ssǝɹddns ɹou ɹɐǝɟ ɹǝɥʇıǝu plnoʍ ʎʇǝıɔos ǝǝɹf a that ƃuıʇnɔolɯnɔɹıɔ suıɐʇuoɔ ǝʇıs sıɥʇ

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Oh my god! or: The David vs Goliath angle ain't gonna cut it

Today is May 8, Mother's Day.

My mother passed on when I was 29, so while it's yet another day when I remember her, it's also a day that brings with it much sadness. No, I do not visit her grave as all that it provides me with is a synergistic aspect to add to the sadness.

While that may sound kind of wussy on my part, I still feel cheated and I still miss her in the worst way.


Perhaps this election season is heating up after all. Somebody went and stuck the following piece of election literature behind my mailbox just yesterday.

I read with stunned bemusement yesterday's Times Leader story in which Tom Leighton's Democrat primary opponent was somehow shocked to learn that he has some $65,000 in his campaign war chest.

Oh my god!

Oh my god? Really? Perhaps some of us should hearken back to late 2003, when Wilkes-Barre had an empty, boarded-up downtown, a dangerously depleted police department, crumbling infrastructure as far as the eye could see, finances dripping with an endless supply of red ink and a thoroughly dispirited populace. Some of us might need to recall where we were versus where we are.

Oh my god, people actually believe in Leighton's stewardship, and many have donated money to his campaign? What, is that some sort of negative? That some people do want him to secure a third term as mayor?

If Leighton's record as mayor only served as an indictment of sorts, wouldn't the big money be going the other his opponents?

Seriously, this is sophistry already. All I'm getting from the would-be leader is that the neighborhoods will be significantly improved by way of some still yet-to-be-seen magic wand. That somebody out there stole an election sign. And that some phone poll included some supposedly mean-spirited, leading questions. That's it?

On one hand, you have a candidate that hired two new platoons of police officers. On the other hand, you have someone who fancies themselves as Wilkes-Barre's foremost law enforcement expert. Someone who squarely points the finger of blame for the fast-accelerating societal decay on an elected official in a third-class city in Pennsylvania.

As far as lawlessness and an anemic response to it is concerned, try taking that suggested trip back to late 2003, when 3 police officers patrolled the city on a typically lazy Sunday morning...three! Lazy, that is, until someone acted out and Wilkes-Barre's police department was reduced to keeping track of the backlog of calls to 911. I've been there and seen that while out and about on the bicycles armed with portable police scanners.

Sorry, but an enhanced crime watch contingent will not keep our neighborhoods under control, only boots on the ground can achieve that. Only dedicated, well-trained, well-armed police officers in sufficient numbers will ever come close to returning us to the days when we can leave the front screen door unlocked. And to that end, one candidate has seized upon every possible opportunity to bolster the ranks of our police department, while the other has prowled around at night, praising our police officers' performance, but constantly carping on and on about their leadership.

Well, the way I see it, if the coach sucks, then the team probably sucks, too. So which is it already? Is Chief Dessoye a capable leader, or should he be unceremoniously replaced by a member of the crime watch, too? Is the mayor inattentive to our policing needs? Should he too be replaced by those who would patrol rather than do what they were originally chartered to

You know the answers to those overdue questions. And so do the majority of the voters of Wilkes-Barre.

$65,000? That's it?

Oh my god!


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