It’s a common saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. If that’s true, we should be getting some good mental health specialists to visit some people in town hall.
Take for instance the Town Board’s temporary reappointment of former assessor Sharon Hornbeck to the assessor’s position after the Town Board’s choice for her replacement, Mike Sommer, had to resign temporarily because he was unable to meet a legal requirement of the job. The terrible condition of the Assessor’s Office during Ms. Hornbeck’s tenure was documented in a report to the Town Board issued by the town’s tax grievance committee, again in a written report by Dan Baker, the assessor hired to replace Ms. Hornbeck, and also by Mike Sommer himself to the Town Board. Yet, Ms. Hornbeck got her job back. Fortunately, it’s only for a week.
Another instance is the appointment of Antoinette Sindone to the Youth Commission after she wasn’t reappointed by the old Town Board. Sindone was arrested in 1999 for child neglect. At the time, she operated a child care business and was arrested for leaving a child in her car in 20 degree weather while she was having her hair done. The parents declined to press charges, but the state Office of Children and Family Services revoked her child care license. The old Town Board adopted a law requiring background checks on all volunteers and employees who would work with children on the Youth Commission. Supervisor Carl Chipman apparently didn’t think the background check or the law were that important, so he did a quick “internet check” rather than contacting local law enforcement authorities. Supervisor Chipman said he “didn’t find” anything, so he got his colleagues to appoint her. What confidence should our Town’s parents have knowing that their children are under the supervision of someone who’s no longer allowed to take care of children. What type of legal liability does that give the Town?
Past performance is usually an indicator of future results. In this case, our Town Board seems to be on its happy merry go round, going around and around and around making the same bad decisions over and over again. When are they going to realize that the only way to bring the improvement they promise is to change a few of the faces they appoint?