July 22, 2008

About signatures and petitions

Having gathered signatures for candidates and causes in my younger days, I know the drill. I recognize that many people sign them mostly to be nice to whoever is circulating them and that much of the time those who pen their names have little or no idea what they just endorsed.
However, there are also people who sign because they want very much to register their approval for whatever it is the petition is calling for - a fireworks display on the Fourth of July, a congressional candidacy or even a referendum on whether to have a chief operating officer.
Many of those commenting on this blog -- and probably some city officials -- are more concerned with the technicalities of who witnesses a signature on a petition than they are with the people who put their names to the petitions. What's truly important is not whether circulator X has his witness signature notarized or not. It's that 4,000 or more ordinary citizens signed the petitions seeking a referendum on this issue. That's a gigantic number (assuming, of course, that it's true). And city leaders ought to remember that what the law intends is for the people to have their say if they can get enough signatures. It appears that they did.
I remember in New York seeing candidates for public office disqualified because they put staples to hold their petitions together instead of paper clips -- or maybe it was the other way around. This was considered politically acceptable. But it was ridiculous, a way of turning our democracy into a sham.
Does Bristol need a chief operating officer? I don't know.
But I do know that when the people want to vote on it, they ought to get the chance, regardless of whether circulators screwed up or city officials put up roadblocks or lawyers decide to nitpick. And God forbid that the police wind up investigating this sort of sideshow when there are murderers on the loose and all sorts of serious crimes that don't get the attention they need.
Just put the people first, folks, and everything will be fine.

*******
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, your point is a good one, however we can't expect the City Clerk to assume that all 4000 signatures are authentic. That is why she needs to enforce the notarized signature mandate. What if (and I'm not saying that anyone did)a petition circulator was so passionate about the mission that they threw caution to the wind and forged signatures?

How many times have we heard of dead people's signatures being found on ballots and petitions around the country? Or a husband signing for a wife in her absence or vice versa on the assumption that they feel the same way about the cause?

We can't ignore that there are thousands of people that want the COO vote to happen, but we also can't disregard the process of ensuring that those signatures are authentic.

And with the reality that there were petitions left unattended, that makes it that much more important that the City Clerk do all she can do ensure that there were no rules broken.

Anonymous said...

One thing being ignored here is that 4000 people signed a petition asking for a vote on something. The same thing with the mall petition. What does that say about the voters in this city and their desires? If you are a politician and ignore that fact, then you are making a huge mistake. Only 12000+ people voted in the last election, so ignore that fact at your own political future. Just my read on the true point of the petition process, it is not so much about the issue at hand, but the greater desire for more of a say and some real change in government at all levels.

Steve Collins said...

No question about it, Therese Pac has a responsibility to make sure the signatures are authentic. But what's important is whether they are real or not -- not whether the circulator did everything exactly perfect in getting the names.

Anonymous said...

I almost signed it but then the person holding the petition said that having a COO will lower our taxes. It was that false assumptive statement that made me not sign.

If you are going to ask people to sign a petition to vote on something the least you could do is be honest with them and not try and sell it like a used car.

Anonymous said...

I agree that throwing out a petition due to a small issue like a paperclip versus a staple (not done here, other towns have) is stupid, but requiring that signatures are authentic is not a small detail.

Anonymous said...

The technicalities of a petition process is the reason that the K-8 petitions failed. There were far more than 4000 people that wanted to sign for a chance to vote, but none of the politicians wanted to take on the mission, so the common citizens that did make an attempt failed.

But because this COO petition process has some big names pushing for it, they are going to make a fuss over something as important as making sure that signatures are authentic?

Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

My daughter signed it and she isn't a registered voter. No one bothered to check or even ask her. She thought she was doing a good thing until we told her that she wasn't really eligible to sign.

Steve Collins said...

I guess the issue is how does somebody authenticate signatures? It's not by examining the circulator's signature and subjecting them to police investigations, as some commenters have suggested here.
It's simply by checking on the validity of the voters' signatures.

Steve Collins said...

There are always people who sign who aren't registered or don't live in town or whatever. That's why people who need to reach a certain threshold make sure they have plenty of room for error. In this case, the petitions have at least 20 percent more names they they are strictly required to get. Is that enough? We'll find out.

Anonymous said...

You are right to a point Steve, but that is why the petition circulator takes responsibility for the authentication of the signatures by taking an oath when turning it in. We can't expect the Clerk's office to call all 4000 people to make sure they really signed, but when the credibility of the petition process was compromised by reports of petitions left unattended, then certain actions need to be taken to ensure that the petition circulators truly understand what they are swearing to under oath.

Anonymous said...

I think that the petition organizers could have ensured that there was a smaller margin of error needed. All they had to do is have a printed copy of the voter list at the petition drives. They could have checked before a person signed to ensure the person really is a registered voter in the City. It wouldn't have taken any effort and the time to double check a persons voter status would have been a matter of seconds. If a person really feels that strongly about signing the petition, they wouldn't have minded waiting an additional 15 seconds to have their name checked on the list.

Adopting this process would have also added to the credibility of the process with the City Clerk.

Anonymous said...

If your daughter is old enough to vote then why is she not registered? Are you registered?


I agree with Steve, how can you verify the person signing is who they say they are? Are Drivers License numbers enough? Having a license doesn't mean you are a registered voter either does it?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Steve, how can you verify the person signing is who they say they are?

The same way they do during an election. They have access to the voter lists during campaigns and they use them - why didn't they do so for this??

She isn't old enough yet to be a registered voter - won't be until January. She didn't know she had to be. No one told her. They just asked her if she lived in Bristol and asked her to sign.

Anonymous said...

bottom line is that if the circulators took the steps to ensure that the wording of the question was indisputable, why would they not take the same steps to realize what hurdles were experienced in the past = p---poor planning.

Tim Gamache said...

Believe this may be one of those "rare" moments when we are in complete agreement Steve.

Anonymous said...

My impression was that each circulator had to get his or her pages that he or she circulated notarized - not every signature taken notarized. So my neighbor, who ended up doing three sheets, needs to go get those three notarized. Someone please tell me if I am wrong on this.

If that is the case, it is something that can be overcome. If it is not required by state or city law, then Therese Pac should be asked to show where her authority lies to institute such a rule.

It seems to me that some complainers are getting a little far afield with the conspiracy theories - yes, people sign petitions that aren't eligible to do so - that's why the Clerk's office verifies the names.

The voter list being available is a good idea - if someone wasn't a voter they could have registered on the spot.

Anonymous said...

Rules are Rules! Why have them if you can make excuses for each issue? Lawyers make a living on skirting the rules and mistakes.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

This is a great post Steve! You're right it is very over the top to call in the police and demand investigations. And while I do agree that the process can become so arbitrary as to be no process at all I have to say I disagree with your sentiment. It should be clear that the person collecting the signatures is doing the right thing. It is a guarentee that the person signing the petition knows what they are putting their name to. Like you said many people have little to no idea what they may have endorsed. The onus is on the collector to be responsible with the other person's signature.

I volunteered for Ned Lamont's senate campaign two years ago. It was an interesting comparison in this process between Ned Lamont who originally started his campaign as a petition drive to force a primary and Senator Lieberman who petitioned to be an independant on the ballot. Lamont's campaign stressed playing by the rules because you didn't know what quirk would get signatures thrown out (and you didn't want to give anyone a reason). Contrast that with Senator Lieberman who had circulators who weren't even from this state and evaded doing the simple requirement of being from the town they were circulating petitons in. All that took was getting a driver's license from CT and many times they didn't do it.

It seems arbitrary at times (and at worst it can be made to be) but it is your identity that you are putting to paper on an issue. The people should be and must be heard but my name (or anyone elses) should be treated with as much respect as if they were the collector's. Otherwise your voice is just another name to get what someone else wants.

Anonymous said...

It is the City Clerk's responsibility to check if the person who signed the petition, providing their printed name and address is eligible.

The petitions do not call for driver's license numbers or any information other than the signature, printed name, and address.

The voter records are not provided to those gathering petitions. That would be a huge burden on the registrar and would add to the cost of anyone wishing to circulate a petition thus discouraging average citizens from taking an active role in our political system.

Fact sheets were available for people who wanted more information. These sheets defined the COO as defined by the Charter Revision Committee.

What are all the fear mongers afraid of? Are they afraid that people may actually have an opportunity to vote on an issue in this city? Would they rather leave everything up to political pandering and then have to wait two years to voice their disapproval after their elected official fails to do anything or reverses on their campaign promises?

It's time to move the question to the ballot and let the voters decide!

Anonymous said...

Human nature is that some people will do what ever it takes to "get their way".
Maybe only a small number, but it does cause an effort to be made to ensure legitimacy.

Even when we have challengers at the polls, we still need to see a photo ID.

This situation is not atypical of the way some political people in Bristol operate. Do whatever it takes and we'll correct and change things as we go along.

I do believe that the change as proposed does leave many questions and will be difficult to modify if implemented.

We semm to live the saying: we don't have time to do it right, but we do have time to do it over.

And if someone coudn't take the time to babyit their petition or go door to door, they maybe they really aren't committed to the issue.

Anonymous said...

Any job worth doing is worth doing RIGHT!

Anonymous said...

"What are all the fear mongers afraid of"

Nice try. Seems the petitioners are now trying to put the blame for the sloppy, slipshod management of their petition on scary fear mongers. Come on guys, even you can do better than that, but then again judging by your latest performance ~ maybe not! LOL!!!!

Anonymous said...

10:05 poster,

If you truly went to sign the petition you would have seen information handed out as too what the COO is and will do. Therefore I doubt you really went to sign it!

Typical union hack!!!!

Anonymous said...

Police investigating! WOW, that would be interesting. Would that be the same police who's union is fighting hard against the people having a say?

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Great article. Hope you put it in the paper to read.

Anonymous said...

10:15 poster,

Can anyone start a roomer to start people talking? Yes!

Would I put it past the union and those in the union pockets to start such roomers, of course they would! They are trying everything possible to stop the people from having a say!

Could it be that those same people are afraid this will accually pass in November? Yes! Because then they won't have a Mayor and Council giving them everything they want!

LET THE PEOPLE VOTE ON THE ISSUE!!

Anonymous said...

"Can anyone start a roomer to start people talking? Yes!"

Gosh I hate it when people do that! Especially when they're based on facts, but then that wouldn't be a "roomer" now, would it?

Anonymous said...

I doesn't matter WHAT the organizers of a petition drive do, the bottom line will ALWAYS BE a newly created arbitrary hurdle to overcome in order to sabatoge any petition effort.
This is Bristol, after all.

The next time it will be paper clips rather than staples, and after that, staples rather than paper clips.

As far as the City Clerk and City Attorney is concerned, they have proven themselves to be nothing more than poltical hacks collecting a public salary.

IF they had been doing their jobs, and serving the public properly, they would have issued a list of instructions, steps and guidelines to follow at the START of the process.

Do they not serve the public?
So where was the initiative on their part?

Their so-called " due diligence" is well after the fact.

Incompetent bureaucrates or political hacks?
Either way, both have shown that are not worthy of the salaries we pay them.

Anonymous said...

9:16

The problem is, that if this were to pass, we would still have a full time mayor, still have 6 elected councilmembers, AND this COO COO would report to them, not to the people.

The cost has not been presented, all the details have not been worked out.

NO ONE has presented an example of where a COO exists in any municipality in CONN.

Lets do it right if we are going to do it at all.

Lastly, do you want another $125,000.00 position, plus benefits with a $50,000 secretary, plus benefits, pay for a car, provide space, possible relocation costs, all to give someone for the politicians to hide behind?

Think about it.

Anonymous said...

The voter records are not provided to those gathering petitions. That would be a huge burden on the registrar and would add to the cost of anyone wishing to circulate a petition thus discouraging average citizens from taking an active role in our political system.

Now you are just making excuses. This is not a huge burden. There are 2 methods that could be used:

1: printed copy at each petition "station" - it takes less than one day for the registrar to print these.

2: It takes 5 minutes for the girl in the registrar's office to burn the entire voter database on CD. You could have had the list on a laptop at each petition "station"

For those circulating petitions they could have had a list of all the registered voters for each street they were canvasing.

These are not expensive methods. The printed copies are $75 a piece and the CD is $50.

I'm sure Yarde would have pony'd up.

Anonymous said...

If this thing goes to court do you really want the city spending money on this particular matter in a court of law. Do you really think they will win?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the clerk's office created the petition forms that were being circulated?

Anonymous said...

Again, the rules for this process changed right after it was announced that enough signatures had been collected. Why wasn't this "new rule" specified at the beginning?

This does not decide "the issue of a COO". It merely puts it on the ballot for the voters to decide -- one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

Why don't we put the question of whether the petitions have to be notarized on the ballot?

Anonymous said...

"Lastly, do you want another $125,000.00 position, plus benefits with a $50,000 secretary, plus benefits, pay for a car, provide space, possible relocation costs, all to give someone for the politicians to hide behind?"


You forgot possible union membership ;)

Anonymous said...

I do believe that the petioners were informed of the rules early on and chose to do it their way and hope that they did not get called on it.

Everyone that has dealt with Therese know she is straight arrow: sometimes stubborn but she does follow the rules.

Just another example of Ken Johnson and his know it all gang.

Anonymous said...

11:33

Gee, none of those things were mentioned when I was approached to sign.

What else should I have known?

Anonymous said...

If Ken Johnson is approaching the CL&P situation the way he approached the petition situation, we don't stand a chance.

john cullen said...

WHAT’S DISAPPOINTING

It is disappointing that Mr. Ward and Mr. Rimkoski did not vote to have the question of COO/no COO put on the ballot so that this entire petition effort and senseless quarrel could have been avoided. If they believe as they have stated that despite being against the change they felt the voters should have a choice, they should have voted to have the question put on the ballot. They could have clearly communicated their opposition to the concept while also allowing the voters to ultimately decide – without the effort and subsequent controversy of a petition drive. The Charter Commission created by the Council proposed and unanimously endorsed this referendum and numerous candidates for office as well as citizens have voiced support for it. It didn’t seem necessary to “prove” there was adequate support by a tedious petition drive in this instance. But, they voted as they did so…

A number of Bristol citizens took up the arduous task of collecting signatures to assure that voters would be able to decide on this matter in the voting booth. I don’t recall many complaints, and actually remember quite a bit of optimism and positive feelings about the process. They didn’t seem to let the fact that a lot of work would be necessary to get the signatures they needed discourage them in any way. I recall they were concerned with making sure the process was done properly, past failures serving to make them extremely wary in this regard. I recall reading that they tried to make sure that any guidance they thought they needed to conduct the drive properly was obtained.

Since this is not an endeavor conducted on a regular basis, especially here in Bristol, questions arose early on regarding supervision/authentication of the petitions. That would have been a very opportune time for the City Clerk to clarify the rules of the game – whatever they actually are. If they are not in simple written form for any and every Bristol citizen to obtain and clearly understand, that would be an egregious indication of incompetence somewhere in City Hall, and that would be very disappointing.

Once the process is underway and the rules established and understood, if there are going to be changes made to the requirements, accommodations must also be offered to allow that change to be implemented so as not to corrupt the process. Just as those conducting the petition drive have responsibilities to keep the process clean, so do those who are charged with administering the process. The City Clerk, the Corporation Counsel, the Mayor and any other department/official charged with administering any aspect of a petition drive must make sure that should the people of Bristol want to try to put a referendum on the ballot that they will be HELPED in every possible way to understand and properly carry out the process. It is disappointing that this has not happened.

This is a petition drive and not an election. The people obtaining the signatures are not trained election officials or volunteers. There are no designated “voting places”. The requirements for a petition drive and an election are not remotely the same. The result of the petition drive is simply to provide the opportunity to vote. The City Council doesn’t seem to think this COO concept is something the voters should be allowed to make their own determination on. A number of officials and citizens don’t agree, and believe that many citizens would like to change the make-up of our government. The petition drive is designed to make it possible for the populace to overrule the Council in a circumstance such as this, but only to the point where it provides that the issue can be brought to a vote. The fact that there seems to be such opposition to this, in the face of so many indications that Bristolites would like to be heard on this issue, is disappointing.

What is most disappointing is the disdain with which so many of the “contributors” to this forum treat others and convey their “thoughts”. I find it unfathomable that presumed adults can be so crudely and blindly divisive and derisive for no significantly good reason. You seem to thrive on and relish it. This is beyond disappointing – this is sad.

It seems that lately there has been a trend toward more folks contributing and doing so in a thoughtful and positive way, even though they may offer divergent opinions. This has been pleasant to observe. It would be even more so if everyone who did want to positively impact this forum as well as the City of Bristol would let the rest of us know who you are. Perhaps if a trend in that direction began, those that truly need to hide behind the “anonymous” moniker will begin to feel small enough and conspicuous enough that they will either alter their attitude or run for cover somewhere else. Hopefully it would diminish the debris we all have to navigate through before we get to some worthwhile contributions.

I truly hope that more of you will give this some thought and introduce yourselves. And I also hope that as a City, and as neighbors, we can do a little more to be civil with one another and work toward making life a little better. That’s what makes the world go round, and remember, as Mr. Lennon and Mr. McCartney penned in “We can work it out”


Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend.

I would also like to thank all those who have contributed to the effort to allow the people of Bristol to decide if they want to see the COO issue on the ballot in November. Actions always have more impact and speak louder than words. You should be proud of your efforts no matter what the outcome might be.

Be well, john cullen

Anonymous said...

Well, where is that particular pamphlet?
Where is that open government public communication?

Why can't any member of the public, Steve Collins included, just go down to the City Clerk's Office and pick up a copy of all those rules, guidelines, and simple steps to follow when starting a petition drive?

What's the matter didn't the City Attorney and City Clerk take the time make one ?

This is the second petition drive being sabatoged.

Soon they will call the police to grill, intimidate, and harass the gatherers to withdraw their petitions.

Doesn't matter how many people sign in good faith, some way will be found to kill it.

This is Bristol.

Anonymous said...

I guess you don't like Rules unless you make them up yourself.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please answer whether or not the clerk prepared the petition forms that were circulated?

If the clerk did prepare the forms, then there is absolutely no basis for her to require notarized signatures after the fact.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone check the authenticity of the signatures and petitions gathered to force a primary between Mayor Back-Ward and the honorable Ellen Zoppo?

Think about it Bristol boys and girls!

Maybe Arty and his followers know something about this petition-gathering issue that they're not talking about? Like how to fudge the results, and get away with it.

It takes a rule breaker to know a rule breaker.

Anonymous said...

Guess what! Petitions are being notarized as I type, and will be completed by the deadline, and on the ballot for Nov 4th!

Anonymous said...

Amen! Your article couldn't have been more concise, Steve. Let the voters decide this issue. The city officials need to quit nit-picking in an attempt to sabotage the effort.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is that this question will be n the ballot and everyone will have the right to vote on it.
Craig Yarde, Ken Cockayne, Craig Minor and Ken Johnson should be thanked for leading this effort.

Ward and Rimcoski should pack thier bags. Hopefully the people of BRistol will resoudly pass this proposal and shove it down Ward and Rimcoski's throats.

Billy from Bristol said...

The Blight Nazi guy called it on day one . Ya gotta give him credit when he's soooooo right .

Back-Yarde-Again said...

Craig:

Time to hire a lawyer and sue this low-tide-leftover city gov't.

Terminate Pac 2009 said...

"Did anyone check the authenticity of the signatures and petitions gathered to force a primary between Mayor Back-Ward and the honorable Ellen Zoppo?"

--Good point! That is also proof that Pac is a politcal hack

Anonymous said...

"Hopefully the people of BRistol will resoudly pass this proposal and shove it down Ward and Rimcoski's throats."

Once again, the motivation for the drive behind the petition comes to light ~ a bunch of angry politicians looking for revenge with the City of Bristol picking up the tab for their foolishness.

Hopefully, the people of Bristol will see through their charade and shut these comedians down for good.

Anonymous said...

"Did anyone check the authenticity of the signatures and petitions gathered to force a primary between Mayor Back-Ward and the honorable Ellen Zoppo

There was no petition or signatures gathered for the primary. There was an endorsement by the DTC and then a primary between Art and Ellen. There was no petition or signatures to be verified. It was an election.

Anonymous said...

Who is to say that the City Clerk did not instruct some of the petition leadership?

Don't jump to conclusions.

You have one person who certainly has not been up front with the city and taxpayers regarding his contract with the city.

You have another person who has a less than stellar reputation, and you have a third who while new to the business, still will not listen to those more experienced and prbably knowledgeable.

Throw in a couple of political hacks and you have a recipe for disaster.

Is the media doing any objective investigation?

Anonymous said...

WE really haven't seen what this Charter change would do: many many questions have not been answered.

Hopefully the people will not buy a pig in the poke

Anonymous said...

hard to believe that the signatures were gotten and the gatherers of the petitions still aren't happy - is it because their time trying to seem worth while has passed or is it because no one threw them a parade - get a life.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

There are many people in this city who oppose the idea of a city manager. For reasons I am sure are as varied as those who support the idea. And yet someone reading this blog for the first time might think that all opposition is limited to the mayor, members of the city council, and the city clerk.

Do I think that the city clerk is pulling a fast one? No. I think she is doing her job. Sorry but I do. I'm sure many people worked very hard to know the rules but that doesn't mean that every collector did every thing correctly. People cut corners or forget to include a step or two when they are relaying information from a third party. It happens.

And frankly I resent that somehow city manager proponents can entitle themselves to a moral high ground because Craig Yarde claims the clerk is changing the rules.

With all due respect Craig Yarde is only presenting his view of the situation. And well frankly, he's whining about it.

For all the claims otherwise the clerk has the authority to require this.

This is not an issue of "the people" vs. "the machine." This is a debate and decision of all the people. Proponents and Opponents. Everyone gets a say, and everyone gets the same say.

If you are mad that Mr. Ward and Rimcoski did not vote for it at the council meeting, oh well. That is their right to do. That they signed the petitions anyway is also their right. Both individuals do not support the concept yet wanted the people to decide anyway.

To claim that all this is somehow part of a grand conspiracy is an insult to the people and to our democracy. To me all the claims of dirty politcs say is that when you can't get what you want just tear the system apart.

But sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Regardless of the outcome you pick up and get ready for the next issue. That's democracy.

For the record I oppose the city manager for the following reasons:
1. The person is not elected and can not be removed by the people at election.
2. The city manager does not have to listen to us.
3. I believe that people who want business to run like government forget that business can be just as inefficient as government. Don't believe me check out General Motors.
4. The office is highly vunerable to internal corruption (i.e. a reward system for political bosses)
5. It is much harder than it is on paper to distinguish betweem policymaking (the council) and administration (the manager). In many cases the manager ends up doing both. City managers do not necessairly end up above the political fray.


Bottom line: I believe this proposal is being pushed by those who can't win at the polls, can't work with the council to get their ideas passed and would rather blame "unions" and "hackery" than actually try and figure out the system.

But that is just my belief and at the end of the day if this ends up on the ballot my opposition to it will come from the position itself and not the people who support it.

Anonymous said...

"There was no petition or signatures to be verified. It was an election. July 23, 2008 9:13 PM"

-An example of more clueless-ness.

-Hey stupid, you don't just start a primary. One needs to gather signitures from 5% of the registered voters in the prospective party.

Anonymous said...

"Do I think that the city clerk is pulling a fast one? No. I think she is doing her job. Sorry but I do"

anonwestconnfool:

You don't need to be sorry for being an idiot. It's OK.

Anonymous said...

AnonymousWestconnStudent - are you failing in school? GM is failing because of unions! Same as Ford and any other American car company that has to compete with a non-union company! Geez your parents must be in a union!

Odin said...

"Bottom line: I believe this proposal is being pushed by those who can't win at the polls, can't work with the council to get their ideas passed and would rather blame "unions" and "hackery" than actually try and figure out the system."

Sure, there are people working to get the COO for the wrong reasons (wannabees who can't win an election), just as there are people working against it for the wrong reasons (union flacks and career politicians). Don't make a final judgement on the COO based on who likes it and who dislikes it. Make up your own mind based on the information.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

"GM is failing because of unions! Same as Ford and any other American car company that has to compete with a non-union company! Geez your parents must be in a union!"


You have got to be kidding me! That's why they are cutting the white collar jobs to keep out of bankruptcy.


"Sure, there are people working to get the COO for the wrong reasons (wannabees who can't win an election), just as there are people working against it for the wrong reasons (union flacks and career politicians). Don't make a final judgement on the COO based on who likes it and who dislikes it. Make up your own mind based on the information."


I agree.

Anonymous said...

-Hey stupid, you don't just start a primary. One needs to gather signitures from 5% of the registered voters in the prospective party.

July 23, 2008 9:58 PM


Hey Steve,

IS THIS REALLY NECESSARY? HOW OLD ARE ABUSIVE POSTERS LIKE THIS ANYWAY AND WHY DO YOU GIVE THEM A PLATFORM TO BE JERKS?

The point was that a primary process is very different than a petition process. Stop calling names.

Anonymous said...

When will we get all the information, or atleast the basic questions answered?

Anonymous said...

"When will we get all the information, or atleast the basic questions answered?"

Great question! That is exactly the problem. You can't get the answers because they don't exist! Nobody has sat down to figure out the many, many details of the proposed position and that is exactly why voting "yes" for the position at this point is a very dangerous thing. You're basically writing a blank check. The supporters should have all this figured out and on paper before asking "the populace" to vote on it.

Odin said...

Chill. The basic questions will be answered by the proponents during the months leading up to the November election. If you aren't satisfied, vote "no". That's the way elections work.

Anonymous said...

~ Will the proponents also fess up that the real reason they're pushing so hard for the COO is simple revenge? I mean, these guys had trouble figuring out how to implement a petition. Do you honestly think that they have a clue about all of the laws and the ramifications of hiring a COO? If the COO somehow gets voted in, they get the last laugh and the City of Bristol gets stuck sorting through the legal technicalities and picking up a potentially huge tab ~ gee, thanks guys!

Anonymous said...

Man, you really nailed Ken Johnson with that one, big time. Yes, the real reason he's pushing so hard for the COO is simple revenge...he gets revenge on Art by weakening the mayor's power starting in 2009, which is the year he plans to BECOME the mayor, thereby getting revenge on...uh...the guy who isn't mayor anymore at that point...uh...

Anonymous said...

If the COO was to pass are you "naysayers" going to put the person picked on a referendum? That way the people can make sure it's what they want not what you want.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Kenny is looking for someone to do the job while he collects his $100,000 each year for screwing up as he has in the past.

Another efoort at ripping off our city.

Anonymous said...

"getting revenge on...uh...the guy who isn't mayor anymore at that point...uh..."

~ Uh...guess Kenny knows he doesn't stand the chance of a fart in a windstorm so the guy who's mayor now is probably going to be mayor again at that point...uh...duh...

Anonymous said...

9:31 AM

Yup, you nailed it on all counts.

Anonymous said...

How long before Ken Johnson steps up to take all the credit for this effort?

Or is he in one of his "absent" phases?