Get out the liquor licenses and let’s all rejoice! ABC claims to have a “hit” show this season called Revenge. I put quotation marks around the word hit because it is ABC that's touting the show’s hit status. I’ve asked around and nobody seems to be watching it. The program is set in some steamy, wealthy place where everyone is steamily attractive as they push forward their steamy agendas. Sounds a little bit like Moorestown these days, what with the balmy weather and the town council meltdown.
Obviously, this is not a television program about good neighbors, harmony or the gastric explosion known to afflict us snowbirds when in Mexico. It is also not a show about politics in Mo’town or the upcoming Republican slate for town council. Although if you’ve been reading Patch lately, ya gotta wonder. Last week, councilmen . They were NOT seeking revenge. If they HAD been vengeful, they would have attempted to run again.
Last summer, I was helping out at a fundraiser. If you don’t know who MoorArts is, they are an arts organization that raises money for student scholarships and teacher grants. Every dollar that comes into MoorArts goes back out to the community. When you consider the fact that no one on town council represents the arts, you understand how valuable and necessary an organization like MoorArts is.
End of commercial and back to the real story. There I was, at Fred’s Emporium, minding my own business, when I spied a big Mahaf from the elephant party browsing around. Having seen him at a town council meeting, I moseyed over and introduced myself. Without much prodding, this gentleman began to rant about the beginnings of the implosion on council. He specifically named the intractable trio who were pushing so hard for the K.I.DS. Initiative (or whatever they’re calling it these days), and hinted this trio would not have party backing in the fall election of 2012.
To say I was stunned was a gross understatement. Totally unsolicited, I had gotten the inside scoop. Those that refused to give an inch were going to be given the boot. From that conversation on, I saw the machinations of town council in a different light. I mean, if your own party doesn’t like what you’re doing, you’re doing something very, very wrong.
I have been to only one council meeting this year, I’m ashamed to say. I find it very hard to look at what’s going on there without realizing that nothing any of us do or say is going to make one bit of difference. The agenda was set in the macadam of a newly paved parking lot four years ago and the big boys will have their way. And really, isn’t that what power is all about? Doing what you want, regardless of what many of your constituents have said they DON’T want?
I was totally disgusted when the mayor appointed Mike Testa and Kevin Loftus to the Open Space Committee earlier this year. There were many well-educated and environmentally informed citizens willing to serve, but in an act that reeked of payback, two men who see the Open Space fund as a turf-lined cookie jar were appointed to serve. Mr. Mayor, may I offer up some words of wisdom from Confucius?
“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
Your absolute refusal to compromise has now come back to bite you, sir.
Testa and Gallo have said they won’t run again in order to devote more time to their families. As all of us parents know, our children pass through our lives very quickly, so their goal is admirable. Alas, I remain a skeptic, especially after watching what has happened politically over the last year.
Blinking over Deputy Mayor Gallo’s head is a huge neon sign that reads “I’m Ambitious.” I wouldn’t be surprised to find him popping up in a different political arena, perhaps at the county level. Mr. Testa will be spending more quality time with his family and being obstinate at the Open Space meetings. A little bird tweeted me to say that at the last OS meeting, Testa pooh-poohed every proposed acquisition in a way that was very intimidating to the other members. Rumor has it that he also threatened to buy the properties himself. Talk about consensus-building!
The town is all abuzz, wondering if Mayor Button will attempt to run for mayor again, even though . He remains convinced his many (?) supporters can carry him to victory. But people are tired of your intransigence, Mr. Mayor, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans. It is time for change and for healing.
At my age, I find I am still stunned by the actions of others. People who are probably very nice people in one area of their lives forget the Golden Rule in other areas of their lives. The best politicians are the ones who listen and learn, the ones who are willing to bend. There has always been room for compromise on the big issues facing our town, but that acquiescence has not been visible with the TC Trio.
Regardless of which party wins in November, we can only hope the newly elected will have learned from their predecessors and are ready to serve everyone in town, not just the sports clubs. ? Someone who wants to preserve open space? Someone willing to compromise?
Some words of wisdom from President Abraham Lincoln, for anyone considering a run at town council:
“Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.”