Time for a change of leadership

Typically, I do not write a mid-year review but as of the meeting held on Aug. 20 at town of Johnstown, it is required, due to the direct attacks that were staged between the Town Supervisor and the Fulton County Republican Committee. Note, all Board Members of the town of Johnstown are Republican, which identifies that your own party will attack you, if you’re not in equilibrium with inside views or are actually doing right or challenging specifics against the tradition they have become accustom to. Constructive criticism and differences are the cause of the attack from the Fulton County Republican Committee and it must be noted that no Board Member can outpower the other – they are equal. Though it is part of human nature to take some blowback, the actions orchestrated were out of line and the shoe laces have become frail.

Though no agenda reflects any of the councilman’s request, there was no agenda concerning veteran exemptions, but was only prompted by the current Fulton County Republican Committee, which was orchestrated in part by the town supervisor due to Mr. Robert Smullen’s campaign. The primary issue was concerning “subdivisions” that were never entered at the county level, which has impacted the assessor’s ability to have a comparable. That, too, was not on the agenda that is posted to the town web pages, though [it was] a request was made that it be placed on the agenda on Aug. 15, via email. This can also be confirmed with an email dated May 31, 2018 where all the board members were included about the mishandling of subdivisions. Direct attacks against Councilman VanDeusen, Councilman Rizzo, and their families were detailed by a written document which was most likely in collaboration with the Fulton County Republican Committee, though the town supervisor takes full credit for this action and involvement.

A robocall was administered in part by the Fulton County Republican Committee, which attempted to shame the town of Johnstown and the two councilmen. What it details was never shared to the board. There was never any attack on veteran benefits nor does the town have the right to intervene with said program but only to properly apply it to taxation. A primary race that has no involvement with the town of Johnstown is becoming a hot topic for the Fulton County Republican Committee and the residents should be asking why. The actions taken converge that it was a joint effort, staged, and planned between outside parties and the town supervisor. The answers are nested deep within their network. Don’t be fooled by the smoke that is being blown.

As a recommendation to all the local members of government, I recommend taking a few days and read the book “Lincoln on Leadership for Today” by Donald T. Phillips, opening your mind that there are differences within people and ways to address topics with management which is required for government. Not all government officials need be of the same kind and this book applies to the management skills needed for today’s society which reflects upon Lincoln, who in my mind, is the greatest president to have served the United States.

“The victory can never be complete. The balance… cannot move to either extreme. If [the selfish] were to dominate, societies would dissolve. If [the altruists] were to dominate,” there would be few individual rights.

And therein lies the higher meaning of the Biblical phrase Lincoln used when he kicked off his 1858 campaign for the United States Senate: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Id p270. Maybe the saying “There is always two sides to a coin,” is a similar representation.

No matter how it may be said, Lincoln and the Biblical phrase acknowledge that there are differences in society. All people are different and each person’s views need to be considered, to some point.

Has Fulton County become all of one pod?

Term limits seems to be a good idea at all levels of government which would promote good ethic, transparency, limiting nested collaborations between individuals, and most importantly, allow the ability of differences to be identified that would never have been raised from long standing politicians or groups.

Primaries are held on Sept. 13 and new representation is key to improvements — cut the umbilical cord.

Rizzo is a town of Johnstown resident and town councilman.