Friday, February 15, 2013
What I Learned Today
Today’s overwhelming vote to keep David Israel in office by defeating a recall initiative reinforced ten things I think I already knew:
1. Our delegates are smart and fair. They were not fooled by claims totally unsupported by fact. They rejected a mean-spirited and small-minded campaign to remove a sitting president who has done nothing even remotely illegal, unethical or immoral—and in fact has led this community with intelligence, honesty and vision.
2. Those who sought to unseat Dave will stop at nothing. They have wasted our time and held us all hostage for months while they built a case based on innuendo and broad, unsubstantiated charges. The lack of detail in their claims was astonishing. They will try again and they will be defeated again.
3. We should all remember the cheap, lowdown tactics used by Dave’s attackers. They asked delegates not to sign in to today’s meeting in order to prevent a quorum and a vote; they clearly understood, after the Board of Inquiry voted “no grounds for dismissal” on every single one of the claims made against Dave, that they were fighting a losing battle. The sponsors of the petition did not even show up for the vote. If you’re going to lead a charge for something as momentous as this, at least do it competently.
4. We need to make a recall effort harder to do. Something that impacts the Village so powerfully, and potentially defiles the reputation of one of our leaders, should not be allowed to go forward on 35 signatures. We need a full review of the process to make it as serious and comprehensive as it should be. That said, Dorothy Tetro did an excellent job of managing the Board of Inquiry and the vote, start to finish with fairness and control.
5. The term “impeachment” says it all. Dave’s accusers used the most inflammatory and inflated term they could think of (“recall” wasn’t bad enough for them). If they paid their attorney for this, they paid way too much. If you’re going to impeach someone, the charges should be strong, detailed, backed by law and defensible.
6. I have restored faith in due process. I feared that rhetoric, baseless charges and insidious tactics would win out over objectivity. I was wrong. Kudos to the good people of this Village.
7. I resent the time and energy this recall took away from meaningful work that needs to be done. What a waste. What a disgrace.
8. No good deed goes unpunished. People like Dave who give their hearts and souls to this Village too often are met with criticism and rancor. I include Ed Black, namelessly but obviously targeted in this recall, who remains one of the most knowledgeable and helpful volunteers in this Village. We should get better at thanking all those who serve.
9. The sponsors of this recall have lost every ounce of credibility they ever had. If they want to control the presidency so badly, they should run for office and legitimately win an election instead of trying to sneak in the back door. They should earn the office, not try to steal it from someone else.
10. Support for David today came from some unexpected quarters, from delegates who have disagreed with him in the past and opposed him on many issues. Congratulations to them for their even-handedness. They voted on the facts, not on personality conflicts. They deserve our respect.