I can't even imaging what was going through Mr. Browns head when Councilman Kraft read the resolution. But, I'm almost certain that he believed, at least on a partisan level, he would be okay. If I'm correct, and that is what he thought, he was terribly wrong!
Council President Ferraro says: "Well, is there any discussion". Instead of discussion, you hear a motion made, and then a second. No...there was no discussion on the resolution, none whatsoever. It seemed like all the discussion necessary was conducted behind close doors. And every member of Council understood what had to be done.
Councilman Parsons interject to point out that since the matter was not on the agenda, the public should be given an opportunity to comment. The solicitor determined that it was okay, and Mrs. Ferraro ask for public comments, hearing none, she called for the vote: Mr. Kraft - YES! Mr. Geisinger - YES! Mr. McClure - YES! Mr. Parsons - YES! Mr. Phillip - YES! Mr. Vaughn - YES! Mr. Werner - YES! Mr. Benol - YES! Mrs. Ferraro. YES!
The resolution was announced passed by a 9-0 vote. Talk about BI-PARTISANSHIP! This must have devastated the mind and heart of County Executive John Brown. If he did believe that he would be okay because he had five republicans sitting on council, he must have been dreaming, and was abruptly awaken.
Folks, all who know me know that I don't wear a hat, but, if I did, I would most certainly remove and tip it in honor of this specific Council body. They displayed a level of courage that is seldom seen in our government. They sent a crystal clear message - it is more important to do what is right, than to just follow a party line. I personally want to congratulate all nine members for truly acting on behalf of We, The People. Our government as Abraham Lincoln put it, is a "government of the people, by the people, for the people." Your character and integrity during this meeting speaks volumes.
On the other hand, this series is not an attack on County Executive John Brown, by no means . If anything, I hope that this series will help him understand that a million flies can not be wrong.
Controller Steve Barron was called to the podium to provide a report, he stated: "Boy, that's a hard act to follow." He was right! I can only imagine that Mr. Browns first reaction was total shock! And then anger.
When the Executive was called after the Controller to present the Executive report, his displeasure was very visible. He began his address relating to the pay raises with an attack on Councilman McClure, stating: McClure's comments in the newspapers that day were ridicules, and, that it was nothing more than political nonsense, which he (McClure) spews regularly. He goes on to say: "quite frankly I'm tired of it, I know your tired of it, the employees are tired of it, and the tax payers are tired of it!. The political pandering that goes on from week to week in this chamber is ridicules and needs to come to an end."
As I watched and listened, I could see clearly that Mr. Brown simply didn't get it, or perhaps just didn't want to get it. Or maybe he had no clue! The entire Council body just told him that they were in-fact tired, tired of him defying them. At that very moment one could see that the political pandering Mr. Brown was accusing others of, was actually coming from Mr. brown himself. The Executive was making Mr. McClure out to be some sort of instigator by claiming that McClure's comments calling the executives decisions and actions "criminal" were false and ridicules. However, Executive Brown visibly was in denial. He did not want to face the reality that Council, in their resolution just minutes ago - called his actions unlawful! It was not just Mr. McClure.
Folks, I'm trying to remain unbiased here. But, in my opinion, depending on how the two terms are used, "criminal" and "unlawful" could mean the same thing. For example: If a person is assaulted, our legal system says the person committing the assault has committed a "criminal act." Hence, it is safe to say that he/she has committed an "unlawful" act, because assault is against the laws of this land. Certainly, intent and legality are also major factors. Mr. Brown seemed incapable at that moment to understand what had just happened. Hence, a defense mechanism triggered and he began to spew ridicules political pandering himself. Sadly, he couldn't differentiate between what he was doing, and what he was accusing someone else of doing.
The Executive went on to say he respectfully disagrees with Solicitor Lauer's opinion, because after all, it is just an opinion. Also pointing out that "Mr. Lauer is not a judge, and Mr. Dirkin is not a judge, and this is not a court room." That point is well taken by all. However, County Council, by their resolution passed just minutes ago, told the Executive, unanimously, that they all agree his actions were unlawful. I wondered at that moment, what part of the resolution couldn't he understand?
Reality-check...it was not just Mr Lauer's or Mr. McClures opinions, it was the opinion of the entire Council body. Which, from my viewpoint, should have be valued by the Executive. In light of the unfolded events I have to ask: As reasonable people, are we to disregard what nine say, or what one says? As I stated earlier: a million flies can't be wrong. Can they?
Stay tune -- To be continued...