Thursday, January 07, 2010

Dave Carey: Many Wrongs Make It Right

Mayor Carey’s previous full-time job was as a high school social studies/government teacher at Skyview. I wonder what his reaction would have been if he had a student who forgot to turn in an assignment and the kid used the excuse that he didn’t know about it. Then, imagine if the student alleged (without any real evidence) that another student during a previous term also didn’t turn in an assignment, so that made it OK for him not to do it too.

And then, to make the matter go away, the proposed solution was to say OK, you don’t have to do the work. But this exception applies ONLY to you and no one else.

The other kids in the class might not think that was fair. And if ignorance was a legitimate reason to excuse an assignment, soon the whole class might make this plea. And because someone else may or may not have done the same thing, is that really an excuse for you?

This is what Mayor Carey and four assembly members tried to with Scooter Chumley’s failure to turn an Intent To Do Business With the Borough form and his no-bid deal with CES. For the sake of the appearance of clean politics, their proposal was voted down by the other assembly members. Gary Knopp, one of those trying to make an exception for Chumley, does business with the borough and somehow he managed to get the right paperwork in. Mr Knopp was able to find out what was required, so why has this been so hard for Chumley? Instead, the mayor and his chief-of-staff said the fault was with borough underlings. To blame un-named borough employees for Scooter's oversight is a cheap shot.

This isn't rocket science - it's basic political science. And didn't Carey teach Government classes?

Let’s just assume that Scooter honestly didn’t know that the form had to be turned in. It happens. What might have been the most up-front way to deal with the oversight? Why not admit the mistake, begin over and follow the law? And then rather than slough off any personal responsibility, be willing to accept any slap-on-the-wrist that might be meted out. Would the assembly seek criminal or civil repercussions? I highly doubt it.

Isn’t this what Mr. Carey, the teacher, would have said to the errant student? Do the work, and don’t let it happen again.

But rather than man-up, Carey and others are offering some lame excuses for the second-in-command. Scooter’s defenders are going on and on about his good name, but what is happening here is that Carey and Chumley are coming across as little baby whiners. If it was an honest mistake, just admit you messed up, apologize and move on. Don’t make excuses.

Carey has continued with his juvenile antics by complaining about the media. But all the newspapers have done is their job – they’ve reported that Chumley didn’t file the paperwork and was able to procure a no-bid borough contract. That’s it and that is what the news is supposed to do.

But Carey wasn’t done. At the assembly meeting, he claimed that you couldn’t really put this kind of deal out to bid because, says Dave, that maybe a company in Florida has a used tire changer. How would we be able to tell if it was any good?

There are very simple ways to check things like that out, and besides the borough is not obligated to necessarily go with the lowest bid. But Carey, the alleged fiscal conservative, has no problem by-passing the system. Maybe Scooter’s deal is good for the borough, maybe it isn’t. An open, honest bid proposal is the proven way to make sure.

Otherwise, you just leave the door open for abuse. That is why the law is there.


Anonymous said...

Can you find out who the newly accused assembly members are? This might satisfy some respondents criticism of your lack of investigative reporting and being out front. I'm really only mildly curious and have no intentions of painting a scarlet "B" (for bad) in front of their assembly seats. I guess I'd want this to be a little more hard-hitting if they had been hired (and given a big raise after about 15 minutes on the job)and placed in charge of KPB, a pretty big business funded by hard-working taxpayers.
Reporting the facts (newspapers) is being attacked. Am I naive or would there be nothing to report if the deal hadn't been tainted? Or are you reporter types making people do this stuff, just so you can have something to report? It might be time to fess up if that is the case. Does anyone know what BLOG really stands for?

Souldotna said...

Not too sure what you're asking... the names of the assembly members who supported the ordinance exempting Scooter from the rules? That would be Knopp, Pierce, Fisher and McClure. But I think you might mean the names of those whom Carey implicated that also had not followed procedures. Mako Haggerty said he did something that he is paying for - but since he is new, it is unlikely that any violation occurred during his short term in office. In any case, one point I was making in my posting was that it doesn't matter if someone else does/doesn't do something. If you break a rule, take responsibility for what you do - don't make exudes.

I do have lame investigative tendencies, but between you and me, I haven't quit my two day jobs yet. This blog is just a hobby.

Souldotna said...

Can't edit these comments...that should be excuses, not exudes. Darn that auto-correct feature on my iPhone !

Anonymous said...

OK, does anybody read the paper, attend the meetings, etc. I am wondering because I do believe Mr. Chumley stopped by the legal department when ge took office and asked if ge needed to do anything! They told him there was NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST! Having been told that what do you expect him to do? He asked! There was NOTHING shady about the purchase! Mr. Chumley even accepted responsibilty for this and said he had made a mistake when in fact if you think about it HE didn't! He asked about from the get go! Really, do people have nothing better to do than keep bringing this up!

Souldotna said...

1) Not one of the 3 borough attorneys has stepped forward to back up Scooter's claim that they told him he didn't have to do anything.
2) although someone in finance has a vague
recollection of maybe saying something, it seems like
an underling taking the heat for his boss.
3) Gary Knopp asked and was told he had to file - how did Gary figure this out and Scooter couldn't?
4)to attempt to pass a one- time ordinance to
let Chumley keep his no-bid contract was a bit slimey.
So, the remedy:Let CES request a bid and then let the proper open and transparent process take place. Why is this so hard for Carey and Chumley?

Anonymous said...

If you think about it Knopp and Chumley are in the same position except when Knopp asked they told him about the form and when Chumley asked he was TOLD he didn't need to do anything! Had he been told about the form he would gave completed it! As for the attorney's not coming forward and backing Mr. Chumley... Well you are wrong about this because it WAS acknowledged at the last meeting! I would suggest you attend one if you want the facts!

Anonymous said...

Again, good job at getting inside information on Carey/Chumley! You how it it is too see who owns a blog these days! Ha! The joke is on you! See you at the next meeting! How hypocritical can you be!

Souldotna said...

Sorry, you won't see me at the next meeting - or most any meeting. I prefer to listen on the radio from the comfort of my living room while sipping my favorite beverage. Really, I'm just on ordinary citizen that is highly amused by all of the antics!

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