“Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi
The Johnson City Village Board election is upon us. So who should be surprised by the underhanded dirty dealing occurring in the Village.
Prior to yesterday afternoon, Fire Starter thought the worst had come and gone. A sitting Board member was blatantly telling lies about her opponent. Another Board candidate was suspended from the practice of law and the media yawned. Campaign signs were stolen and destroyed. In other words, a normal election cycle for the "corruptacrats".
Yesterday, the campaign took a new and even uglier turn. The Fire Starter found an anonymous flier on the doorstep which featured photos of current and retired fire fighter's houses and the legend "a vote for Greg Deemie is a vote for the Fire Department". This seems to follow up on Silas' lie previously debunked on these pages. Somehow, because Greg Deemie had recordings of Village Board meetings and was subpoenaed to verify the contents of those recordings, he is a "vote for the Fire Department".
What is most stunning is that this is at least the second time Silas, Balles and their supporters seem to cast the conflict as the Village versus the Fire Department. As previously noted, the Fire Department is a department within the Village. However, this certainly does provide some insight into the thinking of these candidates. So when Silas and Balles tells you they are for public safety, remember these facts:
- Silas and Balles approved reductions in police staff in the face of the rising crime problem in the Village.
- Silas has supported combining the Village police department with the Binghamton police department despite the risks to public safety from the resulting under staffing.
- Silas and Balles supported the "shared" police chief concept with the accompanying increase in cost and decrease in service.
- Silas initiated and Balles supported the idea of illegally laying off six fire fighters despite offers from the fire fighter union which would have reduced costs and maintained appropriate staffing.
- Silas and Balles supported the "shared" fire chief concept with the accompanying increase in cost and decrease in service.
- Silas opposes any proposal regarding fire service which would keep a professional fire department protecting Village residents.
- Silas advocated for rejecting the 1.3 million SAFER grant which would have reinstated the six laid off fire fighters at NO COST to the Village.
The Hannon, Silas and Balles years have been marked by unprecedented acrimony and wasteful and vengeful spending with little to show for it. Crime is on the rise. Neighborhoods have deteriorated. Code enforcement is a joke. Hannon, Balles and Silas have a lot to account for. And tomorrow is your chance to send a message.