Saturday, November 04, 2006

Daugherty Disappoints: Nazareth's New Councilman Likes the Shadows

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingNazareth's appointment of Fred Daugherty in early October means we now have two unelected councilmen. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad council dropped its plan to move its government center into the middle of a neighborhood park. But we still have the same basic problem that led to all the turmoil in the first place - a council that likes the shadows.

That's why Daugherty's recent appointment bothers me. He's the only council applicant who refused to reveal his position on the controversial government center expansion at Nazareth Hall Park. And then he was appointed without discussion. Hmmm.

When I criticized Daugherty's appointment without discussion, he posted his own remarks on my blog. But his comments raise more questions than answers.

"Mr O'Hare,

It is unfortunate you were unable to attend the meeting at which council "interviewed" the applicants for the open position. If you had, you may have been better informed of what was stated, rather than relying on what someone else heard and reported.

It is insulting to find after having provided a resume and written statement available to all who attended the meeting, not only to have my name misspelled, my employer incorrectly identified in two seperate news articles written by professional reporters, but also that my words have been seemingly misconstrued. My statement was plain and simple, "I have no ax to grind, no agenda to follow and no cause to further".

Representation that I refused to give an opinion on the building project seems rather sinister. The message intended was seemingly lost on those who have had an ax to grind, agenda to follow and a cause to further. The fact is, if I had opinned against the building project, who would that have helped? Would I have been better accepted had I praised a new building costing us all dearly in taxes and lost greenspace? How would it have made a difference, other than maybe make one side or the other feel good about themselves, or claim a victory of sorts? Should not the position have been filled by someone who is willing to listen, consider and act in the best interest of the citizenry, rather than someone who has a set "opinion" on a specific subject? I didn't get the memo about any lithmus test.

I totally agree, governement must be conducted as transparently as possible. Likewise it cannot be enslaved by fear of governing. A fine line sometimes must be tread.

In my view, there has been enough hurt and contention in this town over this ordeal. It has deeply hurt me personally to see disrespect, unfounded accusations, poor judgement, bad behavior, lawsuits and distrust on both sides of this scandal. We have all been hurt by this.

My appointment to council certainly was no inside job. At least not as far as I'm concerned. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am no one's croney or yes man.
My intent and goal is to do business for the citizens of Nazareth in a truthful, responsive, and fiscally conservative way.

An opinion is only special to the person possessing it. An opinion means little if and until it is considered by others. Anyone can make easy or popular decisions. May we all hold good opinions of each other, and may we all make good decisions in the future."

Daugherty has just been appointed and is already complaining about how his name is spelled by the press. He's even claiming to be misquoted. That sort of thing is just a tad thin-skinned.

He supposedly supports open and accountable government, but won't say whether whether he opposed a new municipal center in a park. He also refuses to tell us whether he would insist council start following the Sunshine Act and abandon its current pattern of secrecy. He said nothing about taxpayer money wasted on engineering plans for an expansion we don't need, or a police department that covers up a rape while simultaneously making false accusations about tire slashings.

I asked Daugherty for answers to these concerns in early October, but he has said nothing even though I spelled his name right.

Welcome to the new Council! Same as the old one.

Speaking of answers, argument on my insistence that Nazareth file a proper answer to my Sunshine Act complaint was conducted on Halloween, an appropriate date for a government body that likes the shadows. I wore a ninja costume, and Nazareth Solicitor Al Pierce is still playin' Renfield.


Anonymous said...

I say lets give Fred a fair chance. He says he wants a transparent government and so do most of us. Time will tell.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 11:22, Hope you're right. I asked questions a month ago and have no answer. That's not evidence of transparency to me. But I realize he is now and I tend to be tough on public officials. As you said, time will tell.