Saturday, June 14, 2008

When Politics Trumps Policy, Everyone Loses

Note - 17 Jun 2008 - Just in case you read this blog via RSS you may want to see the comments section to follow a very engaging discussion .

This week, Laurel City Council Member Mike Sarich published a press release calling for the addition of a second city polling location in ward two. In his message, Councilman Sarich opens with the following quote, "Laurel in potential violation of multiple election laws, Sarich says." He goes on to provide his findings in support of this conclusion drawing from his own twelve-page legal and quantitative analysis previously provided to the council.

Councilman Sarich concludes: "If we want to continue to willfully and knowingly potentially violate the above laws and guidelines, it is clear that Laurel may face intervention from the courts. In order to avoid this, Laurel should add at least one polling place and redraw its current Ward boundaries". You can find Councilman Sarich's complete press release here.

Laurel Council President Fred Smalls, on behalf of the rest of the City Council, responded with his own message Friday stating, "I, along with the other members of the Laurel City Council, are appalled by Mr. Sarich’s press release and its intentionally misleading, prejudicial allegations developed by his desire to preempt the election process."

Mr. Smalls' continues, "Mr. Sarich has made a bold attempt to publicly shame, embarrass, and discredit the City Council and the City of Laurel. The City Council will meet in special meeting on Monday, June 16, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. to publicly censure Mr. Sarich for his disgraceful actions." You can find Mr. Smalls complete press release here.

----------------------------
I've been an advocate for a second polling place in Ward Two since I served on a city voter participation task force in 1994. However, I strongly disagree with Mr. Sarich's tactics. I'm afraid that he may have turned an excellent policy initiative into an election season political stunt. Everyone loses when elected officials let political agendas trump sound policy making processes.

- Rick

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I've been an advocate for a second polling place in Ward Two since I served on a city voter participation task force in 1994."

So you agree with Sarich?

Anonymous said...

rick - your statement is rather confusing. you seem to agree with sarich on the idea, but not on how he is going about it - when i read the headline (politics vs policy) and the the two quick summaries (we need another poll place or we might be in trouble vs. we are having a meeting to call this guy on the carpet) i figured that the "we need another poll place" guy was in the RIGHT and the bad bad politics was the "how dare this person say this" position.

if we need another poll location, why would the council be looking to quash sarich? and why would you be supporting that?

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for Sarich! Once again he shows that he's not willing to let the "good old boys" have thier way. I'm proud he's willing to stand up to these guys.

Anonymous said...

Snyder says they don't "have time" to fix the issue but they have time to hold an emergency meeting to criticize him? Strange.

mike said...

so sarich doesn't bow and scrape before the powers that be. he just tells the truth and leads with his nose. sort of like that mccain guy. i wonder how he puts up w/all this b.s.

Anonymous said...

All these "anonymous" comments are interesting - strange that many anonymous comments on blogs often sound like a single writer.

stephen johnson said...

So this has been brought up in 1994? Why has it taken so long for another polling place to be created--if it ever does?
I did not vote for Sarich nor will I for other reasons but at least someone is doing something for the Ward 2 people.
Can we please get another place open for the next election?

Stephen

A.P. said...

Rick, I think you are calling the wrong press release a political stunt. Instead of addressing a set of facts he so vehemently disagrees with, Council President Smalls has only managed to sensationalize the issue. The City Council President’s response seems disproportionate to the content of Councilman Sarich’s press release.

Sometimes it is not worth waiting for the bureaucratic wheels to turn to address an issue. Sarich presented the facts he collected to the City Council, and clearly thought the good people of Laurel deserved to know how grossly out of step the city is compared to the rest of the state. If Smalls has a problem with the content of Sarich’s press release he should have refuted them with facts of his own. But by attacking the messenger he is the one politicizing the issue.

I personally appreciate an elected official who refuses to sit back on his heels and wait for things to happen. The people of Laurel deserve to be treated with respect, including making voting convenient and fair. Council President Smalls’ immediate dismissal of the idea of adding a polling place and harsh attack on Councilman Sarich for suggesting it certainly don’t support that.

RPCV84 said...

On the face of it, I don't understand why the city council, and specifically Mr. Smalls, is so adamant about censuring Mr. Sarich. While I don't agree with Mr. Sarich on a number of issues (and he hasn't followed through on his pledge to me during the last city council election cycle to clean up the inordinate amount of unsightly litter throughout our community), I think his petition deserves a fair hearing before the council rushes toward censuring him. To censure him without judging his allegations on their merits seems to be a rash and unjustifiable decision.

And, I will not be anonymous,
Burt McKitrick
Laurel, Maryland

Anonymous said...

One of the things that is being missed in this discussion of the Council and Mr Sarich is not the one of his mendacities on this issue, legion though they may be. It is about his repeated, consistent and venal disrespect of the other members of the Council, the Mayor, and the council of the City Solicitor.

The Council has, indeed, discussed this issue. To my understanding, it was decided to hold off on the second polling place until the Mayoral election of 2010, since the higher numbers then would be a far truer test of the necessity of such a polling place. Again, I understand that this was discussed at a regular meeting of the Council, if Mr Sarich had objections then, I am sure we will find them on the tape.
This is a stunt to try and build up his chances in his irremediable race for the At Large seat.

I will sign this descriptively since I am responding to so many Anonymously signed posts.

I am,
Cantankerous in old Town

Keith said...

"...repeated, consistent and venal disrespect of the other members of the Council, the Mayor, and the council of the City Solicitor."

While respect is indeed a good thing, it does seem that politicians often spend too much time respectfully doing nothing instead of making useful changes.

"...it was decided to hold off on the second polling place until the Mayoral election of 2010, since the higher numbers then would be a far truer test of the necessity of such a polling place..."

The problem here is the concept of "necessity". Is a second polling place necessary? No, but I can't imagine anybody successfully arguing that it isn't the right thing to do. I'm 100% sure that a second location would result in higher turnout - and that can't be a bad thing.

As a long-time resident of Ward 2 I've always thought it was very strange that the polling places for city and general elections differ. It seems like the residue of a time when the older part of town didn't really want the newer parts to be proportionally represented.

Bill said...

After the initial fuss was raised at the previous meetings, I read the press release from the city where they said they were censuring Sarich, and then read Sarich's press release. (Thank you Mr. Wilson for providing the link.) And tonight, I watched the council censure meeting on Laurel's Cable channel. What struck me most strongly is that Mr. Sarich is not good at being a councilman.
From the statements in his press release, and his statements and tone at tonight's meeting, it seems he is more concerned about being right than he is about being effective. His attitude tonight seemed to be "I'm right, everyone else is wrong, and I want everyone to just do as I say RIGHT NOW." In the various releases circulated, it was made clear that a major drawback to doing a new polling place now is money. So, Instead of taking money from our police, fire & rescue, or other vital services, I would prefer that the council spend at least a year working out all the details and budgeting. Any rushed out polling place now would just risk turning our Local elections into a tangle that makes Florida's "Hanging Chads" look downright civilized.
Sarich could have taken this opportunity to find some common ground with the rest of the council, in the hopes of working together more effectively, but instead he came off with a "Screw you all" attitude. I don't know what personal issues Sarich has towards Mr. Leszcz, but tonight Mr. Sarich seemed to go out of his way to antagonize Mike Leszcz.
I think a man who expresses his concern for the people should worry more about those people and less about his own personal agenda.

Rick Wilson said...

Mr. Sarich was censured Monday evening by the Laurel City Council by a 4-1 vote.

JR said...

Full Disclosure:
I was at the "hearing" and I'm a friend of Mike's.

Everyone at the "hearing"-not that the Council wanted to hear anything Mike had to say-agreed as does the moderator here and the majority of the commentators that Mike is right.

The moderator of this blog says he's been in favor of the proposal since 1994, that's 14 years! In the interim he served as the President of the Council. Maybe he's embarrassed that a position he supported for so long has not been advanced?

At the hearing the Council President initially refused to even give Mike a copy of what he was being charged with. He cut Mike off, at one point giving hm five minutes to finish and then cut him off a minute later!

So to sum up, Mike is right-according to the moderator, the majority of the community of commentators-and the Council censured him for what? Sending along information to the public?

Sorry Laurel, I don't live here and I'm glad I don't. I like living where the right to say what you think isn't challenged by an out of control Council.

Keith said...

I have no idea what the cost would be to open a second polling place, but the Council better be pretty darned sure that Sarich is wrong about the potential legal problems associated with the current system. Otherwise, they'll have a pennywise/pound-foolish situation on their hands. Operating a polling station that, given past elections, would probably only have to serve a few hundred voters, can't be as expensive as court time (on top of the time and effort that's already been wasted on dueling press releases and censure meetings).

Anonymous said...

As a city resident and voter I want to say that I always voted for Mr Sarich, but not this time. Watching the SHOW last night on tv I found out that he is only interested in himself and not what is best for the city.

mike sarich said...

First, I want to thank the people who have posted (both those that support and those that oppose). Rick's digital porch is alive and well and that's a good thing.

There's few take-away points from this experience;

1. Censure is an enumerated, not an implied power. You can look that up in the U.S. Constitution if you like (Art 1, Sec. 5) and other City Charters and State Constitutions. While the action last night was improper, it served a good purpose. It highlighted the need for a second polling place and put to rest the "we don't have time to meet & solve this issue."

2. The issue of cost was not raised last night (nor has it ever been a factor). the projected cost would be less than $5,000. The overall City budget will be around $25,000,000 this year.

3. Most importantly, not one issue as to the facts of my press release, nor my full memo has been raised. Because my analysis is accurate and based on objective facts, I don't expect there to be any criticism in the future.

A wise man told me that you're entitled to your opinions, but not your own facts. The Laurel City Council can improperly censure me; however, they can not argue with the facts. Water is still wet, ice is still cold, and we still need a second polling place in Ward 2.

As to Bill, if you read my press release you'll see that I endorse both Mike Lesczc's position and that of the Mayor's. I also call on us to work with the Administration and our "esteemed Mayor." Further, I've been working on this issue for 18 months, the facts are clear. My initial memo was sent out Feb. 8, 2007.

I've received about a dozen emails and a bunch of calls. Among the best was a supporter who sent this Arthur Schopenhaur quote to me;

"All truth passes through 3 stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self evident."

I think we're somewhere between the second and third stage with more and more people seeing it as self-evident every day.

Thanks again for the privilege of serving you.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sarich is not much on the City Council after six years. He likes to spin things his way and believes his way is the only way. I am happy they called you on it. Watching last nights meeting way a joke, you could not even answer the questions on why you had to send us bad information out.

Rick Wilson said...

Folks: Please forgive the delay in publishing your comments today. I have turned on comment moderation process and this means your comments queue up until I have time to read and approve them. I also want everyone to know that I have approved every comment that was sent to this thread without modification.

jen said...

a) he was cut off multiple times
b) no one says his information is false (actually the opposite)
c) get over it, you don't have to like him but no one is disputing he's right, he is

Anonymous said...

The fact is that working with the Mayor, Council, and community to address whether and how to set up another polling station is a good idea.

Telling the Council that you're going to work with them, and then sending out an alarming and misleading press release the next day anyway is not a good idea. It might not be "illegal", but it's in bad taste and bad form.

Getting censured by all of your colleagues is no way to build the relationships you need to get good policy implemented.

Mike said...

I am a life long resident of Laurel and although I am young, I have no plans on leaving this wonderful city. I am extremely proud of where I come from, but last nights meeting left me feeling an extraordinary amount of disappointment and embarrassment. First, I was disappointed that the council was not able state more clearly the obvious misleading and self promoting actions taken by Councilmen Sarich. Next, the embarrassment stemmed from the childish and extremely unorganized defense put forth by Councilmen Sarich, who is supposed to be an honest and distinguished representative of this great city of Laurel.

Above, Mr.Sarich has provided us with a “few take-away points”. I would like to express why I feel these points completely side step the serious issues.

1. Mr. Sarich states, “While the action last night was improper, it served a good purpose. It highlighted the need for a second polling place and put to rest the “we don't have time to meet & solve this issue””. It is pretty obvious that the Council and Mayor agree with your stance that this issue must be addressed, which is why the council and you, Mr. Sarich agreed to further investigate this claim at a later date.
2. Mr. Sarich brought to the readers attention that, “The issue of cost was not raised last night nor has it ever been a factor”. This is very true, which is why I find it extremely interesting and completely off base for Mr. Sarich to even mention. Neither Mr. Small’s press release, nor the censure meeting brought up anything related to the cost of the proposed second polling place. Furthermore, the $5,000 total you reached is an estimate not a fact, which you do not make clear in your post.
3. Mr. Sarich claims, “not one issue as to the facts of my press release, nor my full memo has been raised. Because my analysis is accurate and based on objective facts…”. Once again Mr. Sarich has attempted to mislead his constituents. In President Small’s press release it clearly asserts, “The City Solicitor also advised Mr. Sarich that many of the cases and laws cited by Mr. Sarich have no applicability to or bearing upon City elections”. Obviously, there have been issues raised about Councilmen Sarich’s memo. But, it is apparent that Mr. Sarich’s experience as a lawyer far out weigh the experience and advice of Robert Manzi, a distinguished and well respected city attorney for more than 20 years.

Finally, I would like to express the serious issue which was not made clear in the meeting last night. In President Small’s press release it clearly states, “Mr. Sarich responded to Mr. Manzi that his actions are strictly political so that in case he lost the election, he would have grounds to appeal his loss”. Not once did I hear Mr. Sarich deny this accusation. That in itself is extremely problematic and shows that Mr. Sarich’s actions are entirely self promoting and for the purpose of political gain. The only defense Mr. Sarich could muster was a weak attempt at proving he had been working on this issue for 18 months. If this is true, than Mr. Sarich should be ashamed because that would mean that he sat idle for 18 months without creating a single bill! Which might I add for all those potential voters would be the first bill he has drafted in six years in public office representing the wonderful and intelligent people of Laurel.

RPCV said...

I think we need to clean house entirely on the Council. Get rid of all of them, and elect a new group. Anyone else think the same?

Burt

Anonymous said...

Are you volunteering to run Burt?

Mr Sarich is simply looking for an issue on which to run. After striking out before, he has now found this.

ward 2 bill said...

i agree with burt, any chance monique, dennis, dave, donna and jhanna are all running? maybe they can form a team that's not so dysfunctional they have to hold bickering fests to one-up each other...

a.p. said...

I think any one of us would have gotten frustrated had we been in Mike's place last night. I was also there, and I can say that Mike certainly handled himself a lot better than I would have. The Council is clearly reaching for anything and everything they can to throw at Mike. They could have come out looking like heroes if they had actually addressed the issue. Instead, I think they look like vengeful busybodies who have time to reprimand each other but not add polling places. I challenge anyone posting comments here to sit on that dais and do better.

Anonymous said...

I do believe that the Laurel voters will use good judgement in this, as they did when they elected Senator Rosapepe and got rid of his do-nothing predesessor. It is one thing if one or two members vote for a censure but when all the council members do then you do have to wonder.

fred said...

wonder is right! wonder what in the heck they're doing wasting thier time when they could be solving problems instead!

rpcv84 said...

I've not seen Mike in action on the Council. However, from my reading, I get the impression that Mike replicates the John Gianetti style of self-engrandizement and pomposity; his oversized campaign signs in the last election cycle alone left me with an uncomfortable feeling about him. (Mike, excuse me for I have not met you; this is just the impression I have.) Even if my impression is sound and the members of the Council feel likewise, there is no excuse for their unprofessional actions of Monday night. Their actions have entirely deflated the integrity of the Council in my mind. Bottom line: As I wrote in an earlier post, I think the citizens of Laurel deserve better from the Council and should compel all members to resign, en masse, immediately. I have no confidence in any further action they take.

Burt McKitrick

Anonymous said...

A.P.-

They had addressed the issue of polling places. The problem is that Mr Sarich has decided that he needed an issue to run on and has decided to spread calumnies and lies. It is his actions that were in question at the meeting, not the polling places. He wanted to play chicken with the council and paid for it. Now we have him, and you, trying to turn him into some sort of martyr.

Once more: The number of polling places was not the issue, it was his childish and obstinate behavior in trying to embarrass the rest of the council over an issue that had been handled to his satisfaction up until his other attempts at having an issue to run on failed. this would not have happened if he had not decided that he knew more about the law than the City Solicitor.

Cantankerous, and increasing Weary in Old Town

jen said...

I can't-take-ourus anymore:

a) no one say's he's lying, if you think he is, disprove him

b) the council are acting like they need a nanny (at least a reasonable bed-time or a nap)

c) how can it be an election issue if he started last year?

Anonymous said...

OK, so you're an elected official in a locality and you discover that there may be something awry in how this locality is conducting something. It might be illegal or it might just be "less than ideal".

Options"

Option #1: Work with those who can help you to get rid of the problem in an effective way without raising so much of a ruckus that outsiders get involved and start bringing lawsuits and what not.

Option #2: Pretent behind closed doors that you agree with what the rest of your locality wants to do, then send out an alarming press release that could bring negative attention, embarrassment, and lawsuits to the locality that would never have come around if he had just dealt with it in a straightforward way with other city officials.

Think about this: which do you think would be the most straightforward way to increase turnout and improve elections in a fair way: #1 or #2?

Plus, Sarich said this is all political and beside the point anyway, and that he's just looking for a reason to appeal what he sees as a likely loss in the September Council elections. Keep this in mind.

-AnonyMOUSE

Keith said...

"In President Small’s press release it clearly states, “Mr. Sarich responded to Mr. Manzi that his actions are strictly political so that in case he lost the election, he would have grounds to appeal his loss”. Not once did I hear Mr. Sarich deny this accusation. That in itself is extremely problematic and shows that Mr. Sarich’s actions are entirely self promoting and for the purpose of political gain."

At this point it really doesn't matter - if we're actually discussing the underlying issue. His intentions can be completely self-serving and still be in service of doing the right thing.

"...he's just looking for a reason to appeal what he sees as a likely loss in the September Council elections. Keep this in mind."

Sorry, but that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Looks more like he's making a suggestion that would eliminate his reason for appeal. And he feels he's less likely to lose if there's a second polling station.

Again, however, the issue should be whether or not there should be a second polling place (yes) and whether it should be done sooner than the currently planned 2010 election (yes, please).

Mike said...

“At this point it really doesn't matter - if we're actually discussing the underlying issue. His intentions can be completely self-serving and still be in service of doing the right thing.”

Once again some people are missing the entire issue. The Council did not censure Mr. Sarich because of his desire for a 2nd polling place. The council agrees that the issue needs to be addressed and as I stated before, several months ago Mr. Sarich agreed on the same time table as the rest of the council. The censure stems from the dishonest way in which Mr. Sarich delivered the memo to his constituents and his reasons for doing so.

“Again, however, the issue should be whether or not there should be a second polling place (yes) and whether it should be done sooner than the currently planned 2010 election (yes, please).”

I completely respect your opinion on getting a 2nd polling place as soon as possible. But, Mr. Sarich claims he has been working diligently on this issue since Feb. of 2007 and as I stated previously, all Mr. Sarich had to do was draft a bill! For those of you who are not familiar with the system, the drafting of a bill is not a difficult task. Mr. Sarich would simply inform the city attorney on his proposal and his desire to have a draft created. The city attorney would then write the draft, which would have been put on the books for a work session, where it would later be debated. That’s it! But instead, Mr. Sarich waited until after the budget was finished in an attempt to make some noise before the election in September. Once again I do have to mention that if Mr. Sarich had chosen to draft this particular bill, it would have been the first bill he drafted while serving 6 years on the City Council.

erin l. said...

mike-

sometimes when "everyone" is missing the point, i try and consider that it might be be who's missing the point. You might consider the same refelection.

who cares what sarich has or hasn't done with bills? he's pointed out a problem that everyone agrees should be fixed. they should all get back in the sandbox, play nice with each other, and fix the problem!

Anonymous said...

A POX ON ALL THEIR HOUSES! It has been alleged that there is a collection of people acting like children sitting on a high throne somewhere in Laurel. Is this without precedent? There may be a reason for that. Even Democrats and Republicans can get along with each other in Congress sometimes. Hmm bad example. Well, I thought these people were elected to put the city first. They seem to be playing games or observing the game. Does anyone remember "The Bickersons" ? Silly business, I'm glad we don't have to pay the bill for this foolishness. Er, actually we do...!

Please, no more loose cannons on deck, and no more wasting time cutting off a nose to spite a face.... Please wake up, we have some real issues in this wonderful town, let's keep on the path, no more brawls. Now finish your vegetables and THEN you can have dessert....

Annoyed Citizen of Laurel

anonymouse said...

But Erin l., for anyone else that would be okay to point out a problem to the people, but Sarich is an elected official. In that role, he can introduce bills and amendments to address this issue, rather than just put out a (possibly misleading) press release that alarms everyone. The obvious question is why didn't he do this before (or, what has he done so far on this issue), or, conversely, what is the benefit of his bringing it up now?

Also, is Laurel really prepared to rush through drawing ward boundaries when elections are so close? Doesn't seem like an easy process to me.

Keith said...

"The censure stems from the dishonest way in which Mr. Sarich delivered the memo to his constituents and his reasons for doing so."

If that's the case, then they've censured him for "playing politics" - and I can't imagine a worse waste of time and money. It's perfectly acceptable and expected for other members of council to publicly rebut Sarich's press release, but to use the mechanisms available to the council to censure him because he released information to the public is borderline despicable.

"Also, is Laurel really prepared to rush through drawing ward boundaries when elections are so close?"

I would consider that separately from the polling place issue and, yes, requiring more time.

I'm not too familiar with the council's "interpersonal relationships", but as I've been looking at how they've handled a few major issues over the past year it's become pretty obvious that "some of these people just plain don't like each other". They all should be pretty embarassed by this latest episode.

Meanwhile, the Laurel Commons approval process drags on into month #18.

jen l. said...

so as an elected official who is clearly being hosed he should stay quiet? one of the reasons i like people like mike representing me is that they don't take no for an answer when they believe in something. could it have been done better? maybe but would we all be talking about it if he'd kept silent?

sorry, like before just fix the problem, i'm worried about putting gas in my car not who got their feelings hurt.

rpcv said...

Keith, I agree with your posting of today. I continue to feel that we, as a community, should demand the resignation of all council members immediately as I suggested in my June 17 and 18 postings. Any ideas on what we should do to effect this action??? And, I sure hope all board members are reading what we're writing. Surprising how all of them are conspicuously silent...

Burt McKitrick

Rick Wilson said...

"Any ideas on what we should do to effect this action???"

Yes. There is one very easy way to do it and your timing is excellent. Go to the city website and download the cadidate forms for the upcoming election.

The job pays $7K/year and will consume on average about 20-25 hours a week.

DEADLINES & DATES FOR 2008 CITY OF LAUREL ELECTION

Last day to file Certificates of Nomination Monday, August 11, 2008

Last day to register to vote Friday, August 8, 2008

ELECTION DAY is Tuesday, September 9, 2008

QUALIFICATIONS FOR CITY COUNCIL

The City Councilmember’s shall be persons of known integrity, experience and sound judgment, not less than twenty-one (21) years of age, citizens of the United States, shall be registered to vote in city elections and residents of said city for the one year immediately preceding the date of their election. A councilmember shall remain a resident of the city while holding office.

Carol D said...

Enough already! I watched Sarich get what he has long deserved. He has shown and exhibited nothing but contempt for the established Charter and legislated conformities he has sworn to uphold.

As far as the second polling place, I hope everyone realizes that this is not "new" Laurel. Ward 2 also includes the large area from Gorman Avenue to Cherry Lane and from Arbory/Laurel Oaks (Van Dusen Road) to Fourth Street, a formidably dense area.

For the average 700+ voters that typically vote in a Council only election, I can't see spending $5000 for the second polling place this year. I would rather see the new election reforms Mayor Moe and the Council are developing debated, resolved, and in place for the Mayor and Council election first.

$5000 for a second polling place now? Speaking of gas, how many police patrol miles can we get for $5000. Let's wait just two more years and get it right the first time.

Not a police fan? How many park improvements or recreation programs can we enhance for $5000.

Now is just not the time for a second polliing place. 2010 is!

erin l. said...

"if it's still broke, why fix it"

I bet we could have had 5 polling places for all the money Moe spends trying to smash Sarich.

"I watched Sarich get what he has long deserved." -carol d.

Once again, it's not about Sarich, it's about fixing the problem!

Message to the Council:

So you censured Sarich, do your happy dance and fix the d*mn problem!

Keith said...

"He has shown and exhibited nothing but contempt for the established Charter and legislated conformities he has sworn to uphold"

Thankfully, in all the billions of documents indexed by Google there are no previous instances of the phrase "legislated conformities". It's unfortunate that a legitimate issue has become the trigger for unleashing a whole lot of residual resentment toward a perceived non-conformist.

"How many park improvements or recreation programs can we enhance for $5000(?)"

Unfortunately, given the average cost of any publicly-funded project, the answer is probably "zero".

"..will consume on average about 20-25 hours a week."

I know I'll regret asking, but I hope that's more like 20-25 hours a month? (Not that I'd ever be interested.)

With that, I'm done with this one. Thanks and carry on.

Mike Sarich said...

FYI:

Here is the budget for the 2008 elections;

Gen Consultants 1,825
Election Judge Chair 300
Chief Election Judges 400
Election Judge 1,125
Voting Machines 2,260
Advertising 500
Office Supplies 150
Postage Regular 100
Voting Notification 4,500

Assuming that notifications would not have to go out twice, the most expensive estimate would be about an additional $4500 for the additional polling place. The total budget for Laurel is over 25 million dollars.

The people that argue 4.5k is going to break the bank or keep the police from patrolling are simply mis or mal-informed.

Donnie D for Laurel said...

Again, Sarich is always on high speed spin drive. No one said the police were not going to patrol.
There is no one mis- or mal-formed. How many MORE patrol miles can you get for $5000? How many MORE overtime hours can you get? The point is let's get our priorities straight. This not the best time for two polling places.

You assume the second polling place would be the Community Center. You further assume the Phelps Center would remain a polling place. (Didn't YOU vote for a short term contract for the Phelps Center? When doe that lease run out? Bet you don't know!)You assume there will only be two wards. You assume At-Large voting (all citizens have the opportunity to vote for all candidates regardless of ward location.)will continue.

Mayor Moe and the REST of the Council are floating ideas of more than two wards. If there are three, then three polling places would be logical.

Why won't you just wait for all the ideas to come forward, discussed, debated, receive due public comment, and then be implemented? It isn't going to hurt anyone to wait.

Please, please Mayor Moe,
Councilmembers Smalls, Robison, Leszcz and Snyder, DO NOT rush into this. Examine your population, choose your wards carefuly, assign your polling places in a logical manner, legislate your reforms according to public input, and implement them in September, 2010.

Sarich protests too much to rush something this important. Laurel's citezens are counting on you Mayor, and you Councilmembers. We have learned we can't rely upon Sarich to be reasoned in his approach to anything.

And please, let's all get behind Mike Leszcz, NOW! We need him more than ever. The alternative is frightening!

Anonymous said...

After reading all these comments I am distressed by all this. As our seemingly never ending political cycle ramps up again, I continue to wonder about the death of civility in this country. It doesn't matter whether you're a Republican accused by the Democrats or vice versa, it is getting nasty out there. And the City is now falling prey. You once joked that you were either registered LVFD or LVRS in the City, but it appears that political animosity has reared its ugly head around town well beyond that. I know I may be just as much to blame, after all I tried to have guys wearing Red Sox and Yankee hats arrested at Camden Yards, but that's completely different. I realize how old I am to recall political campaigns where the individuals spoke of their records and accomplishments as opposed to what their opponents did or did not do. I also remember when no groups tried to us a media source to ‘Swift Boat” or “MoveOn.org” a candidate. (And yes, I do get the irony of writing on a blog while expressing disdain for the internet) Seriously, civility in politics, be it local or national, seems to be as out of fashion as 8-track tapes and vinyl records. I wish it weren’t so, but it seems to be.

And since my choices are open a google account, design a web page, or sign on as anonymous, I must choose to be "anonymous". But I am still Bob from Laurel.

Anonymous said...

all this does make you wonder why people put up with all the nonesense for what is a pretty much a volunteer job

Anonymous said...

---> RESPONSE TO JR - FRIEND OF MIKE'S <---

Jr,

I guess we can factor out your aberrant comment, as it appears you are motivated by hostility rather than honest dissatisfaction or dissagreement.

You went to great lengths to leave this comment, since last known you don't even have internet access from your home and your comment was left on a weekday at 11:00ish am; you must have "borrrowed" internet access from a "friend" or have gone to a public access location.

Again, what great length's you met to have posted this.

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