Public Hearing or is it Public Debate?

The Videos of the last two Town of Plattsburgh meetings are now viewable via the Video Page.

While I was editing the 11/07/13 Public Hearing video I could not avoid getting angry enough to do a rant, and this is it.

I transcribed the little back and forth that got me going so that it is easier to review. To hear these words as they were said and see the speakers saying them I have included that short video portion here:

It’s all about spending:

John St Germain:

Bernie, I’d just like to say that, you know, the thing that bothers me is you haven’t done since the Moffit water district you haven’t done any water or any sewer districts in the whole Town.

Bernie Bassett:

Expansionary referring to?

John St. Germain:

Uh, expansion

Bernie Bassett:

(unintelligible)

John St. Germain:

Right.

Bernie Bassett:

It’s (unintelligible)

John St. Germain

And, and that’s what brings everything into this town, and that’s what made it grow over the years. Interrupted by:

Bernie Bassett:

John, do you remember why all those expansions happened, what was used to make that happen?

John St. Germain:

Well, we, we did the Tom Miller Road…… interrupted by:

Bernie Bassett:

I know we did. What did we use to make that happen?

John St. Germain:

What did we use?

Bernie Bassett:

Right.

John St. Germain:

We used, we used grant money from….. interrupted by:

Bernie Bassett:

CDBG grants. Correct.

John St. Germain:

Right

Bernie Bassett:

We can no long, we don’t have those Income Eligible pockets like we did. Those are Income Eligible pockets that enabled us to do that.

John St. Germain:

Well…. Interrupted by:

Bernie Bassett:

And, if you’re sitting there telling me to cut, and now you’re telling me to expand, I, I’m not sure which I should do.

John St. Germain:

No. What I’m telling you is, eh, that, you’re, you’re, you’re budgeting and hiring; this place is become a jobs market.

Speaking at the same time:

John St. Germain: Let’s face it.

Bernie Bassett: Not true, that.

John St. Germain:

And, and you’re not doing anything with the infrastructure. I sit up there in Cadyville look out my living room window at a rusty old, ah, water tower up there. I mean the bolts on that thing are so rusty you’d have to have a torch to cut them off. I mean that’s sad that

Both speaking:

John St. Germain: you’re not doing anything

Bernie Bassett: There’s a lot of infrastructure that….

John St. Germain:

to maintain anything and what have yuh. We go, we got, you know, we got eight hundred twenty five dollars those mats out here with logos on them. We got a beautiful landscaping all around the building.

Bernie Bassett:

Unintelligible conversation with Paul Lamoy during the following:

John St. Germain:

I mean it’s one thing to spend on what’s necessary, that’s good.

Bernie Bassett:

OK.

John St. Germain:

But not, we can’t afford just what’s nice.

Bernie Bassett:

Yup. I, I. You have me up a wall on that, but we will disagree on what we’re affording.

My dear friends, there is a truth living inside this kerfuffle during the Town of Plattsburgh Public HEARING on 11/14/2013.

We Joe Citizen’s have a real battle before us concerning the Town administration which at this time seems to believe that the public needs help to understand what things in life are important.

During the time Mr. St. Germain should have been HEARD, Mr. Bassett  spoke 47.4654378% of the words that were exchanged in those 119 seconds of Public HEARING. It seems Mr. Bassett was unwilling to listen to (read HEAR) what Mr. St Germain wanted to say, and used our common language, against Mr. St. Germain.  The interuptions from Mr. Bassett that Mr. St. Germain suffered were enough to put anyone off his game.

It is no joke that Mr. St. Germain had to get his thoughts back together so that he could get his ideas out to the ears of the other people present in the Public HEARING. And what a great show of disrespect by Mr. Bassett when Mr. St. Germain finally made his point. Bassett could not restrain his lips and  had to engage Mr. Lamoy in whispered conversation.

Mr. St. Germain says that the level of maintenance at the town is “sad”. I call it criminal, especially when  Bassett and friends call upon the Cadyville visions of neglect to justify shoving their hands ever deeper into our pockets. They aren’t thinking about putting the Town employees to work repairing the neglected infrastructure. They want to build fund balances, while “laborers” at the Water and Sewer department don’t exist. They have all been promoted to management level, and, after all, management shouldn’t be called upon to actually chip paint and sand blast rust. It seems contracting out such work is the order of the day.

It is truly striking to see the huge difference in attitude between a tax payer and a tax spender on display.

Designer door mats and fancy landscaping at his offices are preferred by the tax spender, and a safe, secure and, yes, attractive infrastructure is preferred by the tax payer.

Mr. Bassett’s concluding words are just so indicative of his place among us. I think his Archie Bunker malapropism of “up a wall” instead of “against a wall” is really a Freudian slip.(To be expected since he’s said his degree was in Freudian Psychology!)  It is sad to believe that Mr. St. Germain drives Mr. Bassett “up the wall”, and that Mr. Bassett really believes that the Town should afford landscaping and mud mats for his offices before taking care of the Town’s water supply system. Maybe the management guys at Water and Sewer could volunteer to trim and water the landscaping and wash the mud mats, if the water is still running.

And that’s the truth.