‘David Roberts in a dress’

Dear Editor:

People have been asking me what moved me to describe Beth Mason in this particular way. The answer is simple. I was asked about Mason – her current incarnation by the way, not her excellent earlier record when she served honorably on the planning board and chaired Carol Marsh’s strong 2005 campaign for Mayor – and I called it like I saw it.

I do that. Answer the question asked to the limits of my ability.

Had someone asked about David Roberts, Michael Russo or Peter Cammarano, I would have been scarcely more complimentary. Among the non-reform actions of the four of them – I exclude Raia not because I think him better but because he lacks a current role in city government:

1) All four failed to support Dawn Zimmer for Council. Cammarano and Roberts worked openly against Zimmer. Mason and Russo feigned neutrality, and sometimes even claimed to support her, but both did their damage. All are equal in my view.

2) None offered support to Peter Cunningham in his 5th ward election. All are equally culpable here too.

3) Each undermined the efforts of Kids First in the recent Board of Ed. While Mason did support Tricia Snyder, many believe she actively encouraged Ron Rosenberg and Maureen Sullivan to run and split the reform vote. So, IMHO that cancels out. I see them as equal here too.

4) They failed miserably, each in their own special way in dealing with the budget. Here, Roberts and Russo, who may have had guilty knowledge of actual crimes may be greater culprits than Peter or Beth, but since no one is acting to begin an investigation, we have to consider them equal here too.

5. All have substituted grandstanding for statesmanship. Highlights: Russo on his sham budget hearings, and the SWAT team until his jello shot shot was revealed, Cammarano on the PATH increase, Roberts on almost everything and Mason closing fast with her silly salary ordinance, her unsupported accusations against Zimmer and her bizarre flip flop on state intervention, voting to ensure it one week and railing against it the next week.

I could go on and on but you get the point. It’s not me who’s brought Mason (or any of the others) down to this level; it’s them themselves and those giving them bad advice.

It says all you need to know about this sad field, that so much ink (and on-line virtual ink) is spilled on bashing Carol Marsh, despite the fact that for the past year she has kept out of the public eye. If any of the current crop of candidates had made their case, Carol Marsh would have been an afterthought.

As for me, I am frustrated there is no candidate for Mayor strongly taking reform positions, and I sure hope someone starts very, very soon.

Michael Lenz


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