Monday, October 4, 2010

USS Gravely Exploited for Slush Fund; Political Payoff

It's a noble event. The USS Gravely, a Naval Guided Missile Destroyer named after the first African-American officer in the US Navy, is going to be commissioned in the Port City. However, as is typical with our quiet little town, no event involving our local elected officials is complete without ethics being challenged.

The Chair of the USS Gravely Commissioning Board is none other than Mayor Bill Saffo's own campaign manager, Louise McColl, who is also Councilwoman Kristi Tomey's campaign manager as well. McColl is also very active in local politics and sits on many so-called public boards and commissions. In order to properly "entertain" the crew and illuminaries that will be in town during the event, McColl figures she needs $50,000 to do it right - $25,000 from both the city and the county.

Being the campaign manager for the mayor certainly has its perks. McColl did not even have to submit paperwork on her own behalf for the request, as the mayor was more than happy to do it for her, as evident in the proposal here, where it begins, "This Resolution is being brought to you at the request of Mayor Saffo":

Yes folks, it's good to be a political operative in the good graces of those who have the power to reach into the taxpayer's cookie jar and dole out whatever political favors they deem necessary at the moment. It's especially important to wrap such actions in phrases like "economic development", "tourism", and other feel-good terms that attempt to justify the expense.

The real crime here is that the citizens of Wilmington choose to not be engaged, and not hold their elected officials accountable for their actions. This sort of dealing is done everyday in downtown Wilmington, and the people who are affected by this, ignore it, and then later wonder why their taxes go up, their basic services are not provided for, and their local government is a joke. Worse yet, often they head to the polls on election day to re-elect the very ones who make political corruption a way of life for us all.

1 comment:

  1. sad reality- we voted for a tax increase-after the worst recession since the 30s---and we elect the likes of saffo and thompson--what do you expect Ben--let's hope this year locally and nationally we do better


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