|Lauer in the dock, awaiting his fate|
Last year, when Council President Ron Angle was deposed in favor of John Cusick, it was because Council members John Cusick, Tom Dietrich and Peg Ferraro stabbed Angle in the back. After promising Angle their support, they worked against him.
At Tuesday's reorganization, things went more smoothly. Cusick and Ferraro were both re-elected as President and VP, respectively. Although Phil Lauer was at the meeting, Cusick made no attempt to replace him and gave no indication that he wanted Phil gone.
But later that night, when he would not have to talk to him man-to-man, Cusick sent Lauer an "Dear John:email, advising him he would be replaced. His successor? Michael Gaul, Solicitor to Portland Borough and the LV Health Comm'n. Then Cusick went to work, rounding up the votes. He gave Lauer no indication whether he should even bother to show up at last night's Council meeting.
Though he knew that Cusick wanted him gone, Lauer decided he should be there because he was still Council's lawyer.
Cusick's behind-the-scenes argument for replacing Lauer was that Gaul has bond experience, which would be helpful in dealing with the swaption.
Yeah, Portland Borough must float $100 million bonds every day.
Cusick never bothered to tell the newly elected Council members (Ken Kraft, Scott Parsons and Bob Werner) that a Council Solicitor has little to do with bonds or County finances. Even worse, Cusick misled Scott Parsons into thinking that there was unanimous support for Gaul.
When Cusick introduced his resolution to can Lauer, Peg Ferraro immediately expressed some doubts, while Barb Thierry slowly shook her head No.
Then, when Cusick called for the vote, he learned the hard way what happens when you try to con someone. Lamont McClure, Ken Kraft and Bob Werner still voted with him. But not Parsons. He broke ranks with fellow Dems and against replacing Lauer.
I suspect Parsons was also troubled by the complete lack of class displayed in forcing one of the County's most distinguished and well-respected lawyers to sit there and endure a vote on his termination.
I was impressed by the civility displayed by Parsons, which was in stark contrast to Cusick's petty maneuver.
"I thought I had five votes!" Cusick complained after the meeting.
"I need a beer," Parsons told me.