If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. - George Washington
Fire Starter has learned that Mayor Dennis Hnnon has begun a new assault on the first amendment to the United States Constitution. And this time, it is not aimed toward the fire fighters.
Apparently, members of the PBA grew alarmed that their concerns and positions were not being properly being relayed to Village Board members. They met with the "Public Safety Committtee" to express concerns over significant safety and operational deficiencies in the current "shared services" model. The rosy picture painted by Hannon is a long way from the reality (more on the specifics at a future date). Although this committee includes both Trustee Rick Ball-less (er..Balles) and Ron "Deep Thinker" Davis, only Davis earned his pay that day as Balles was AWOL. Frustrated with having to rely on Davis to relay their concerns, the PBA met separately with Trustees Deemie and Novobilski.
Well apparently only Hannon and his friendlies can have conversations with mere employees. Hannon learned of this meeting and asserted that the meeting was improper (not really sure why) and that it should not occur again (not sure what he will do if it does). He admonished Trustees against becoming informed. Apparently Hannon is the "Oracle of Delphi" and all information must pass through him and be suitably filtered to suit his needs. If individuals speak directly with Board Members, those Members may get information, ideas...who knows where it might end!
This attempted restriction on information to Trustees is particularly interesting in light of a recent trip the Fire Starter took to the Red Robin Diner. Imagine our surprise when we walked into the Johnson City eatery to find Mayor Hannon cozied up with the Cirba brothers of the mis-nanmed Citizens for a Better Broome. What nefarious plots they were hatching is unknown since they left soon after we arrived. But it certainly is interesting that Hannon is available to receive marching orders from these "Tea Party" types.
What was most interesting was the fact that shortly after the Cirba brothers left, our old friend, former Trustee Monica Silas came in for her "Papal" audience (we did not actually see the "ring kissing" but are certain it happened). Neither Hannon nor Silas apparently recognized the Fire Starter. The ensuing conversation ranged various issues including confidential personnel matters. If we had a nickel for every time Hannon has claimed the inability to talk about a matter due to "confidentiality"...well you get the picture. Yet here was Hannon speaking on a wide range of confidential matters to an ordinary citizen. The tone of the conversation was also interesting in that they both gloated about how surprised a Village labor leader will be when their plot is executed.
What Hannon and Silas apparently were unaware of was the fact their voices carry and that Fire Starter generally carries a recording device. Imagine their surprise at learning this.
For now we will "sit on" the recording and it's contents. We certainly don't want to disclose this confidential information before it is necessary. There will probably be a time in the future when it will shed great light on their plots and motivations. And we will keep the recording safe.
But this ultimately begs the question: Is this squelching of the free exchange of ideas and backroom plotting really what the Mayor of Johnson City should be spending his time on?