Monday, December 22, 2014

Time to show your hand, gentlemen

Well, as we all know now, last week, during the City Council meeting, Mayor Wharton dropped the bomb that he had privately negotiated a settlement to the $57 Million that the City has apparently owed MCS/SCS for maintenance of effort.

As members of the Council, particularly Shea Flinn, had been involved in mediation discussions with SCS that had been under a confidentiality agreement, this did not sit well with the Council at all.  Flinn and Kemp Conrad reminded the Mayor that the Council still had to approve funding for this settlement and indicated that their approval was not likely to occur.

I understand that; they believe that the City has a legitimate counterclaim that would more than offset the $57 million.  However, if I may say so, they have done a poor job of making their case to the public, and this has allowed Wharton, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson and the SCS Board to make them look like pikers who are stealing from the schoolchildren of the County.

When I have asked about this, I am told that this is under a confidentiality agreement and they can't really talk about it.  Gentlemen, it's too late for that now; clearly Hopson and the Board have not held to that agreement in settling directly with the Mayor.  There is now no reason for you to do so either.

In poker terms, Mayor Wharton has just gone all in and he wants to see if you will fade him or fold your cards.  Certainly, you can vote to not fund that settlement.  However, you will be made to look like the "designated a-holes" of the County, as Councilor Flinn put it on Drake & Zeke's WXMX-FM morning show last Wednesday.  You may be happy with that; as someone who believes you may well have a point with your counterclaim, I am not.

It's time to put up or shut up here.  The confidentiality agreement is in tatters and this has gone from a private negotiation to a political matter, and the politics of this situation REQUIRE that you make your case to the citizenry of the City.  This is no longer about business; people are TIRED that this negotiation has drug out for years.  It is time for resolution, and that is why you have to take your case to the public.

Gentlemen, if you refuse to make your case to the public, people are going to come to the conclusion that you really don't have one.  That is not good for any of the parties involved.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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