Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tragedy Unfolds

“Hutchison's Law:  Any occurrence requiring undivided attention will be accompanied by a compelling distraction.” - Robert Bloch

Many have expressed amusement at the circus that Mayor Dennis Hannon has created in Johnson City.  The daily dispatches regarding "investigations" and charges has become a source of daily amusement much like the comics section.  While lives and careers are trashed, many sit idly by waiting for the next shoe to drop.  Putting aside the human tragedy that Hannon has brought to these individuals, there is still nothing funny or amusing about Hannon's tactics or antics.  It is becoming ever clearer that while Hannon plots his next vindictive scheme, Johnson City slides further down in livability and economic development.

Fire Starter has previously pointed out the numerous empty store fronts on Main Street as evidence of Hannon's neglect.  We have pointed out the devastation on public safety through reckless and ill conceived cuts to police and fire.  We have repeatedly pointed out the folly of the shared Joint Fire Administrator and Police Chief and the lack of any real savings from these hair brained schemes.  Hannon has systematically torn down the Village piece by piece and neglected infrastructure and economic development.

It was with no great surprise that we read this morning of continued neglect being sited for the failure at the sewage treatment plant.  In the immediate aftermath of the failure that released thousands of gallons of tainted water and human solid waste into nearby streams and rivers, the finger pointing began.  However, upon close examination, it is clear that the ultimate cause for this tragic and costly failure was the neglect of Mayors Hannon and Ryan. 

Today's Press & Sun Bulletin reveals that the leaders of these two communities were aware of the defects and potential consequences for at least three years.  Reports going back as far as 2008 cited structural deficiencies that were not addressed.  While Hannon was busy bullying Village employees and Ryan was concerned with the cost of the war in Iraq, the problems went ignored.  The result was the catastrophic failure we witnessed a week ago.

The environmental impact of this catastrophic failure is unclear.  But what is patently clear is that there will be a significant financial impact on the residents of these communities.  Both Mayors have let their petty issues get in the way of their core mission: to provide services to the residents of their communities.  If Hannon wants to be a bully, sign up for the MMA tour.  If Ryan wants to address the cost of war in Iraq, run for congress.  In the meantime, you were placed in office to provide services to taxpayers.  DO YOUR JOB!

The next time someone chuckles regarding the antics of these leaders, remind them that this nonsense is being pursued on your time and on your dime.  If one were to post a "cost of frivolity" clock showing the wasted resources and lost tax revenue, none of this would seem quite so funny. 

And in the end, it is not funny.  It is tragic.

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