Razzle Dazzle ’em

Give ’em the ole Razzle Dazzle… razzle dazzle ’em…

How can they hear the truth above the roar…

Everyone loves the big bamboozaler…

When you’re in trouble, go into your dance…

Razzle dazzle ’em, and they’ll beg you for more…

Honestly, there just isn’t time at the moment to adequately convey the razzle dazzle production that is the Lake Park Town Meeting. So, to give you an idea of the hocus pocus of it all, I present you this…

This production of Chicago might resonate with you if you have had any experience watching the town meeting on Channel 18 as I have…Watching our town meeting can in some ways be like watching a three ring circus or a theatrical production…minus the scantily clad beauties hanging from the ceiling, of course.

If you are not participating or at least watching what is happening with the Town of Lake Park, you are doing yourself a disservice. Once you get a glimpse into what is going on that you never hear about otherwise, you realize the kind of foundation being built. Rather disconcerting things have gone on and others will continue unchecked, without some real scrutiny by residents. No one in government should be given free reign and this town is an example of that with it’s many confusing and intricate operations.  Every time the town pulls out the “razzle dazzle” and the “hocus pocus”, we need to sit up, take notice and dig in.

Last night, as expected, yet another display of something I am really at a loss to describe took place. As with all things political, there is quite a spin. And it is indeed political.

If you haven’t really been thinking things through, you might buy into the big bamboozle. Thankfully, there are citizens who are able to cut through the flim flam and see the facts, pull them out from the distracting theatrics of the town meeting and disseminate the information.

As usual, last night, questions were asked by some and neatly sidestepped by others regarding issues such as the grant about which the Mayor met with Allen West. Ms. Longtin made note of the fact that the Mayor originally said he met with Mr. West to seek an EPA grant, but the records show that he was actually meeting in regard to a grant for the Marina Village, valued at $2.5 million. Grant Writer Martin attested to the fact that they are not one in the same grant either.

Somehow, during that conversation those responding to the question “razzle dazzled”, waved their arms around a few times and it was all neatly obscured and the topic of which grants our town is going after was dropped as if it all made sense. It didn’t. The point of the matter was that our town is seeking $2.5 million for the Marina Village project, yet the Mayor, when asked about it earlier by this blogger, made no mention of the Marina Village. He instead said they were seeking an EPA grant for the Marina as well as a library grant. Please see the entry entitled Mayor Dubois Meet Congressman West.

During the discussion last night, the mayor made a statement that sounded as if he probably wasn’t really sure what the grant was about when he met with Mr. West. Well, great. Could that be because he was there at the behest of the Town Manager and was merely the conduit for the meeting? I don’t know, it’s just a question, but someone has to ask the questions when things don’t make sense. Just dropping the subject because they say “nothing to see here…” would be ludicrous.

Ms. Longtin brought up a very interesting and important question regarding the Community Development Corporation in relation to the town garden and what she maintained is $2 million they have wrapped up in that land on Foresteria (that’s my understanding of what was said). Certainly it’s far too complicated an issue to delve into in passing, but it must be addressed. I have many questions of my own in regard to Garden and the CDC, which I had already planned to bring up soon and hope to do so within the next few days or by next week.

I appreciate Mr. Hockman bringing up the issue about postponing the approval of the meeting minutes due to the ridiculous amount of them to go through. He took a great amount of flack for this simple request even to the point where Mr. Rumsey insinuated he should not be a Commissioner if he couldn’t read 497 pages in 4 or 5 days. This was over the line in my opinion. I was the citizen who wrote and asked all of the commission to consider taking some time to approve these minutes due to the fact there were 7 sets to go through in about 4 days. Mr. Hockman was the one who responded to this resident’s request and was raked over the coals and treated very disrespectfully by Mayor Dubois and Mr. Rumsey because of it.

The mayor went on to be “outraged” over Mr. Hockman saying there was not adequate time to review the minutes. This was absurd because he contradicted that outrage throughout the meeting by not showing the same concern, or any concern whatsoever, over the Town staff’s lack of time to get the minutes to the commission long before they did. The Town Manager’s excuses, of not having time to do certain tasks because she was busy with other tasks, emails and because she was about to go on vacation, didn’t get the mayor’s ire up either. Interesting. Not only was the mayor fine with his staff’s lack of time to get their job done, despite the fact that is their full-time job and one they are paid ridiculously well for, but he even went so far as to make excuses for them. Unacceptable. His attempts to excuse the late drop of 7 sets of meeting minutes comprising hundreds of pages of information to disseminate all at once was nonsense.

He further displayed hypocrisy by accusing another commissioner of playing politics by giving consideration to another commissioner when they requested it.

Let me tell you, the TV gets an earful with this type of disingenuous pronouncement from the mayor and others on the commission, and it is very disrespectful and unprofessional. He stated that there is no place for politics on the commission. Wow! Really? Just WOW!! I can’t begin to express the audacity of that statement. You know what they say about the pot calling the kettle black. His ability to welcome discussion on matters from those he agrees with and to attempt to deny discussion from those he sees as his opposition is just one example of this…all while using his position as a figurehead to do so.

I would like to thank Commissioner Stevens for taking a reasonable stance on the issue of the minutes and for voting to postpone the approval. I realize he felt it was unnecessary, but he did attempt to show some consideration both for Mr. Hockman and this resident who made the request. Thank you.

Unfortunately, I believe that the mayor and Mr. Rumsey, while attesting to their speed-reading abilities, seemed to misunderstand the quality of the review Mr. Hockman intended to do beyond their mere read-through. The meeting minutes are a permanent record of proceedings and the Mayor’s seeming belief that the staff’s work on the minutes needs no real scrutiny was of concern. He seemed to see no need to oversee their work because he stated they have a thorough process. However, we elected him as one of their ultimate bosses. He was hired to do that job, attested to by the fact that the commission has to approve the minutes. It must be important, then, wouldn’t you say?

Thank you, Mr. Hockman for daring to do your job correctly.

That’s it for now. Keep an eye out for that old “Razzle Dazzle”!