I’m sure just about every problem we see in government has been faced at least one time before. Over spending, crooked politicians, oppressive regulations etc. have all been seen before.
Nevertheless as I watch the debacle unfolding to our south with Governor Patrick’s spending frenzies on a new Cadillac and more on drapes and office furniture than some people make in a entire year, I can’t help but snicker as I’ve seen this entire scene play out already on a local level. In Merrimack it was known as Cherry-Gate. The town manager of Merrimack at the time, Tim Tieperman, not long after taking the job took it upon himself to spend thousands of town funds on Cherry hardwood flooring for his office and new office furniture. And this at a time the people were calling out for tax relief as taxes continued climbing higher and higher each year. Needless to say, the people where upset by this. I went to a local town meeting and chose to speak out to the local board and town manager about spending and warn them of revolt if they continued pushing people as they were. I even handed each of them a teabag to remind them all that we live in a country that was founded on a revolt on unfair taxation. Of course they choose not to listen. Even cutting me off at 2 minutes and 30 seconds when people were allotted 3 minutes each for public comment because they didn’t like what I had to say (one of their supporters who insisted I was given my full 3 minutes timed it on pubic access play back hoping to prove me wrong… he couldn’t).
Governor Patrick should be informed of Tim’s mistakes as Tim has since packed his bags and moved his family to Pennsylvania and nearly every single local official who backed Tim’s spending habits and claimed nothing could be done to lower taxes are now sitting on the outside watching the meetings they used to run. The budget they claimed couldn’t be cut was cut by the people at town meeting by nearly $1.5 Million and in the following year despite their cries that the world would come to an end, no one even noticed what was cut. So while Governor Patrick sits back in his Cadillac and looks at his newly furnished office it would be wise for him to look at the town of Merrimack, NH and think long and hard over where he’s spending money. And those who defend him saying “it’s ONLY X amount” likewise should look at those public officials now sitting home watching public access to see the town meetings that they were once a part of.