With all the rumors flying around town about what was supposed to go down at last night’s council meeting, the actual events ended up being a little anti-climatic. It reminds me of Winston Churchill when he said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
If you remember, there was a shift in leadership last month on council. Councilman John Pappas was ousted as president, Councilwoman Karen Reeves was then elected to fill the position and Councilman Bill Stewart was elected as Vice President. As a result, there was also a shift in committees among the council members. The most controversial of the shifts was the removal of Councilwoman Danielle Thompson from being the Chairperson for the Recreation Board and also her removal from the Administration Committee. For some reason, this came as a surprise to many people…including Ms. Thompson.
Before I continue, let’s set the record straight. Ms. Thompson still serves on the Recreation Board. Councilman Dave Paterson now serves as the Chairperson. As Mr. Paterson stated in last night’s meeting, no one is being removed from the board. The reason Ms. Thompson cannot serve as the Chair is because it is viewed as a conflict of interest. For example, if the Rec Board votes on a new program and then needs Council to approve it, the Chairperson should not have a vote on both panels. It’s my guess that the handful of Rec Board members who showed up at last night’s meeting were led to believe that she was being tossed off entirely when in fact, that was not the case.
So why then was Ms. Thompson removed from the Administration Committee? Appointed Councilman Dale Kerns would have you believe that she is the only one with the professional background to run the finances in the borough when in fact Council President Karen Reeves has a background as an office manager. Ms. Thompson actually works in human resources…not exactly finances, so it would make sense that an office manager would chair the committee that manages the finances. But let’s take a closer look. As resident, Glen Wilson brought to light in the public forum, there are rumors going around about the Acting Police Chief’s pay, the current but absent Police Chief’s pay and the borough budget. I don’t know about you, but given the fact that Ms. Thompson is the current Police Chief’s live-in girlfriend, that raises a huge red flag and I believe it was a wise choice to remove her from that committee, again because it is a conflict of interest. While I’m not sure what committees Ms. Thompson serves on, my guess is that she serves on at least one and not “zero” as she would have you to believe.
But there sat Ms. Thompson, aghast at the fact that she was removed and vowed to keep serving the people. Yes…we saw proof of that as she tried unsuccessfully to run for mayor as an Independent in this November’s municipal election…even pulling residents Norm Quinn and Louis Ciarrocchi in to run as Independent Councilmen. According to the court documents, they were challenged by President of the Reformed Republican Party of Eddystone and Council Vice President Bill Stewart. Ultimately they decided that it probably wasn’t the best idea, especially given the fact that in running as Independents after they already voted in the May primary as Republicans is illegal.
It’s admirable to want to serve your community but my question is…Why act like a wounded animal that is trapped in a corner? Does she have something to hide?