Friday, September 28, 2007
Ding dong! The witch is dead. The wicked witch is dead!
Remember when the Munchkins sang out in glee, right after that Kansas farmhouse fell from the sky and landed smack dab on top of that mean and nasty witch, killing her as dead as a doornail?
Oddly, the joyous, giddy emotions displayed by the little people of Oz when their nemesis was squashed as flat as a pancake were similar to the feelings I had this past Sunday evening. I admit it...I danced a little jig when I heard Bob Stockwell had resigned as Sunnyside city manager.
I could write about the way Mayor Ed Prilucik tried to make us little people believe that Stockwell is leaving on good terms. I won't, because we all know better and our mayor will probably pay for his allegiance to Stockwell come the General Election this November.
I could write about the three people at City Hall whose lives and names were needlessly drug through the mud and rumor mill the last couple of weeks, thanks to Stockwell. I won't, because in all likelihood those three people will either get to keep their jobs or will be compensated via a lawsuit.
I will write about Stockwell standing up at Sunday night's meeting and blowing his own horn. He said in the three and a half years he's been here, Sunnyside has turned things around and a community has been created where people can take a new pride in what Sunnyside has become. I've got news for Mr. Stockwell...Sunnyside began turning things around a long time before he arrived. It's been the diligent work of the Sunnyside Port Commission and the now defunct Sunnyside Economic Development Association and all its supporters who transformed Sunnyside into the economic retail hub it has become. It's been the Sunnyside School District that's built shiny new schools in our community.
As far as Stockwell taking credit for the residents of Sunnyside now being able to take pride in their community, how conceited can he be? News flash...the people of Sunnyside have always had pride in their community. There was much to be proud of here in Sunnyside before Stockwell arrived, and we'll be able to maintain that pride even with Mr. Stockwell long gone from our community.
Talk about pride...how much pride did Stockwell bring to Sunnyside by being unable to resolve what should have been a minor property line dispute with Tom Paul? Instead of Stockwell negotiating a settlement that both sides could live with, we've had several years of derogatory signs lining one of our prominent entryways into the city. Blame Tom Paul, if you want to, but I believe Bob Stockwell must shoulder as much or more of that blame.
Sunday evening, Stockwell also made mention that's he leaving Sunnyside with cleaner air than what was here when he arrived. Granted, the odors of the nearby Monson feedlot are no longer permeating our air space, but at what cost? The deal Stockwell struck with the Monson family back in 2004, purchasing the 150 or so acres with the millions of taxpayer dollars that had been stockpiled over the years in reserves, was ruled null and void by the state auditor's office. Stockwell was told by auditors he wasn't allowed to spend taxpayers' money in that fashion. Now the city has millions and millions of dollars worth of bond obligations. Time will tell if those debts will come back to haunt Sunnyside.
I will write about the numerous families whose lives were shattered by Stockwell during his time in Sunnyside. Good, hard working families whose roots were firmly entrenched in Sunnyside...like the Stantons, the Schatzes, the Byers, the Niemeyers. How many of them, and others, were needlessly forced from their jobs?
Bob Stockwell's holier than thou attitude, cold-hearted personality and take-no-prisoners management style was not a good fit for this community. I say...good riddance!