"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Friday 28 August 2015


Tom Mrakas uses Facebook to communicate with residents. With more than a hint of frustration, lhe brought up an issue yesterday. I think he should publish a blog. It has its advantages. 

First it opens a dialogue and second, it takes the edge off frustration Third , it makes other Councilors and the Mayor aware of people and what they think about town affairs. 

It's nknsense to suggest a blog doesn't matter. Everything  matters to a politician. Even the ones who haughtily pretend they are not politicians while enjoying all the perks of political office. Silly asses. 

I think the more blogs the better. It takes time but also gives people who pay attention an opportunity to put their oar in. 

The topic that really got Tom rattled was  lack of support for a hiring freeze. I can understand it. 

 But it's not simple. The  problem is deeper than he knows. The town has many different departments. Not all managed with the same efficiency. 

The parks department has a skeleton full-time staff withwork to keep them occupied during winter. Seasonal employees take care of summer maintenance and winter programs inside facilities. 

Good workers are brought back every year and employees  given the opportunity to gain different skills. They do not enjoy benefits and security and therefore cost less for the same output. The disadvantage is all employees seek secure employments and benefits. If you are raising a family that has to be a priority. A good employee will go elsewhere for that opportunity.

 It's a risk  the town takes. 

During the 2014 budget, the Chief Financial Officef recommended contract employees in the works department become permanent employees. He said it wasn't fair for them to be doing the same work alongside full-time employees without having the same security and benefits. Council agreed and made the contract employees permanent. It added to full - time complement and cost more and. Made the seasonal contract employees in other department second-class. 

When the town is fully built out and  the work load reduced flexibility is gone. 

A couple of weeks ago I heard of a  part -time employee,hired for customer service at an hourly wage of $29. 

Part-time town employees are paid Union rates. This one  is being paid twice that amount. 
It's inconsistent,unfair and certainly unlikely to contribute to morale. It shows no respect for the taxpayer and makes one wonder whose interest is being served. The decision was made by a Director 
and that becomes an obvious question of judgement. 

Even if Tom heard about it and brought it up at the council table at an in-camera meeting, the Mayor would refuse to determine  the facts of it. It would come under the heading of micro-managing and he is dead set against that. Although perfectly content to have whatever he wants followed up lickety-split. 

Councilor Abel would demand  "What do you want us to do about it? Climb the Walls of the Bastille"

It's like trying to do battle in a room full of cotton batting. Exhausting and futile. 

A blog is the answer .....it preserves sanity and provides an escape from frustration. 

The field is clear. 

There is little competition.  

Their ideas and objectives would collapse under scrutiny. They know that better than anyone. 


Anonymous said...

They are going back at the hiring freeze again. Maybe good sense will prevail.
As for Tom setting up a Blog, you should know better than most the time one consumes. Give him another year or so using the stuff he is using now and then raise the subject again.

Anonymous said...

Bu then who will provide you with all the insider info for your blog? It wouldn't make sense to have two blogs posting the same info, taking the same stance? We think you should keep doing the dirty work and let him keep his hands "clean".

Anonymous said...

The former mayor kept a locked door between herself and residents who might convey unwelcome news.
[ what the heck was that all about ? }
The present mayor simply shuts his mind.
[ you can actually see his eyes glaze over ]
I have attempted to get past both obstacles and found the current one more difficult.

Anonymous said...

If that is truly how you feel, 14:08, you have zero credibility. There is absolutely no comparison between the "former" and the "current."

Anonymous said...

I believe this is Dawe's last kick at the can in politics. He looks tired and worn, and that "I don't give a damn anymore" look is always on his face.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's complicated at all Evelyn. Tom did'nt ask for a hiring freeze forever. It was just a year! Just as I thought that maybe Thompson was finally getting his act together, he pulls this stupidity. The others I expected. Clueless. And to think they have jobs other than being councillors. If they were my emplyees and watched these clowns in action, out the door they go! Embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

Thompson has done that to me too many times now. Any more would be my fault.

Anonymous said...

Did you question the credibility of someone commenting anonymously on a blog ?

Anonymous said...


Did you question an anonymous blog commenter questioning the credibility of another anonymous blog commenter?

Anonymous said...

Tom is just fine where he is doing what he does.
And there is another newbie showing signs of independence,

Anonymous said...

Tom is trying to reach out to people. I think it's a good thing. We can't tell him what to do, but social media has limited audience, hopefully he knows that, but it is also good because because it is reminder based media. I read his second last FB post, it popped on my wall, it was sponsored. If I am correct blogs are free.

Anonymous said...

Mr Watts has some ads that do not bother me. I wish that we could get some for Evelyn but do not know how and she might not like it............

Christopher Watts said...


I've read a similar comment before, perhaps from yourself, suggesting that Evelyn implement advertising on her blog because you perceive this to be some sort of revenue stream.

It's not.

The ads you see on my blog are in place by Automatic Inc. the company that provides the hosting to Wordpress.com site. The same company that Phyllis Morris attempted to sue in her ignorant SLAPP lawsuit. Automatic Inc. explains that it runs ads to cover the costs of hosting: https://wordpress.com/about-these-ads/

Evelyn's blog is hosted on Google's Blogger platform and could enable Google's Adsense program, but if you think there is $ to made you need to read about Page Click Through Rates and Cost Per Click to get a sense about the cents that would be realized:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Sort of like a writer getting pennies from the sale of books and hearing it referred to as " royalties ".
Besides it was none of my business.

Anonymous said...

She tried to sue them as well? Do you know if they recouped any costs?

Anonymous said...

Showing signs of independence? Jeff Thom?? I see nothing of the sort.

Anonymous said...

Where did you get that ?
Someone mentioned the Tom of the topic, not the other Thom who shows zilch independence.

Anonymous said...

I think that was the point of the comment.