Is the Council investigation into the administration’s actions a witch hunt or is it just doing its duty as a check and balance?
Think of it this way, with the number of missteps – and that’s a kind word to describe some of what has gone on - over the past 10 months or so, what do you expect any member of the Council who takes his or her job seriously to do?
Sit back and watch?
It they did, observers, taxpayers and columnists would bash them for not doing anything. I can hear it now, just like I’ve heard variations of it before: “Where does the Council stand.” Or, “What does the council think about that?” Or “didn’t the Council have to approve it first.”
By holding public hearings, President Rodney Wiltshire is doing his job and so are the members who support the investigation.
Mayor Lou Rosamilia is correct in calling it a witch hunt. But, he only has to worry if the Council actually finds someone turning people into newts (for you Monty Python fans out there) or casting evil spells and not just an eccentric old woman who talks to her cats.
Bad analogy, I know, but the fact remains if Rosamilia and company have nothing to hide, they shouldn’t worry about answering a few questions by a part time legislative body and they should just step up and answer the questions. Just as it’s the Coucnil’s obligation to ask, it’s the mayor’s to answer.
Instead, we have Rosamilia bashing the inquiry and Councilwomen Lynn Kopka, D-At Large, Erin Sullivan-Teta, I-At-Large, and Councilman Gary Galuski, D-District 6, killing the vote on a technicality. Of all the blatant violations of the Charter I’ve seen over the years, not starting a meeting at 7 p.m. is up there with the most petty.
To the Rosamilia apologists who will certainly get on my case and say but “you said the Council should to stay out of the Police Department,” I will say you are correct. I did. But it’s apples to oranges. There wasn’t a sniff of corruption surrounding Police Chief John Tedesco. Anthony Magnetto was given the commissioner’s job as a political payback to some on the Council to appease the Police Benevolent Association. There wasn’t any asbestos strewn about a city street. There weren’t buildings being knocked down without appropriate engineering oversight. And there weren’t any land deals that just don’t pass the smell test.
Funny, I remember when Councilman Bill Dunne first got elected – or it may have been his second term – and I repeatedly called him an “effective check and balance” to then Mayor Harry Tutunjian. And he was. He watched Tutunjian like a hawk and I applauded Dunne for taking his job seriously and doing it well.
Now Dunne is at the center of about every controversy being discussed and he is, obviously, Rosamilia’s planning commissioner. That means Rosamilia is responsible. And Wiltshire and company are watching him like a hawk. The difference is Tutunjian is a staunch Republican and Dunne is as staunch of a Democrat whereas Wiltshire and Rosamilia both ran and won with the Democratic Party support.
Galuski is in his last term but Kopka, who served a terms as Council president, likely has her own ambitions. I’ll give her one name to think on: Beth Walsh. She was Council president before getting beat out by Frank LaPosta and the following year got beat outright on a Republican sweep mainly because of her support of Pattison’s attempt to do away with term limits. Walsh is now a Family Court judge, but I don’t think Kopka has a law degree.