The Coventry Town Council last night looked at times to be dysfunctional and more like a government of scam and sham than an efficient two party body. For the first time in a long time the public attended the meeting in such numbers as to force some members of the public to view the meeting from across the parking lot in the Town Hall via television.
The issue of tipper barrels reached the tipping point last night as the vast majority of speakers excoriated the Democratic majority on the Town Council for their refusal to honor the input of their own polling results. This majority has made “listening to the people” a key in running for office, they have published that commitment multiple times since being in office and they formulated a poll to get input from the citizens concerning the use of tipper barrels. This all now seems to be a shame or part one of a two part tactic of political allusion.
They set the parameters of the poll they led the public and the Republican members of the Town Council to believe they would have faith in the people and the poll. Then when it did not provide the answer they expected they ignored the results. Last night Mr. Hall tried to rationalize his vote saying he didn’t hear that voice in the poll at the public hearing. Of course people did not attend the public hearing because they were led to believe they had made their voice heard when they participated in the Town Council poll. Then Mr. Hall said he didn’t trust the poll results because of the flawed manner the poll was conducted, a poll that he voted for and helped put in place.
Mr. Vinkles was asked if he would consider changing his vote on the issue and without hesitation answered, “absolutely not” in fact he called for the discussion on the matter to terminate saying “I have a bed time”. Lisa Thomas said she would vote with the majority to support only one tipper barrel for recycling and the use of trash bags.
Mr. Zenko displayed some political arrogance when he bragged that the Democratic leaders had won control of the Town Council in five out of the last six elections. His point was that this somehow endorsed the correctness of this vote because this is the way the people would want the issue to be decided.
There were many speakers that felt the “green bag” system was good to introduce in town years ago to encourage recycling but that recycling had now become a way of life with their family and convenience of tipper barrels should be introduced. They seem to echo the words of Councilwoman Blanchard when she said she had faith in the people of Coventry to continue their efforts to recycle.
The sham of the Town Council majority was their representation of listening to the people and their illusion of faith in the poll they set up. The scam was when they rationalized their voting position discounting the value of the public input they asked for and received. The voters of Coventry have been fooled by this scam of deception and any future poll of citizen input will be looked at with distrust. The majority on the Town Council should not blame the voters if they fail to participate in any future poll. The people that had real interest in the issue that took time to participate and now feel they have been scammed.
If the Democratic majority fails in their bid for re-election they need not look at the Republicans as the force of defeat. They will only need to look in the mirror, and know that their own lack of faith in the people of Coventry and their own deceptions and illusions have tossed them out of office.
The most important poll will be the poll taken in November of 2011 when Mr. Zenko and company can not fail to listen to the people of Coventry and they will not be able to ignore that poll.
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