How They Didn't Get Away With It

By Marc Garman
Article Launched 12/19/07  


Sometimes we find ourselves asking the question "How did they get away with that?"  The answer often is that "they" got away with it because nobody was watching.

That might well have been the case with Councilmember Bartee's attempt to push a nonsensical and politically motivated amendment through city council last night.

Thanks to Mayor Osby Davis, Councilmember Joanne Schivley and the vociferous complaints of numerous Vallejo citizens present, Mr. Bartee felt compelled to withdraw his motion.

The Bartee amendment would have removed interim fire chief Russ Sherman and fire department analyst Patty Keener, and pulled the plug on the city's legal challenge to the arbitration ruling. This was cloaked in the guise of saving the city money.

In actuality, this motion would have removed two people who have not always moved in lockstep with IAFF president Kurt Henke's political agenda, and given up any hope the city has of relief from the excruciating public safety contracts. It would also have provided very little real financial relief.

Mayor Osby Davis was quite correct when he described Bartee's idea as "piecemeal".  There is a need for broad and systemic change if we are to see Vallejo move forward past this current crisis. Bartee was merely engaging in an act of political pandering.

Councilmembers who are beholden to political agendas not in the interest of the citizens of Vallejo are not welcome. This sort of behavior has gone on long enough. 

Mr. Bartee, you and your ilk are being watched.  Your every political move will be scrutinized, studied and examined.  If you try to pull a fast one... the people will know. We will tell them.  So, if you do get away with it, it will be in the full and complete view of the citizenry. 

Win lose or draw, our vigilance will not waver.