Sunday, December 06, 2009

Stop Making Sense

It's been nearly a week since the Borough Assembly tried to figure out what to do with Mayor Carey's Chief of Staff, Scooter Chumley's conflict-of-interest mis-step and I am still a bit puzzled by how the (not-so) grown-ups are handling the incident.

The Assembly is made up a few from the good ol' boys club and they know that making money off of the government is good business. And, of course, there are perfectly legal and sometimes ethical ways of doing so. Pierce, Knopp and Fischer have always been for government contracts to help out their friends' construction businesses. And now those three want to accept that the oversight had no malice and for us all to forgive and forget.

Maybe that is the thing to do.

I am OK with Chumley's plea of ignorance - he just didn't know that a sole-source, no-bid deal with the borough might not be a good idea for someone appointed to well-paid government post. In this day and age of squeaky-clean Alaskan politicians, who could possibly think there might be a problem?

Yeah, right.

Ignorance is the key word here. How can we justify paying Scooter $90,000+? As I've mentioned several times on this blog, Carey has justified the high salary by saying that is what you have to pay for competence. So, according to Dave, ignorance is competence? What am I missing here?

The PC reports that Chumley may not be all that divested from his business that contract with the borough. Mayor Carey cries about the coverage the newspaper has given. But what did the PC do but report the facts? That is what newspapers are supposed to do - inform the public. Dave, blaming the news media for doing their job is a cheap shot.

So Chumley brought in his cheering session at the last assembly meeting: A finer fellow couldn't possibly exist. But I've heard from others that the roads he has been paid to plow don't get plowed as frequently as they should. Hearsay, of course. But Scooter does a have a few folks that he has crossed.

He and the Mayor should apologize and accept whatever wrist-slap that comes with the transgression. And I am sure all would be happy with that wrist-slap. It is about accepting responsibility.

If CES needs a tire-changing rig, they need to put out a bid request. This is just common-sense. I agree that the borough should give the equipment back to Chumley.

The good-ol' boy method of bypassing the process and having a political appointee making a few bucks on the side just invites trouble.

And it should.


Anonymous said...

the case has long ago been made that the borough assembly's reaction to Chumley's violation was hardly credible or competent.

I should note also that the case has been made much more succinctly than is presented here, and among other sources, even the Peninsula Clarion has provided better and more timely insight and judgement on the issue.

attempting to chime in a week late and more than a few dollars short is hardly a case of activism, it's more like riding on the coat-tails of others.

KittenStCyr said...

Everyone writes what they can, Anon, and anyone who can't see the value of that is SOL.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you SOL blogger for not jumping in early with a cry of "off with their heads" or "forgive 'em, they don't have a clue." It is likely that I will cancel my advertising and subscription and advise my friends to do the same. In fact, I may start a timely blog of my own and just adopt several identities so that the comments are more intelligent than those I read here. So there.

Wolfe Tone said...

Anon @ 8:47 said:

It is likely that I will cancel my advertising and subscription and advise my friends to do the same.

For goodness' sakes, don't do that! SOL needs the enormous income generated by this blog!

Anonymous said...


as the first anonymous stated above, the value or worth of mere echoings of inadequate insight and compounded examples of inadequate judgement has to be weighed against it's costs in terms of the downside effects of the same.

the first anonymous was commenting on the degree of value represented in the entry and was comparing that with higher value material offered elsewhere.

instead of making excuses for mediocrity, it's much more desirable to hope for some improvement.

Souldotna said...

It's really all part of a international liberal media conspiracy...

This story has legs. And it is tied to the pay scandal (that broke first here). The PC took a lot of heat from the mayor for the tiregate story. They backed off a bit and my posting was simply a reminder that it shouldn't go away.

I know that's a rather tough concept for some of ya out there, but remember this is SOLdotna and we're all SOL here!

Wolfe Tone said...


While it sounds very "me, too!" of me, I'll do that I can to help you in making sure this story doesn't fade into the woodwork... I'm not sure there are any other Kenai Peninsula bloggers (and no other Alaskan bloggers, to my knowledge) paying much attention to it.

Anonymous said...

claiming the pay scandal story 'broke here first', ? ?

if you mean an anonymous comment left here which referred to the pay raises, you might be able to stretch that claim of yours,

but understand that it's stretched to the breaking point if you think you originated the questioning of the mayor's actions.

If the story has legs, see if you can get out in front of it.

Wolfe Tone said...

Anonymous @ 9:51 pm:

The pay raise story appeared in SOL's blog on August 4, 2009.

The Clarion didn't consider it "news" until October 30.

It sure looks to me like Souldotna is correct in saying the story "broke first here."

Anonymous said...

the anonymous comments referring to Carey's budgeted pay raises were posted on May 22nd,

and the June assembly meeting was reported on in several venues,

so all of that predates any supposed 'scoop' which you contend happened here on August 4.

the pay raise issues had been openly discussed in the community long before August.

Anonymous said...

Wolfe Tone said...

Anon @12:57,

Ah, it appears you are correct.

I'm so outraged that Souldotna didn't scoop the Peninsula Clarion that I'm canceling my subscription to this blog, and not paying Soul another dime!

Anonymous said...

Might we give a teeny tiny pat on the back to some assembly members who kept asking and asking and were ignored? Not a whole hand, but just a tap? It might be encouraging - but that would assume they are in the audience. hello! hello?? And I've decided not to cancel my subscription because I like to read what I write and the PC can now vote me off the island.

Anonymous said...

well yes,

but then I knew that when I made the first comment clear back there at the top of the column.

So now that we've established that there was a precedent for the earlier comment, (the first comment), maybe rather than trying to deflect attention from the question or attempting to deny the precedent as it is, perhaps it's time to address the gist of the comment?

That was a comment about the comparative value of echoing previous revelations in a manner that's, shall we say, not very exhaustive or comprehensive, versus getting out ahead of these issues and providing new, or at least somewhat revelatory information.

If all you want is a blog that cuts and pastes what every other blog or paper has already covered, that's one thing.

If you'd like to see a bit higher caliber work, that is going to take some reflection and revision.

Either way, I'd like to see it addressed rather than responded to with frivolous inanities or self-preserving pretense and make believe.

If you don't care one way or the other, you ought to be able to own up to it.

Wolfe Tone said...

Anon @ 9:25 pm -

Based on your criticism of the writings of SOL in Soldotna, I have a solution.

Knock yourself out!

Anonymous said...


your suggestion only avoids the discussion.

Wolfe Tone said...

Anon @ 5:43,

Au contraire.

Your first post made Soul's lack of "timely insight and judgement" and "riding on the coat-tails of others" (and your disappointment thereof) the actual topic of discussion.

Then, later, you expanded your criticism:

"That was a comment about the comparative value of echoing previous revelations in a manner that's, shall we say, not very exhaustive or comprehensive, versus "getting out ahead of these issues and providing new, or at least somewhat revelatory information."

Since from the outset, you've been critical of Soul's style and content, I'm merely suggesting that perhaps you should climb down out of the stands, step up to the plate and take a swing at it yourself.

I predict that you'll find out writing a blog ain't a piece of cake.

Anonymous said...

like I said, all of which avoids the subject of the original comment.

Writing a blog, especially those akin to most of the so-called blogs doesn't require all that much effort.

Most blogs merely read a few of the national or regional blogs to get a few copy and paste samples of the outrage of the moment.

Add in a bit of off-hand commentary and aside from the off-hand commentary, (which might also be lifted without alteration), probably a percentage in the high nineties are all echoing the same plaintive posts repeated endlessly throughout the 'blogosphere'.

As bad as that is, with the format used by most 'bloggers', any post is rapidly cycled down the page and off to the 'archives', (room has to be made for the latest outrage du jour, don't you know), and the problem with those archives is that what was once fodder for further investigation is rarely ever reviewed or mentioned again.

Similar to SOL, there are any number of posts where a statement was made that something would be followed up on, but as is the norm for most 'bloggers', there never was any follow up.

Too busy chasing the next outrage du jour.

Now it's easy for you or anyone else to dismiss what I've offered.

It's simple to just lay the whole discussion off by suggesting it might be addressed if only I went out and started a blog.

The illogical part of that being any kind of effectual way to deal with the issue, is that SOL wouldn't be provided a chance to improve his creation, might not benefit from the constructive criticism, and his readers could be left with something that resembles a mere shadow of the hundreds of blogs that only strive to add to the echoing noise.

I'll worry about what I might or might not do, what I do isn't relevant to the commentary. It's the subject of the commentary that begs a response, not what I do.

I'm hoping maybe you and SOL do some objective thinking about what you do. Maybe you and SOL could ponder the question of whether it's worth it to you to try to provide your readers a bit more than a periodical echoing of what everyone else is already doing.

That part is up to you and SOL, and it's not dependent on anything I may or may not do with my time.

I only offered it up in good faith.

You can take it or leave it, lump it or embrace it, that bit is up to you.


Anonymous said...

Moderate if you will, but I'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas and lots of inspiration for 2010.

Large Visitor Globe