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"Government is not the solution…it is the problem" -Ronald Reagan



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Walker resignation not his fault; not unexpected

Posted by Stephen on May 27, 2008

After five years of service Waynesboro City Manager Doug Walker announced his resignation this afternoon. The move should not come as a surprise, but it didn’t need to come at all.

Walker was fond of pointing out that he “worked at the leisure of council,” which is to say he worked for them and under their direction. There are plenty of people who will point to fiscal challenges and a ballooning budget as reasons to push Walker out. Others will point to the newly elected city council in Waynesboro and say the writing was on the wall. At the end of the day, however, both statements are irrelevant.

The departure of Walker rests solely on the shoulders of Nancy Dowdy, Lorie Smith, and Tom Reynolds.

Walker’s fate was decided the day Smith and Bill Hausrath manipulated enough voters in Waynesboro into believing that Smith was going to be a difference maker on Council. In the end the best the trio of Dowdy, Smith and Reynolds could offer Walker was to defer decisions to him.

Let’s be clear; the City Manager was not making decisions arbitrarily and without consent of council, council was deferring decisions to him. The difference is enormous. Instead of directing Walker they maintained an almost subservient position and the City Manager had no choice but to make decisions. Lacking in vision or the ability to articulate a plan for Waynesboro, the three leaders on council made up of the aforementioned trio had no intellectual choice but to defer decisions to Walker. The council was bankrupt of leadership and now Walker is left with no better option than to resign.

Dowdy has decided her best course of action is to cast blame as opposed to taking any form of ownership of the decision despite the fact that the resignation comes under her watch. According to the News Virginian, Dowdy claims that “Walker was pressured into resigning by Councilmen Frank Lucente and Tim Williams and Councilman-elect Bruce Allen.”

It might be safest to start with Bruce Allen. Dowdy likes to lash out. It doesn’t matter that Allen hasn’t taken an oath of office or that Allen has made it clear that others on council do not speak for him. For Dowdy speaking for Allen is simply easier than speaking for herself.

Despite the hopes of Smith and Dowdy, Allen is no wall flower and he will withhold his position on issues until his time begins in July. Furthermore, I believe people like Smith and Dowdy will be surprised to find that Allen has his own plans and will articulate them quite clearly.

In terms of Lucente and Williams it is appropriate to point out that this is just the beginning. If a gust of wind blows your flower pot off your back porch and it breaks you can be guaranteed that Dowdy and Smith will be there to point out that it is the fault of the new majority on council.

For the next four years Smith and Dowdy will spend time casting blame and trying to convince you that the sky is falling. It will be up to you to see such claims for what they are; sour grapes and the actions of the desperate.

In the mean time, keep in mind that had this majority on council taken ownership of their decisions, or lack thereof, our City Manager would not have been forced to shoulder the burden and blame for higher taxes, a bloated budget, unfair distribution of pay raises to city employees, and a lack of progress for Waynesboro.

The decision to raise taxes 23%, the decision to tell voters the Wayne Theatre was a dead issue just to vote on it and shove it down the throats of Waynesboro citizens, the decision to publish a book with tax payer money, the decision to provide massive pay raises to four city employees while police officers, fire personnel, and other city workers saw at best 3%, and the failure to achieve finalization on a plan for storm water management were all failures of Smith, Dowdy, and Reynolds.

Yet, it’s Walker who’s out of a job…..

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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One Response to “Walker resignation not his fault; not unexpected”

  1. I agree Liberals cause much more unemployment that Conservatives…

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