The Pre-Game Show

Bill Veazey

This Pre-game Show is brought to you in recognition of the new ball game about to be played in Washington, D.C. The change in players will be exciting and scary all at the same time. Last yearís news is now officially, "Old News".

If you watched the Super Bowl play-offs last month and saw the final razzle-dazzle desperation play by Baltimore; --set, hike, run here, turn, toss the ball, spin, lateral to another, dodge and dart, flip the ball to another, again, and again: you have an idea of what Iím talking about. And then, in the midst of total chaos, the ball was intercepted by the Steelers, which ended the Ravens "term in office". That game was over! Pittsburgh won. On to the Super Bowl.

This past yearís political news brought so much razzle-dazzle to the country that the analogy to the sports world is clear. Think about it: totally excessive campaign rhetoric, gas and oil prices; -up, up and away; -drill, drill, -lock in that heating oil price before it goes higher; down it went; -groan, moan; possible bankruptcy, credit crunch, bail-out! Oops, more crunch, now change the plan; -more money even with $350 Billion yet to go from Bail-out No. 1. Quick: Bail-out No.2, a new $800 Billion.

And suddenly, here we are at noontime on January 20 with that final flip of the ball, Bush to Obama! Itís a new ball game on the National scene, and all of us are the spectators. We observe the game and pay our money so they can play. Tickets or taxes, itís all the same. We cheer and yell, gripe and groan. The action goes on! The price of a ticket, or tax, never goes down!

Team Obama, Play well! You are the top seed in the World Super Bowl.
            Go, man, go; and be strong on defense; please!

On the local scene, there will be elections in March. You can vote for real change there too. A lot transpires on the Seacoast that should be changed. Itís not covered on CNN or FOX, but you can "read all about it" in Rye Reflections!
To get an informed insight of local level politics, I strongly suggest you click here, and read Rye Selectman Craig Musselmanís paper on the subject. As a fellow civil engineer and lower level pol,(member of many organizations, committees and boards over the years) I know what he means and appreciate his candor.

There is commentary in his paper about a code of ethics, or lack thereof, for local level politicians, and he proposes one, suggesting how political discourse might be improved.

By coincidence, there was an informative article on that subject in the St. Petersburg Times this past Sunday, which describes a federal law which puts teeth in an ethical standard that all citizens and voters may rely upon. It states simply: "Public officials inherently owe a fiduciary duty to the public to make governmental decisions in the public's beat interest". . . and further, citizens have an ". . .intangible right of honest service." You may read this informative article by this clicking this link. Honest Services Doctrine

Amidst revelations about Rye dignitaries and town employees, Musselman talks about the many legal battles in Rye, stating: ďÖthe number and type of lawsuits that public entities get involved in can be shocking Ö in some cases there appears to be no intent to arrive at a fair resolution, and in others, there appears to be some manner of interest in litigating and appealing regardless of the merits. . . "  

In my opinion, those attitudes are more than likely the reason Rye has had so many lawsuits and such high legal expenses. Why can't that be changed? Rye residents deserve better.

One brief section on public employee matters concludes with the statement: "In the public sector, with the constraints at every turn, sometimes it seems as if it's "six strikes and you're out."

Overall there is much to be learned about the workings of governments, small and large, in this paper, and what could be changed to improve our form of government. I commend Craig for taking on the task and wish him success.  

Stay tuned and let your voice be heard. As they say,
         Think nationally; but vote locally!

February, 2009