently, following up first hand on a corporate case being processed out of Georgetown… once again, he asked God for the right to call, and agreed to accept the charges… When he got his bill, he was fuming… He was only charged 25 cents… “God”, he said, “you ripped me off on that first call, big time!”… God said, “Warren, don’t you get it? In Sussex County, that’s a local call…”
As someone who grew up where prayers were always said before football games and county meetings, it isn’t a big deal…… That is, as long as everyone agrees it isn’t a big deal. You don’t see prayers before meetings conducted in New York.
Not because New Yorkers are heathens, but because in New York, you have a multiplicity of religions, so praying a prayer from one of them, is a slap in the face for all others…
Why it’s even an issue in Sussex County is because the Positive Growth Alliance, has been building condo’s like ants, and lots of people who did not grow up in Sussex County, now live there. Many have different ideas of religion than those who’ve always been there all their lives…
If everyone believe in the same version of God as does David Anderson, then of course, duh, why are we even arguing about it… Of course we’re going to pray to God to guide us through this meeting.. That’s what He’s for!
Suddenly, thanks to Rich Collins and the Positive Growth Alliance, we have tons of people who do object to having David Anderson’s version of God, one who dislikes Homosexuals, and one who casts pox on Democrats, one who believes married people should have sex only when they have children, one who believes sex between animals is immoral, one who believes taxes are caused by the devil, one who believes that nature was made to bulldoze and pave with a combination of petroleum and gravel. … one who believes that oil companies have the divine right to pollute oceans, one who believes that animals were made for us to kill. … one who believes a national religious holiday should fall on the first day of deer season.. one who believes pick up trucks and baseball caps are proof that homosexuality is a sin,… on who believes killing someone with a gun is not a sin, but taking that gun away for the safety of others is…
(yes, I’m having fun and talking tongue in cheek)…
The point I’m making is that Sussex County is changing; and it is changing mostly thanks to Rich Collins and the Positive Growth Alliance.
Can you make new citizens join the current religion? If so, then by all means, just like the days of old, they will see no qualms in having a tiny prayer before the meeting.
But if they don’t want to join that religion, then, to force one group of religious people to impose their prayers on others, is not American…In fact, it’s kinda creepy…
If in an effort to show fairness, the Sussex County decided they would do prayers from all religions in alphabetical order, when they came to “B” and hit Buddahism, giving an Buddahist prayer before the session, most of those in the audience would be saying WTF! This is our nation, why do we have to listen to such crap…
Which is… exactly what those Buddahists think, who have opened a business in Millsboro, and have come before the county to ask for a variance on something or other that is in their antiqued code….
So… If it is unnatural for a Baptist to suffer a Buddahist prayer, it is equally unnatural for a Buddahist to sit through a Baptist prayer…
It’s not about one religion being right and the other wrong. It’s about who the citizens are that make up Sussex County. If you want to blame anyone over this controversy, the blame solely lies with those who built up Sussex County and brought in all these new people to begin with… Now that they are here, we have to make Sussex County as fair to them as New York, is fair to us, when we take our business up there……
Positive Growth, huh? Depends on your version of positive I guess………….
Republicans pooh pooh the idea of wealth redistribution. They deride Obama’s policy as being just that.
Truth is, their policies that have caused far more wealth redistribution, than Lenin, Marx, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, or Tojo combined.. It has been redistributed all the wrong way; to the top.
I became curious as I was in line pushing my cart from Costco’s checkouts to my car, scratching my head how I could have spent $50 dollars on a few trinkets: water, bread, paper towels and razor blades. I had only three of the wrong bags (plastic) and had just electronically approved the emptying of my account by $50 dollars…. (The same purchases would have cost $33 back in November, before the Bush tax cuts were extended an additional two years)..
How does that play out in our society?
First a chart:
Yearly income ….(divided by 52 divided by 5)……. daily income
$14/hour @ 7.5 hours……………………………………..$105
$10/hour @ 7.5 hours……………………………………..$75
$7.25/hour, 7.5 hours……………………………………..$54
$2.38/hour, 7.5 hours……………………………………..$17
That means almost an entire day of work for someone on minimum wage, was worth those three bags I had in my hand.
Prior to November, they would have at least had $19 more dollars to spend.
Bread, water, paper towels, and a razor plus blades ($9 +$15). (ever wonder why most working protestors have beards?)
Here is a list of countries that I know had protests over wealth distribution, some causing the collapse of their governments… Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Albania, Britain, Wisconsin, Jordan, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Singapore… I’m sure there are more.
In each case, the people are protesting that they have to live on less and less, while their wealthy, due to unfair lenient tax laws, are making more and more….
1% of Americans, own 40% of our wealth. Wow, that sounds like Mexico, or Columbia! Do they really own that much?
The Gini coefficient is a mathematical term that measures inequality. If everybody has the same amount of wealth, the coefficient will be zero. If one person has all the wealth, then the coefficient would be 100.
Using this tool, we see how the world is stacked. Those countries called socialist by overly rich republicans, who apparently are complaining on having to live on $174,000 these days, and called number one places to live by everyone normal, have relatively low coefficients. Third world countries, where the president owns all the wealth, have relatively high ones
Here is a chart with map showing the rankings…..
Far above us (we are ranked 85 our of 149, with some embarrassing countries better off than we are….. Myanmar, Iran, Yemen, Russia, Libya,) lie the top echelon, Denmark, Japan, Iceland, Sweden, Norway…..
What do those countries do differently? They figure out what they need to spend to maintain the quality of life they wish to attain, then spread the tax burden over whomever lives, or works there… Yes taxes are higher than here, … but when they pay $4 dollars for a gallon of milk, it goes toward their next doctor’s visit, not into some foreign investor’s pocket, who is playing with the hedge fund of milk that day.
Therefore they live much better than we can. Unless of course, you over here happen to be a 1 percent-er.
Then. for you, buying bread, water, paper towels, and razors is taking less than 2% of your daily pay, and not the 92% it does for someone who worked all day on the minimist of minimum wage….. .
Courtesy of Department of Defense
“By the first light of the third day, look to the East!”
Everyone knows that living starts on the weekend… That makes Monday the third day… It is my sincere hope to return this feature back to its original time-slot so those starting their week, have something worthy to follow… Of course that leaves “Around the Horn” to synopsize on Friday, so between the two of us, we have full weekly coverage….
I apologize to Deldem of Delaware Liberal if this first return edition bashes up against his on vacation version of what went down this week…
So what happened this weekend?
Shirley opens with a story of what being an American is all about. The teary eye part made me proud that America still recognizes its heroes, and goes out of their way to make sure they know it… All of us can learn a lesson from this post…. When was the last time you went out of your way to make a member of our armed services feel welcomed?
She carries another idea that I will be stealing shortly.. It’s from down under. and it certainly is worthy of the read, if you haven’t caught it earlier…. it’s just another way of self expression….
Aside from seven videos of varying topics, one an hour and twenty-six minutes long, and four quotes, the memorable posts on Delaware Liberals this weekend are the following… (We only covered the full first two pages, lol)… Their best was this one, The Morning After….. which describes the cuts to the state budget… “The Morning After” in this case does not refer to contraception, but is instead, related to the budgetary announcement made by Jack Markell on Thursday…. It begins with….
March 19, 2009 will forever be remembered as the date that Delaware’s Gilded Age officially ended. An age that was literally ‘built on a house of (credit) cards’ is no more.
The interesting point is that ultimately, it is the responsibility of the wealthy to carry the weight of the rest of us. Pandora follows the same theme with “What’s In The Water At CNBC”: apparently someone argued on that show that Wall Street couldn’t be run by anyone making under $250,000…… the unsaid premise is that the wealthy, who are overpaid for their results, need to make sacrifices so those making less, do not have to…
However the most uplifting piece of the entire weekend, was on this blog and had nothing to do with the economy… or the wealthy… It is about race, and in a spirited fashion on the weekend that Battlestar Galactica ended its 6 year run, Cassandra puts this vignette forward… I’m impressed she saw it, since she admits she doesn’t watch the best show on television this decade. Next to Obama’s Philadelphia campaign speech on the reality of “race”, this is as good as it gets….
This blog has taken on new life with the economic crises swirling around us… In an amazing piece, Steve Newton (in real time) breaks down the implication of Markell’s budget cuts and other attempts to balance the budget, and illustrates how those cuts will affect our employees… I can proudly say, it as good, or better than that other Delaware blogger who is prone to such analysis…… Again the same theme comes out…..
But the reality doesn’t work that way. If you eliminate one unnecessary management position making $120K, then you have saved enough money to keep thirty employees at the $40K and below level from having to take a hit.
Again the message is simple: Cut off the top to save those on the bottom, holding everything up… The shocking truth of what happens when citizens are preoccupied with other matters than their government, showed up in this comment…. “a vacant position in my agency, one that had been vacant for 1 1/2 years got filled by someone on Minner’s staff. Let me reiterate. WE DID WITHOUT THIS POSITION FOR 1 1/2 YEARS. AND NOW WE FILL IT? Luckily it is not a merit position, so it’s possible that the position gets vacated anyhow. But this is one of those 120k positions. “
Again the message: cut the top to save the bottom….
Delaware Politics begins with their take on Markell’s budget… One noticeable trend has been the life recently pumped back into conservative blogs. I have not yet commented upon it, but…. they were pretty shoddy all election season and up until the inauguration…. But with the Democrats now in the driver’s seats, the conversation among the back seat drivers, has again become interesting to listen to… At least one can feel they are getting pumped up, perhaps stealing the energy leaking away from those liberal blogs, who are now getting tired, and starting to wind down in their ardor and intensity…
Dave Burris does his take on Markell’s budget… Most notably he notices the lack of cuts in services…
“But when the rubber hit the road, not only did they fail to cut an agency, they didn’t cut ANYTHING. That is a massive failure to lead. We got such a large deficit (I don’t believe the numbers, but maybe you do) because we grew our government at a rate of 2.5 times inflation during the Queen Worthless administration. If we don’t address that, we will continue to have this problem as more and more of the economy is eaten up by the government.”
I noticed there was no mention that the failure of the Bush economy has drastically reduced ALL sources of revenue pouring into state coffers on which our government used to thrive during the last 8 years… But he does agree with Markell on across the board cuts: “I agree with the administration that cutting pay across-the-board is better than across-the-board layoffs in this environment, because layoffs would cost the state unemployment money,”
Interestingly, being conservative in a time of crises, leads to some silly conclusions… This one for example: “the gain from the Gross Receipts Tax increase is a pittance compared to what the state would get if they would just get out of the way and let these small business owners grow the economy”. Really? Currently we have 7.5 % unemployed, and our largest employer, the state, is taking an 8% across the board pay cut? And paying more for medical? And more in taxes? Where is all that money going to come from to allow these small businesses to grow the economy? You can give them a zero tax rate, but it no one spends in their business, they don’t pay taxes anyway… Nope, you need to make people spend, before any type of business aid makes sense…. Small businesses aren’t going to grow… They are just trying to hang on and stay solvent! Screw growth!!!!! lol.
In another attempt at silliness the lovely Marie Evans is proposing the Greenville Casino… The land is available… Three casinos, she points out in a state 96 miles long, with some creative placing, puts one every 16 miles…( as I said: creative placing… lol).. Unfortunately since Greenville is too close to the northern edge, were one to go in up there, her 16 mile theory would be impossible…
Likewise the Special Olympians apology to our and their president, does crack a faint smile….
And I’m outraged, outraged that there is no mention of the Democratic Party in each of these instances.
And the DSEA? They also are outraged, outraged that while arguing for higher taxes on all other people, under Markell’s budget…. THEY WILL HAVE TO PAY HIGHER TAXES TOO… OUTRAGEOUS!!! lol….
Welcome back to the fight guys!
Dana carries the AFSCME demostration over the cutbacks… They want the rainy day fund tapped out so they have their jobs… The only question, besides that is must be repayed every year., is that once spent, then what gets done next year…
Nancy covers the controversy over whether pensions should be capped at higher rates, than those just years away from retirement….
Mike Matthews has a job interview today… GOOD LUCK from all of Delaware’s Blogosphere…
The same theme brought to you by Markell’s budget cuts appears in Byron Short is Wrong (IMO)
In short, the most disappointing thing about Gov. Markell’s proposal is he’s shifting too much burden on the poor, lower-middle class and, in reality, isn’t asking much of those state employees (cabinet heads, directors, etc.) who could stand a tightening of the belt. Or a complete axing of their positions.
Knock something off the top, to save the foundations supporting the bottom…. Where have I heard that before?…
Already two proposals are in state legislature that work to mitigate the effects of the cuts… One doesn’t allow retirees to have the lower wages be used as a determinant of their pension size, and the other, gives two state employee’s married to each other, less cuts than two single state employees sharing an apartment, would get… These bring up questions of fairness.. One can sense in both these proposals that these employees are “entitled” to earning more money.. It’s a valid point.. They are lucky to have jobs… and if they get a “by” or a “pass”, who is it then who gets hit with the charge for allowing them not to carry the load everyone else is being dealt… If they really wanted to have done something constructive… they could have worked for Kerry…. But nooooo, they didn’t.. and now they are paying the price…. We all are.
However, a job is better than no job at all and this is not meant to be an insult! I didn’t enjoy my pay cut and the traumatic impact. Unfortunately Governor Markell did the right thing. Those at the top of the pay scale will survive better than those at the bottom!
Where have we heard that sentiment before? I don’t know… but it sounds vaguely familiar…
And some wise words to AFSCME union wannabe’s who wish to increase their power within their organization… “Suck it up and be thankful you still have a job because others will be glad to take it.”
Mike Mahaffie went to the last of the Markell meetings before this budget proposal came out… What is interesting is how the theoretical side of the equation seems dreamlike when compared to the reality all all the posts following the Thursday budgetary announcement… But although Markell was unable to attend due to the death of his father, Mahaffie does capture many of the sentiments “flickering” around the room…. One that stands out, was this gem:
As things wrapped up, Senator Simpson and Representative Carey, both Republicans, made a point of praising Governor Markell, a Democrat, for his bipartisan approach to the budget problem and openness to working together. They pointed out that Sec. Kee is one of several republicans in the Markell cabinet.
“On my count… all hands pull on the ropes…. Heave!”
One of those heaving is Brian from the Mourning Constitution. He tackles sports betting from the revenue side, and argues income beats job cuts….. Bringing money into the state, by making us the Vegas on the east coast, could keep some people some jobs…
As for the current vacancies at the Delaware DOC – just a month ago at a meeting of the Corrections hearing before the Joint Finance Committee, there were 33 vacancies in order to assure MINIMUM staffing – while in actuality there are over 330 vacancies that need to be filled to assure smooth, safe, and efficient operation of Delaware’s prisons.
Redwaterlily shows us what is occurring across the state simultaneously. Everyone is questioning their department, and wondering how they can afford any more cutbacks… Every department has needs… Every department has hard working employees who are not making the money they deserve… But as El Somnambulo points out above, by law,any extra money is spent in one sector, must be cut from another one…. The total amount is to remain the same… So each time one says they must keep their department open…. They are dooming another department somewhere in the State of Delaware, to double the amount of cuts….
Although quite prolific lately, this was a quiet weekend for the Colassus of Rhody… amounting to this list of what was NOT said by Obama on Jay Leno’s show….
Tommwonk’s weekend contribution deals with: Jack Markell’s budget…. Tommy focuses on how this budget will be perceived by the staff budget meetings…
We are open to discuss other ideas to meet our financial challenges, and in fact encourage your ideas, because the $750M [deficit] we face now may be our best-case scenario, if the fundamentals of the national economy do not improve.
Our best case scenario.. In this sobering piece,
The actual budget proposal made by Markell is here…
Looking at our problems…. it is easy to get overwhelmed.. sometimes it helps to realize through out history greater problems have befallen greater numbers of human beings…. But somehow we muddled through… We will muddle throughout this time, ….
Remember how this opened? It was a celebration of an American hero… Like them, today we need our wealthy to contribute more to the nation that gave them opportunity. Today we need our wealthy stepping up and heeding the call of their country. Like our young boys who are on foreign soil, they too must suffer the sacrifice, and without grumbling, willingly pay more to the state to cover those expenses incurred assisting those less fortunate than themselves…
Courtesy of Department of Defense
So here is what is going on across Delaware’s blogosphere….
The Colossus of Rhodey is bemoaning some publication’s or journalistic attempt to describe the left side of the Supreme Court as being moderate… Like Jane Fonda’s hell he says…. He also revisits John Edwards (remember him) sending a campaign staffer to by a Wal*Mart Playstation 3, while slamming Wal*Mart in his campaign speeches… The seventeenth of November was a light day for him, …but then Battlestar Galactica came on that evening… as his review on the eighteenth brings that episode back to life….
Duffy has a post covering open ended gaming... it’s worth it visiting to see his reminiscence of his reaction to playing on a 2600…. I didn’t know that Americans spend more on games than movies? He also finished an extensive piece on religion and science.. Instead of debating between science and religion…we should include science in the classification of religion… I was intrigued by this statement….and after turning it over, I would have to say it is true… “There are many points of contention and conflict between Arab Islam and the West, but the chief religious contention between Islamists and the West is not really between Islam and Christianity but between Islam and Western scientific-materialism.” And to show you that Republicans never learn... Trent Lott is again appointed to the Number 2 spot….. Wow.
Delmar’s Dustpan covers a cover girl, a beauty of Delmar fame… Another Delmar, beauty, this architectural wonder, was once owned by the William Freihofer Baking company. But with new news of a priestly scandal, Delmar’s Dustpan makes a surprising find about the difference between two Delmarva newspapers… The News Journal and the Daily (Salisbury) Times….. If one’s blood has not boiled once yet today, they should view his catch (same link) of the FBI knowingly sending 4 men to jail to protect the identities of their informants… Two died.
Merit Bound Alley tells us of Joe’s plan to hook up with Tyler Nixon for a seminar of alternative energy, featuring a symposium of solar, wind, and bio fuels.. Someone named William Kempton is speaking on wind. Joe M is still in the process of trying to find out how many Karen Peterson votes were written in during the election just passed… but the Department of Elections does not plan on releasing them until the next year… He also gives a head shout to another blogger who made his predictions for the next race… two years away…. titled appropriately… “True Addiction“… Equally fascinating was Joe M’s personal vignette covering the problems being hidden within the Wilmington Catholic Diocese.
Delaware Watch recommends visiting Merit Bound Alley as well. (I didn’t check out the audio…) Dana Garrett takes on the Republican Party’s blame game among themselves and their propensity NOT to blame those who made the decisions …but underlings of those who made the decisions…. no matter what the economic status is within their families…. He also notes that Liberals have outed the Conservatives among our neighbor to the North… Apparently across the board, the term Conservative is equatable to Creationism, which was another once firmly held belief, despite the total absence of fact to back it up…. Dana also pokes holes in capitalist theory… Guess who’s gross domestic product — a measure of all the goods and services in the economy — rose 10.2 percent from July to September compared to the same three-month period during the previous year? Did anyone say Chavez? “It’s ironic, this revolution. The rich are even richer now.” Dana also uncovers a little know legislative attorney who defends Rep Wagner’s little past double dipping episode: charging in front of a judge, that anyone who wanted to sue against collecting from the state twice…. “had no standing to do so.” Aye! Protecting the little guy, huh?
Nancy’s The Delaware Way has a piece attributing the Democrat’s win to Dean and moderate conservatives who left the Republican Party… Even she admits she is reeling from the events of this past week with her pictorial representation she posts here…. She appears to be going through a light phase… going back a week is her celebration that Andy Reid accepts that his play calling sucks….
From Down State, Mikes Musings, starring a blogger still remarkably self absorbed since 1962, shares with us one of his life changing moments….. But more important for us, is the changing of Delaware’s status away from being the first state… nay, even being a state at all! But solutions are the real reason Mahaffie is happy. Using technology to bring back the best of olden times, is what technology is all about….
Tommywonk has his thing on Purple America…. He also celebrates another blogger’s bump to the home page of Daily Kos… He takes time to eulogize an economist responsible for uttering these profound words of wisdom: What George W. Bush has done has been to shift taxes from the present to the future–and also made future taxes uncertain, random, and thus extra-costly from a standard public finance view. So no matter how high our taxes go… Democrats cannot be blamed….
This person is wondering what the difference is between a Republican and a Democrat… Do we see seeds of a future post? Perhaps… But nevertheless, he has picked a new chairperson for the Republican Party.. One who has combed through all evidence and knows their weaknesses inside and out… The name of their new chair, may surprise you….. And this, will make you want to hug your kids forever.
Dave Burris, quotes an article from TIME, outcrying that Republicans were only 77,611 votes shy of taking control of the House of Representatives, and that just a shift of 2847 votes in Montana, could have kept them in control of the Senate…. In fact, instead of drowning his sorrows for the Republicans faulty showing, he is crowing that in a bad year, where they should have been squelched, they weathered the storm rather well… “In a year that was supposed to be a big, blue wave where Democrats dominated from sea to shining sea, it almost wasn’t that at all. I can’t imagine conditions that would favor the Dems more, so this will probably be the best they can do.” he boasts.
Delaware Liberal, along with Tommywonk, and FSP, praise Joe M. for his work in pursuing the missing write in vote… a vote whose total was to be suppressed until after the choices were made for Senate leadership…. Also Jason goes out on the early line in his predictions for two years hence… I wonder how prognosticatable he will be? One of the interesting aspects of our blogosphere is the interaction between right and left… This interesting exchange covers Bush’s handling of the Iraqi war…I hope no one eats their words…. He comments on FSP’s head scratching over what was going on with the National Republican Leadership.. Dave Burris with this quote: “I spoke to the Sussex County Republican Women’s Club on Wednesday, and one portion of my message to them was that I was certain that our leaders in Washington had gotten the message that voters sent on Election Day.
Now, I’m not so sure.” And we have breaking News that Mike Castle has filed again…One must check out the link provided… We also have the traditional rant over the “liberal media” which is not so liberal after all.…. then proves it with this worthy piece about the News Journal burying an environmentally sensitive piece that might offend the entrenched powerful….even though not publishing it could kill someone over time….. That Delaware blogger had better slow down… He just might burn himself out….. lol
At least I’m glad to see he his taking a break… on this post election weekend….
Oh! And as if we needed another one……….From the ranks of our regular commentators, a new Delaware blog is now on the boards as of 11/17……Welcome. Here is its opening post…..We shall see if it makes any difference… Most likely, due to “the fix” that’s in ….. this blog too will matter very little…….
photo from file.
(Overheard on his cellphone to his developer boss; paraphrased, coming from a skinny twenty something, logo’d in a golf shirt, khaki pants, standing in the vestibule corner as everyone filed out; “it’s spinning out of control. E-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y is angry. I don’t think we can fix it. It’s going the wrong way. I think we lost the election.”)
Now I’ve seen many meetings. Usually it’s always the same comfortable group, the same participants, with one or two of the same troublemaker activists. We all know each other, politely nod to our enemies, and once our duty is performed, socializing progresses afterwards. The short story version appears in the News Journal two days later….
That was not what happened last night, August September 4th ( h/t rsmitty) inside the Crossroads Presbyterian Church, which had blissfully wonderful cushioned green seats; that is if you were early enough to grab one…
Standing-room-only would be too cliche to describe the turnout. This issue at hand was so hot it swelled participation far above the 200 the organizers had expected…. (237 cars were counted; 500 participants?) They had even forgotten to plan for a microphone, assuming normal voices would suffice.
They didn’t, and fortunately a microphone was found.
Dignitaries (ie our politicos) sat across in front of the crowd… Dick Cathcart sat center, Bill Bell sat next to him. Bill Powers sat and stood on Cathcart’s left. Penrose Hollins drove down to represent Council. Bill Dunn, Bethany Hall Long, Earl Jacques, Rebecca Walker, Tom Scherer, Mike Protack, Bruce Ennis, members of the land use committee, and the Superintendent of the Appoquinimink School District showed up. Ms Fitzpatrick (sp) came in place of Representative Lofink, who was unfortunately at his son’s wedding rehearsal, to which one irate resident blurted out….”that’s no excuse!” Her spouse, quickly put his hand on her leg, and warned her to calm down..”it’s his son’s wedding….”
Yes tensions were that high…..
But the real star of the entire evening was the map…. Yes, a silly map. It stood tall over the entire meeting, dominating everyone’s attention… It out staged the County Council Head, Penrose Collins, who stormed off when it became obvious that the audience was not interested in his point of view….
Most felt that was fair play…. for no one had taken the time to consider their point of view when these ordinances were passed, affecting the entire lower region of the New Castle County… That it turns out, appears to be true…. no one.
The map stood tall over the entire proceeding, reminding everyone, every minute of the immense changes coming soon. And the changes were immense….
Here is the scale they are speaking off.
Three new schools will need to be built, one each year, to accommodate the new influx of students. The school district was surprised tonight; the plans were made without consulting them. They have no money to grow.
Traffic will grow by 1800 cars. What’s the visual of 1800 cars? At fifteen feet per vehicle, 27,000 feet total divided by 5280 ft/mile, equals a line of cars, parked bumper to bumper, a little over 5 miles long… Imagine a line of cars parked on the shoulder of RT 1 from St. George’s bridge to the heart of Odessa. There is your visual image. Deldot was surprised tonight. The plans were made without consulting them. And they too, have no money to grow.
Most of the areas do not have sewer capacity yet; however in a rush, building will progress, anticipating promised waivers to use septic systems, until the county sewer system can catch up….. (Do you follow county finances?) They have no money to grow…..
The wells to supply additional amounts of water; they are not yet drilled. They are on hold, for they have no money to grow….
The anger seemed to grow exponentially within that room… (Thank heavens they held this disclosure within a church).
Hats off to a great job done by the organizers, including one Chuck Mulholland. No one could have prepared them for what took place. Their natural demeanor saved the day, rising to the challenge of the moment. Particularly impressive was Chuck’s impromptu changing of the agenda, as it became quite apparent that citizens were there to make their voices heard, not listen to failed excuses…. That change-up, diffused some tension, perhaps saving a riot… I’ll bet he never expected to put 3 miles on that evening, all the while carrying the microphone.
The question of the day? How could this have happened…
Mr. Pam Scott Paul Clark, President of County Council.
All these elements were rushed though, without vetting, to get developers in construction phase before the public could become aware of what was aimed at them. No vetting was done, so no leaks would occur. The last thing developers and Paul Clark needed, was a large meeting of outraged citizens.
Obviously the details of the arrangements were made in his home, and presented fait accompli to the Council for its rubber stamp. That is after all, what New County Council’s tend to do…
Therefore Paul Clark needs to go.
Councilman Bill Bell, who resembles the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man, performed the role of a stool quite adequately. “No one told me” was his response….” I didn’t know…” he stammered. The question which immediately popped into every head but one, was ” why not?” That’s your job…
Obviously his principal function was to be the Rose Margaret Henry of the County Council. Being put in that position by the developers and unions, means he obviously feels he doesn’t need to call back his constituents, doesn’t need to show up at their meetings, doesn’t need to answer their letters or emails… Like Margaret Rose Henry, all he needs to do is show up… and vote the way he is told..
When faced with 450 some people he began to get nervous. His primary is days away… His opponent Tom Scherer, who is having his own personal fight with the developers of his development, over their unfulfilled promises.. certainly does appear to be the better choice, Towards the end, almost reduced to pleading for his seat, Mr. Bell promised too late, to “not support” the resolution that due to his complicity, has already been passed….
If there was another star, other than the map, the organizers, and the citizens themselves, it was Representative Dick Cathcart… Angered at the incompetence bordering on deceit coming from Mr Pam Scott Paul Clark and his Council, he promised legislation to forever put County Council growth under State oversight…. it’s about time.
Bruce Ennis, surprised everyone in the room by coming down hard for a moratorium on all new development. Two, three, four years whatever it takes to get local citizens to become comfortable with the new developments. He cited Kent County as a place where citizens took control and booted all developers our of governmental oversight positions…. That county is once again under control of its citizens; spawning a series of lawsuits from developers against it. Ennis implied that as long as New Castle’s citizenry supported the continuation of a moratorium against such lawsuits, he would as well. Most nuisance lawsuits would be thrown out, costing nothing since they were filed with no legal grounds to support them, but still the stigma of having lawsuits might make some citizens feel uneasy…. The consensus in that room was: if you take on the developers…. we got your back….
Go get them Bruce.
They came to listen. They got their earful.
Distilled to its basic elixir, here is the essence.
New Castle County development is controlled by developers and the Building Trades Union who are linked together in their interest for growth. Money for developers, jobs for employees. They own the following: Chris Coons, Paul Clark, Bill Bell, Bill Powers, George Smiley, and Bob Weiner….
Breaking that connection is the first step in returning Democracy back to those New Castle County citizens who live outside the city. Democratic Voters have the opportunity to sever that connection during Tuesday’s primary, September 8th. Voting Bill Dunn over Paul Clark, Tom Gordon over Chris Coons, Tom Scherer over Bill Bill, and Carl Colantuono over John Cartier, will do your part in returning Democracy to County Government. (Yeah, I know one is controversial, but if elected, we will own him, not the developers).
I’ve run out of time and space. Not mentioned here was the citizens fear of falling property values; not mentioned here was one realtor who spoke 6 (?) times, warning citizens of how workforce housing would affect their property values, not mentioned here was the question of where these workforce housing residents, transferred from Wilmington’s projects on the East Side, would find ever find work to pay for their housing, pimps, and bags of crack; not mentioned here was the cost of someone to cut down tennis shoes hanging from electric wires; not mentioned here was how noble Bill Dunn looked when working the crowd, compared to Paul Clark 4 years ago; not mentioned here was how poorly workforce housing residents obey driving laws; not mention here was how insufficient the current sewer systems are today, even without additional units; not mentioned here was how County Council increased the density levels, so developers could sell more houses per lot, more profit per lot; not mentioned here were the number of minority citizens who vehemently said they left the city to get away from the trash the County was again forcing upon them; not mentioned here was how hard everyone has worked, and suffered, to build their piece of the American dream, which now the County Council, at the bequest of Developers and Building Trade Unions, was about to destroy, WITHOUT EVEN CONSULTING THEM!
I wish I had more time…
Nancy, Geek? Can you add more?