So, this happened, which has come as a shock to many, though I prefer for obvious reasons to parse this in terms of the many silver linings.
As I pointed out earlier today to an intrepid RTC commenter, after seeing all but one incumbent run out of office in 2011, gambling and losing badly on proposed changes to Ordinance 109 in that same election and being firmly trounced in attempts to appoint one of their own to the 34th district seat in 2012, there was literally nowhere for East Hampton’s beleaguered Republicrats to go but up.
Truly, credit should be given to them for prevailing and at long last getting their respective acts together after more than four years in the figurative wilderness. Apart from two incumbents, both party slates wisely ran candidates largely unconnected (at least publicly) to their 2009 counterparts. To do otherwise would have rightly opened them to criticism — often made here and elsewhere — of the utter tone deafness of East Hampton’s power brokers to their own constituents. This, as well as their inability — prior to this election at least — to field electable candidates and run campaigns based on something other than negativity and distasteful appeals to what we have come to call “East Hampton Nativism.”
By far the most important comparison one can make between this and the 2011 election is the state of town government being left behind by the outgoing Councillors. No one can deny The Chatham Party inherited an intimidatingly woeful mess in 2011, one that was entirely of their predecessors’ making. They did not hesitate to strike out and make good on their campaign promises, this despite near-total obstructionism and obfuscation from the council minority members. Eventually the drama with the police chief was wound down and a qualified Town Manager was hired.
There are other accomplishments, really too many to list, but the simple point is that Susan Weintraub, Kyle Dostaler, Glenn Suprono, and Derek Johnson left town government much, much better than they found it and for that, the entire town can and should be grateful. I certainly am. Your Dude (retired) raises a White Russian to you all as you depart office with your dignity and consciences intact.
I can only hope their successors show wisdom and grace in their victory, and will remain mindful of the very costly lessons they appear to have learned.
Time indeed will tell.
So, this little nugget of joy — straight out of the EHRTC bizzaro universe, I am guessing — showed up in East Hampton mailboxes last week:
To which I and anyone else who perceives reality normally would say: “Why, yes! I was indeed very tired of those headlines.”
But — and here’s the funny thing — they pretty much stopped within the last eighteen months. Not just because East Hampton now has an eminently competent Town Manager and Matthew Reimondo is retired, but moreso because the East Hampton Town Council is no longer under the control of dysfunctional narcissists and their various supporters/collaborators.
Quick trip down memory lane for the reality-challenged:
Compared to the last year:
Enough said, methinks.
The Chatham Party candidates will remain on the ballot.
It is so, so terrible when jurisprudence operates sanely and properly.
Well, everything really. But at the top I would place freedom from concern. Your dude likes to kick back, put on some Creedence, maybe burn one and/or sip thoughtfully on a white russian all while envisioning how to roll a perfect 7-10 split or perhaps contemplating Goethe (e.g. “Ignorant men raise questions that wise men answered a thousand years ago.”). The world spins on. The lilies toil not. You get the picture.
Things were so quiet in East Hampton; the new Chief settled in well. Town Manager Maniscalco celebrated his first year in office without the threat of being deposed by the Republicrats and their old-timey pals. Even the election season kickoff — normally a wellspring for Chatham Party Haterade (the pause that digresses) — was filled with relative comity.
Thus, as one wise in the ways of Zen, your dude is not at all surprised when reality comes crashing back in, arresting his attention away from his ruminations.
Our Office of the Secretary of State, not content with their past blunders, bundled in to their annual communiques to local Town Clerks a new, arbitrary requirement that third party candidates have to personally certify via signature when submitting documentation for the local election ballot. Local Democrats and Republicans can go right on doing business as they please.
And guess which Town Clerk didn’t pass this information along until it was too late and refused to rule favorably towards a local third party within their own authority?
Ding! You guessed it. And now a Writ (yes, really) has been filed. Fingers crossed that providence will look favorably on the Chatham Party, who have worked hard, accomplished much and — I have to believe — remain well regarded in the hearts and minds of East Hampton voters. We all know the steps to this dance, folks.
Friends, I say to you: Have faith, and be of good cheer. I cannot believe East Hampton voters want Tissa’s pals back in charge. But just in case they decide to get up to their old tricks, know that I and others will be watching.
Here’s to a happy retirement for us both!
Photo: East Hampton-Portland Patch Blingee: Jeffery Lebowski
You heard right, Ms. Parker. Exhibiting behavior more commonly associated with Bell’s palsy, after months of silence, East Hampton Council Chairwoman Emeritus Melissa Engel — having discharged shoutypants Attorney Ken Barber — has retained the honorable lawfirm of Lobo and Associates (YES THAT IS THEIR NAME, FOR REALS) and is filing suit in federal court against Reimondo, Kelly and the Town of East Hampton, alleging violations of first amendment rights, malicious prosecution and severe emotional distress!
Your Dude has been more or less enjoying semi-retirement. Oh sure, Anger Bear, Babs and Curious George were kicking up a ruckus over Reimondo’s 90 day hire (ZOMG, ABROGATION! MALFEASANCE! BURN HIM!) though in this actually quite well done and circumspect article Jeff Mill lays out all the deets, including the tidbit that apparently East Hampton’s Democrats have avowed to remove Town Manager Maniscalco should they ever regain control of the Town Council. Yes, you heard that right.
So what’s the takeaway here? My guess: since birther-queen-dentist-lawyer-real estate agent Orly Taitz remains unavailable, Engel has been likely casting around for someone with the right combination of credentials and total lack of common sense to file suit on her behalf in federal court.
Hot tip for the guys at Lobo and Associates: I hope to heaven you are not taking this case on a contingency, lest you end up on the hook for penalties as well as all the defendant’s legal fees. You might even get in trouble with the state bar, as federal judges tend not to take kindly to frivolous filings.
Still, there’s a part of me that would love nothing more that the hear the tortuously convoluted legal argument wherein it is explained how precisely Engel’s first amendment rights were violated. Please tell me, Messrs. Lobo, when ever during her tenure did Councilor Engel lack access to a platform to promulgate her years long crusade against Reimondo, not to mention sanity and prudent governance in general? Most of us who experience reality normally recall it being the over way around: Engel is, in fact, frequently on record as seeking to stifle opposition in town meetings with the imposition of entirely arbitrary rules such as time limits and threats of removal. The documented evidence of this in meeting minutes alone is enough to keep your interns busy for a month.
Then there’s the matter of Reimondo’s settlement with Engel and the town. Please tell me, Los Lobos, that you have read that agreement, particularly the part where then-defendant Engel agreed to hold harmless, et cetera, et cetera. Might want to give that a look.
It is just like Bukowski said: Hatred is the only thing that truly lasts. See you around the inter tubes, friends.
By now this letter from Babs and Curious George has made the full rounds. The sauce is weak, and the letter does, of course, take entirely too long to get to its point:
That is where the planned process ended. After trying unsuccessfully to have a special Town Council meeting, the Town Manager released a letter to us saying that he had made the decision to rehire Chief Reimondo. This meeting was cancelled due to improper notice. As the news spread throughout our community, we realized that the process that the 7 members of the council had agreed upon was violated.
Our community needs to respond and continue to guide us back to making decisions that are right for you. This is not right!!
And we know this is true because of the punctuation used in the concluding paragraph. Double exclamation point = extra-truthiness!
The haters, particularly EOTT (likely our friend Rita, a long-time superhater ne plus ultra of the Chatham Party) have been burning up the comments over on Patch, but unlike the bad old freewheeling days on the Middletown Press, the same 2 or 3 are bouncing around in their own echo chamber.
Meanwhile, Maniscalco puts out this perfectly cogent response as Jeff Mill puts in all in context in this article over at the MP. Doubtful it will mollify those now inexplicably calling for Maniscalco’s resignation, (seriously folks, do you really want to trot down that road?) but better that he get out in front of it and invite his critics to address things with him directly. Oh, I’m sure one or two might venture in to rail and wail, but it tends to mute the frothier of the Candide keyboard commandos.
Never mind the long tradition of anonymity in political speech that goes back to before the founding of this nation. Never mind that some of the greatest authors ever to put pen to page wrote under pseudonyms. Ted Hintz, John Tuttle, Sheila Barton Engel and their friends want you all to know — for the umpteenth time — that writing under any sort of assumed name totally invalidates your opinion. Yes, even if your opinion is supported by a preponderance of evidence, or is shared by the overwhelming majority of governmental oversight bodies dealing with local municipalities. In their gospel, if you write under an assumed name, your opinion is utterly without merit, no matter how sensible your views.
As I often say, here’s the thing: almost 2 and a half years ago I sat in a high school auditorium with a few hundred or so concerned citizens of East Hampton and witnessed impassioned, reasoned pleas from a broad majority of residents regarding the attempts of the 2010 Council to get rid of Matt Reimondo for reasons that, in the years since, have stubbornly refused to materialize. I was left with the stunning, indelible impression not only of the utter tone deafness of elected Councilors to their own constituents, but of their unveiled contempt for the same. I found it sickening. In that moment, I vowed to act, and this this blog was born.
With the relative saneness of recent months it has been easy to forget how thick and fast the excrement was flowing back then; during the TC6 tenure it seemed that every day brought a new, fresh hell. From the moment they tried to fire Reimondo, town governance was effectively ground to a halt, and in the end several local political careers and reputations were forever trashed. Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars lost in the vacuum of settlements and legal fees. But somehow, in the haters’ narrative it was all the fault of the Chatham Party and bloggers such as yours truly.
Flattering, to say the least, but like so many things promulgated by the East Hampton Candide Posse, totally fictional. To this day Beth Shephard’s CHRO case against the town remains unresolved, and not one person can satisfactory answer: if Jeff O’Keefe was in fact so utterly innocent, why did he resign? The FOIC and State’s Attorney clearly came down on the side of reality, and the TC6, less Barbara Moore, paid the price, with stunning losses both in the Ordinance 109 referendum and the council election a year later.
Today, with a new Town Manager seated, it seemed better days were ahead. But the moment he made a decision — a perfectly sensible, rational , legal decision well within his own authority that did not sit well with Reimondo’s enemies — suddenly all hell breaks loose and its 2010 again, except this time it is Ted Hintz and a half dozen or so of the East Hampton Candide membership desperately looking to gin up the specter of malfeasance where none exists. The press at large is, of course, nonplussed and has to rightfully trot out the entire narrative; this is once again parsed as “bias” rather than objective reality.
So what’s this really about?
My take: a sad, desperate attempt to retake even the smallest shred of ground the TC6 and their supporters long since rightfully lost. Matt Reimondo is all but done with East Hampton; at this point it is merely a question of when. Maniscalco decides to resolve the difficulty of filling the interim Chief position by effectively postponing Reimondo’s retirement by 90 days, and the haters literally go apeshit, hoping we won’t remember how their antics cost the town the last time. Ted Hintz attempts to co-opt the methodology of TBOT’s wildly successful 2010 grass roots campaign, failing to realize it is all but impossible to rally people to your cause when you have neither sanity, prudence or common sense on your side.
It’s like in that movie “200 Cigarettes” where the unpopular girl throws the New Year’s Party and no one shows up. Except Ted is the girl.
Sorry, I’m late to the party, but OMG you guys, Ted Hintz and a smattering of Tissa’s pals are JUST SO MAD because Matt Reimondo will be around for another 90 days. FROWNYFACE EMOTICON!
Obviously this is cause to IMPEACH the new Town Manager!!!!!
I would say more, but do I need to?
Melissa H. Ziobron (R) 5,902 (55%)
Christopher Goff (D) 4,846 (45%)
Happy to see meddling from the usual suspects did not affect the outcome. Were there in fact any write-ins for Devine?
In any event, a 10 point margin is quite respectable and a remarkable turn for an area that has not elected a Republican in a very long time.
Enjoy your victory MZ. You worked hard for this and earned every vote. I’m confident you will do a great job in Hartford.