I'm a true believer in karma. You get what you give, whether it's bad or good. - Sandra Bullock
Mayor Dennis Hannon announced Tuesday that he would resign his position as Mayor of the Village of Johnson City effective December 31, 2011. In the Press & Sun Bulletin, Hannon cited personal and family health as the reasons. Although many have questioned his true motivations, the Fire Starter is willing to take his assertions at face value.
First the personal. Mayor Hannon's personal popularity in the Village has taken a precipitous drop in the last year. Initially, village residents accepted his explanations for his heavy handed approach to village governance. Many were willing to give his version of leadership a try. Despite the injustices dealt to longtime village employees, many residents were willing to see if Hannon really had the answers. As time has passed, it has become patently clear that his management style has been a disaster and his "my way or the highway" approach to labor relations has done nothing but line the pockets of village attorneys.
Now the chickens are beginning to come home to roost. Hannon took a heavy handed approach toward police department negotiations and got slapped with a million dollar arbitration decision. And there are still four more years of contract to negotiate just to get current! Hannon's touted fire fighter layoff plan is on life support in the Appeals Court and the tab for that folly will likely exceed 1 million dollars. Hannon's answer to these cases is to dissolve the village. Only village residents are on to him and rose up against the plan. At recent board meetings, residents insisted that Hannon fix the mess he made. Instead of taking the criticism to heart, he gaveled out and talked over his critics.
But it is obvious the pressure of his repeated failures has become too great. So if he can not dissolve the village, he will pack up and run from the problems he created. What leadership!
Second, Hannon cites "family health". Karma is a severe disciplinarian. One can not spread the caustic bile Hannon has traded in and not have it come back to him. The Fire Starter has learned that Hannon has been battling various "self inflicted" ailments over the last few years. It appears that his vindictive ways are finally catching up to him.
Make no mistake. The Fire Starter respects Karma and wishes Mayor Hannon all the best in his retirement. We only wish it had come sooner.
Hannon was quoted as saying ""I think that I have started the village on the course that it needs to be on...".
In leaving, he might just have done that.