February 11, 2016

OPINION: A holiday poem

’Twas the week before Thanksgiving and all through the town,
No residents were spending. They were keeping expenses down.

Residents’ wallets were tight – not quite filled with cash,
While elected officials were planning to raid all their stash.

City employees were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of pay raises danced in their heads.

My husband in a t-shirt and I in my sweats,
had just settled in to watch TV with our pets.

When out on the porch there arose such a clatter,
we sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the mailbox as the postman did dash

When what to our wondering eyes should fall out,
But bills from the city with property tax hikes no doubt.

When an Inside Gardner Newsletter, in expensive full color, appeared,
Our hopes for a quiet evening at home quickly were sheared.

More rapid than eagles, we learned of  our wallets’ fate;
higher franchise fees, increased mill levies and upped utility rates.

The mayor’s words leapt from his column devoted
to how his appointees—Steve, Brian, Kristi and Dan— had voted.

“Big government is here. Get used to it,” he declared.
“We’re only taking a little bit of your money, surely some cash was spared..”

“The employees need raises, and you don’t, we decree,
And we’ve banished and punished all those who disagree.”

His face shined from the glossy newsletter pages
where he wrote of all the latest municipal spending rages.

Acting like a Democrat instead of the ‘R’ beside his name,
the Mayor listed his projects clearly enjoying his reign.

“More taxes. More spending. It’s just a cup of coffee,” the newsletter read.
Which gave me to know I had everything to dread.

The mayor’s picture smiled smugly. The appointed council just clapped,
As they prepared for the great Gardner cash snatch.

A new election is upon us, and though it’s tough times,
we must fire the overspenders before we run out of dimes.


  1. On Dasher, On Dander, away we must go
    We must take care of big biz and the developers too
    Or they surely will starve

    I can hardly wait for the appointed/elected crew
    to allow these special interests
    to transfer their tax burden to me and you

    I too have not had a raise in my Social Security
    for a year or two but alas I am told
    I must pay these pipers who are so much
    more important and vital than I,
    An average citizen and the ATM of choice

    I believe I should turn into a Scrooge
    and let a few know that the
    screw is getting too tight for me
    to feel comfy and so perhaps I may
    have enough money for my Christmas meal

    King David needs to get on his
    camel and take a trip to Peru
    because I have had enough of his poo poo
    on yours truly

  2. There you have it. The Gardner News Fair and Balanced.

  3. Like you, Ryan, even know the meaning of FAIR and balanced……………..my memory is not that short……..and I have not yet had Mr. Alzhimers visit me …..talk to the Solies and the Gardner Edge about fair and balanced…….they need a post graduate course on those issues along with you or perhaps a special serman……………

  4. The Mayor seems to be doing one heckuva job creating a class division within our community and the Gardner News is none to happy to pounce all over the chance to exploit it.

    The City employees are caught in the middle as pawns between an aggressive elitist minded big government Mayor and a populace frightened by their eroding financial security that big government so eagerly is trying to perpetuate.

    Its time we refocus the argument and have the News and City quit abusing City workers.

  5. I should have said, “the Gardner News is none to happy to exploit it and deepen the division.”

  6. Abusing city workers…..I like that one. The City of Gardner’s, along with the Electric Board, Christmas vision for me is that I will be standing out on the sidewalk in my Chinese underwear without a another thing to my name while the special interests have me hooked up to an IV taking the last drop of blood in me.

    The Gardner News is not making choices for the people at City Hall, Taylor nor creating divisions – they are big boys and girls and are making the choices themselves just like you did early this year but just like you they want to blame their POOR choices that they have made on others. You can do the old lie and hate game so long Taylor and then it comes back home to bite you in the rear and I hope you and that City Hall Gang have a great big chunk out of your backsides.

  7. EdgertonGal says:

    Mark Levin (constitutional lawyer and a nationally syndicated broadcaster) said we should all go to Warren Buffet’s daughter’s for Thanksgiving. Warren said he was so thankful for the stimulus (the taxpayers’ monies); now, he can go to his daughter’s for Thanksgiving. Mark said now Warren doesn’t have to go to McDonald’s for Thanksgiving, and we should all join him at his daughter’s.

  8. Skullduggery? says:

    Ryan and Jared you just don’t see
    a difference in editorial and opinion can be.

    Light-hearted razzing you just don’t get
    because in your views you are set.

    If your goal is to run for election
    Be sure you play your cards to perfection.

    Stirring up residents for a tickle
    may show how your views are fickle

    Those with long memories do recall
    your innuendo caused good people to fall

    The ends do not justify the means
    and are no excuse for closed door schemes

    People have eyes and they can see
    Opportunism for what it be.

    Don’t assume that by riding the fence
    people don’t see what you’re doing;
    they’re not dense

    We wonder if it’s the kings position you covet
    make sure your actions are pure and above it.

  9. What he said says:

    Jared is a fine one to talk about creating divisions in the city. Didn’t he help create the deepest one of all.

  10. I love the poem. Especially the part about admitting there were “closed door schemes.” You’ve finally excepted the fact. I also love how you worked the work “recall” in there.

    And about running for election. People are crazy to run for office in this town. :)

  11. Wow, the poetry is flowing this week.

    It seems to me that there are some people who just can’t seem to let go of the past. They seem to be the ones holding on to the last semblance of the old guard and exploit any chance to crack whatever new foundation was laid after the recall.

    New elections are in the Spring and we can further accomplish the goal of changing the tone in this City by electing new fresh voices that are starting from the position of doing what’s best for the town and not settling old scores.

  12. Skullduggery? says:

    If it’s office you do plan to seek
    stand up and admit it, don’t be weak

    The king is trying to do his best
    He has to put on a bulletproof vest

    to stave off the barbs and snipes
    from petty strangers talking tripe.

  13. Skull, I am contemplating running just like you should. Just like everyone should in this City. Gardner needs many honest voices and a whole host of new ideas.

    Let’s don’t be shy, this is a republic and the people need to stand up.

  14. Skullduggery? says:

    Tell me Jared, where do you stand
    on making taxes higher in this land?

  15. On making taxes higher? That’s a silly way to ask a question. Is that an assumption I stand on making taxes higher?

  16. Danedri seems to have all of the answers. Hopefully we’ll see her name on the ballot.

  17. I know, right? says:

    I love how Jared thinks a great foundation was laid after his city hall coup. And I love how he thinks the infighting should stop when he decides it should. Kind of like, after some people thought the April 2009 election should end the fighting. Instead, Jared and Dave-appointed friends gave the citizens Recall 2010.
    On behalf of all those paying higher taxes and fees, on behalf of all those who feel the heel of Dave’s boots on our necks, I say, thanks.

  18. @I Know — Thank you for making my point so clearly. I hope the people reading see how corruptible hate is to the soul. I will never make you or anyone who didn’t agree with the Recall understand that it had nothing to do with hate.

    I don’t wish to rehash it and anyone who has followed anything I’ve said on this board or under the Facebook page “Citizens for the Future of Gardner” knows that Dave Drovetta and I don’t see each other eye to eye. In fact I think the great majority of the time I have disagreed vehemently with him.

  19. Oh, this just gets better and better when Taylor starts telling me that “Gardner needs many honest voices and a whole host of new ideas” like he has these attributes and Beasley’s arrogant, know-it-all attitude and his hate and lie activities have not changed one iota since last year – talk about why we have problems in this town – those two are perfect examples of BIG PROBLEMS. These are two young men who surely and hopefully will smarten up in the coming years but I also know they are poor examples of many intelligent, educated youth of today.

    And I know the examples being given to them from the City Hall Gang, the School Dist. and some of the civic leaders are certainly not what they need to see or be mentored by. Gardner continues to be the City of Promise – Promise You Will Want to Leave.

  20. Skullduggery? says:

    The utility board did vote
    upon city employees to dote

    An increase in the franchise fee
    upon residents they did decree

    But if it’s employees vote you woo
    Double-sided speak Ryan doesn’t become you

    If there was no plan to increase the rate
    then why did the board change the meeting date?

  21. As I have said before
    Ryan and others need
    to go on that Electric Board

    Their colors they show
    as those who go along
    to get along

    Representatives they should be
    but alas it is more of the same
    Taxes without true representation
    and certainly not working for me and you

    Are we seeing the Red, White and Blue
    Hardly, I say but more of an off color hue
    that puts concrete in all of our shoes.

  22. @Skull, it’s helpful if you at least get the facts straight if you’re going to attempt to dredge Beasely or the EUB. They only “voted” to recommend to the City to raise the franchise fee from 5% to 7%. No such increase can actually be enacted by the EUB, it is only approved by a vote by the Council.

    And just because they held a meeting that you didn’t attend doesn’t mean they didn’t notify people. I knew about it, I was there and it didn’t seem to secret to me.

    Oh, and if you read the story, Beasley was the only one to down vote the increase in the fees so all your blithering is for naught.

  23. @Judith,

    None of that last lyric made any sense which means you’ve come to the end of your poetic prowess. In other words, your rhymes have played out.

  24. Don'tYaLoveIt? says:

    Don’t you just love it? Living breathing examples of the “useful idiots” that Marx and Lenin and Stalin liked to refer to. People who don’t pay attention and don’t vote, decide to pay attention when the dictators tell them it’s time–so they can get their dictatorship back because they lost it in the election where people who HAD been paying attention voted to take back control of their city. Then they lecture us about forgiving and forgetting and “can’t we all just get along?” And then they throw in barbs about ‘honesty,’ as if they are the sole folks who might know what honesty is, even though they didn’t think twice about STEALING the votes of the people who WERE paying attention and who knew what was going on.
    Oh what a tangled web!
    Here’s the truth buddy boys: It is insane to think of setting a precedent where the city–especially as long as it’s a dictatorship like Drovettaville–thinks it’s all right to use funds from utilities to fund their latest pet project. (Those of us who’ve lived here a while–and paid attention–and plan to live here for even longer, have heard Dave quoted one too many times, “It’s only a cup of coffee a day.” Yeah! We’re up to about fifty cups of coffee a day since Dave’s been on the city council and he really believes our money is his to use however he pleases. Yes, look in old Gardner News articles back before the current crop of reporters worked there and you, too, can be informed and find Dave quoted often saying things like “We’ll just raise taxes.” “It’s only a cup of coffee.”) It is also insane to think of giving the city employees raises when the people paying for those raises are worried about whether or not they’ll have/find a job–let alone whether they are going to get a raise. If those employees are so darn wonderful that they can make a boatload of money somewhere else, good luck to them. And I’m sure someone who doesn’t have a job now would be willing to work really, really hard for the current pay rate.
    And, yes, according to the article in the paper, Ryan was a ‘no’ vote. But did you read his reason? It had nothing to do with sanity or common sense and everything to do with “we can’t dictate what the Council will do with it.” Well at least he’s caught the scent of a hint of common sense. But, Heaven forbid, that he runs for office. Just what we need, another with a dictator mentality–who obviously also thinks our money is his to do with what HE pleases.
    I hope you all grow up soon. In case you haven’t noticed–which you probably haven’t since you only recently decided to pay attention–we have plenty of useful idiots in this country and we aren’t going to have much of a country, county or city left if all of you just keep falling all over yourselves to help the power-happy mob keep their power.

  25. Beasley would have voted for the franchise fee increase but he said himself he knew he could not trust what the Council would do just like I don’t trust him due to his words and actions. Beasley is no protective public servant or civic leader – the only person he serves is himself just like the rest of the City Hall Bunch and trust is a word that can never be put on the table with respect to them. If you haven’t been in a deep sleep these past 5 years you would be very aware of what has been going on for much too long.

    And yes, you can tell I am not adept at being a poet but I certainly know the truth and can communicate it but there are are always those who do not want to hear it because it does not fit in with their agenda. An agenda not for the people but one for themselves.

  26. @Dontya,

    You make no sense. Who wasn’t paying attention? Who wasn’t voting? Who are you talking about?

    As I recall the Drovetta/Take Back Gardner election had voters in it. One of them included me. I also seem to remember the Recall election had voters in it. In fact it had more voters then the municipal election. As I recall, there were all sorts of articles written, by all parties, that argued their points.

    Are you saying that the only people who listened were the ones that were jilted? That would be fairly elitist of you. I believe in the american voter and I believe they voted which ever way they wanted to because they believed in their vote. You don’t, that’s your opinion.

    What is more, you don’t respect the will of the voter. If you don’t remember there were two elections. One where the voter put in the Take Back Gardner folks, plus Drovetta. The second vote was for two officers of the City because they broke a law. Both times the people used the power of the ballot to enact their will. Both times it was legal.

    So tell me @dontya, is it that you hate the elector or is it that you just hate the ones that don’t vote the way you want them too?

  27. @dontya,

    To the second point of your post, you are still in denial obviously delusional that somehow the voter for the recall are the same people supporting Dave Drovetta.

    That’s a silly conclusion to draw.

    It is even more ridiculous that your are equating Big Government Dave and the EUB vote to the citizens at large. Where did I ever write that I wanted to use reserve funds for a employee raise? Where was that argued? Where was it argued that any citizen voted for or against the EUB decision?

    You are making rash, ridiculous statements not on any facts only your disdain for one Dave Drovetta and by o doing you are making illogical conclusions.

  28. I will once again be looking for the ghetto van with a mic hooked up to it…….the village idiots will have a great opportunity come January……..I wonder if the people will fall for the propaganda and rhetoric once again like they have done with Drovetta and others………….you have clear evidence of what that has brought you……….but citizens have their choice………..

  29. Anyone here care to jump in on exactly who here is making rash and ridiculous statements? @JT Re-read your ramblings here and get back to us.

  30. I have been very interested in the Bell, California scandal since to me it has many similarities with respect to what the citizens of Gardner, Ks. have been dealing with now for several years in my opinion. So many people put on their earmuffs since they do not want to face facts or to even accept the facts that all MAY not be as it appears.

    I have been so concerned with all of the industrial revenue bond deals with their accompanying pay-in-lieu deals attached to them that are occurring across the nation. The big boys are certainly using these deals even more than ever since the commercial credit market is tight and these deals offer easy financing at low interest rates and the big boys really line their pockets with the blackmail games that the worthless politicians sign off on. I would hope the people would not be forced to pay for the bonds if the original owners go belly up and can’t make the bond payments, however, I do know the citizens of a town could and most likely would be stuck with warehouses (as told to me recently by a Board of Tax Appeals attorney) or whatever to try to unload in a down market and all of the legal and other costly expenses of ownership. None of this is explained to the people as they underwrite these sweet deals to the big boys day in and day out. We all know what the recent financial meltdown has done for the average citizen across the U.S. – if all of this wheeling and dealing ends up the same way, I hate to think what could happen. It is a risk exposure I am not comfortable with accepting.

    So as I read this article involving dear ole BNSF and Bell, California, it did not surprise me in the least. I have to wonder if there are any elected officials out there these days who have integrity, ethics, honesty, character to protect the people.


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