"Bring me the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West!"The best thing that ever happened to the Land of Oz was for the Wicked Witch to melt away and leave behind her broomstick for Dorothy and the gang. The Wizard never thought they could pull it off, that they'd get dragged off by flying monkeys and never be seen again, but dammit if they didn't bring that broomstick back. And then when Toto went and pulled the man out from behind the curtain by the ankle - well that's when life just got better for everybody, didn't it?- The Wizard of Oz
While there are some, and admittedly there aren't that many, who think that Adam's resignation from the Middleboro Board of Selectmen is cause for a national day of mourning, or that without his vast brainpower all hope is lost for the town of Middleboro, I'd like to argue that, much like a liquified witch, a crispy broom, and revelations untold, Bond's exit is the best thing to happen to Middleboro since 2007.
First, I'd like to say that I appreciate that sentiment which suggests we move on - forget Bond, the damage done, and move into the light. And by all means - move into the light! But while we move to close this divisive chapter in our region's history (yes, Bond divided more than Middleboro - he helped divide Middleboro and her sister towns) it's important to find out what happened, to record it and remember it, so that it never ever happens again. Like Middle School students in the 21st century reading about the Salem witch trials of the 17th century - there's an important lesson here.
Since Monday, when I published my previous post, "Adam Resigns", this blog has received more than double the number of comments as my previously most-commented-on blog post. So, obviously, there's a still lot of interest. But then, Adam's always made for good theatre.
And that was always part of the problem. Adam turned a very real, very serious issue facing the town and the region into an audition for American Idol. Worse - for him it was never about Middleboro - it was always about THE DEAL.
So, for every person who's lost sleep, worried about their home's value, their business, their children, their future, every person who got checked out for chest pains, whose stomach revolted at each article in the paper, whose blood pressure soared, for everyone who sank to the floor in despair or slammed their fist on the table over this issue, for everyone who lost a friend or a neighbor over this issue, for everyone who lost faith in public service - while watching Adam proudly parade his DEAL on public stage - this blog has been for you. Because I'm one of you.
The other night I was watching Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on Nightline twist a story that started with his auctioning off Barack Obama's senate seat to the highest bidder, and ended with his incarnation as the new Gahndi - as his interviewer listened politely and bit her lip.
Not much of a lip biter, myself, I had to laugh out loud. Well, don't we have our own mini reincarnated Gandhi in Adam Bond? A reinvention in his own mind? It's not him - it's us. He's just misunderstood. Why can't we see the truth?
Oh I can see it.
But even if you agree that Adam isn't all he currently insists he is - what about that whole - he's smarter than the rest of the board train of thought. Well, no argument here. But look what he's done with it - admittedly he knew about the implications of the land sale before the town did. Buh-bye leverage. He rushed the agreement to the Investor's benefit. Buh-bye democratic process. He took credit for it. He lashed out at his critics in underhanded ways and every now and then he has a very public hissy fit. Hell he tried to stop 40 years worth of desperately needed highway improvements on Rte. 44. Yet suddenly he and the Mrs. are on the radio proclaiming no one cares more about Middleboro than Adam Bond.
When people suggest that this guy is their last best hope for killing a casino, honestly, I think, they really need to get out more.
Like the night I went to Lakeville and listened to Ken Tavares, selectman of Plymouth whose town negotiated a deal for a MOVIE STUDIO. A smart, creative, low-impact form of economic development that the town didn't bet on but worked hard for. He once said the "buck stops at the small town" - meaning that local officials have a duty to protect their town from inappropriate development - and do it despite pressure from within and without- because if they won't, then who's going to?
And he's right. It's bad enough when Marc Pacheco warns a representative from Carver not to hold a casino task force meeting - but when your own selectmen fail to include article 3 (that the town didn't want a casino) in their letter to the Department of the Interior - you may already be living in casinoland.
In tough times you need real leaders. Not sheep and not opportunists. It's easy to "lead" when times are good, but when the town manager who pulled your butt out of the fire for how-many-years-in-a-row is retiring, and you can't figure out how to balance a budget, you don't help him sneak the world's biggest casino in the back door. That's not leadership.
We don't need any more Blagojeviches or Wilkersons stuffing our democracy down the front of their shirts. Do you know why people think casinos are inevitable? Because they don't trust their "leader" not to sell them out for a quick buck, or a quicker promise. Because they don't think they're committed enough to do the research, or to empathize, or to come up with better more creative plan for the future. Because they don't think they have the will to stand up to pressure.
No one needs Team Bond, secret meetings, or revisionist history. Nothing good was ever, ever going to come from it.
I don't think I have to convince most of you about Adam Bond. Just read the 80 comments on my previous post. But, as the person who has been putting Bond under a microscope since 2007 - believe it, this is a good day. This is a great day. It's a pick up your American flag, go outside and stand on your porch or the hood of your car and let out a big WhooHoo type of day.
The king of all drama queens had a meltdown and provided you with an extra seat on the Middleboro Board of Selectmen. Now pick up a broom and sweep away the damage. Then pull back the curtain on the light of a better day.
And write those letters!