February 12, 2016

Op-Editorial: Schultz appointment off to rocky start

We’d hoped this time would be different.

But Electric Utility Board member Eric Schultz’s absence from June 14’s joint meeting between the EUB, Planning Commission and Gardner City Council smells like more of  the same old, same old.

Schultz, whom Gardner Mayor Dave Drovetta had appointed to the board last week, is no stranger to City Hall. He served as a mayoral appointee to the council in 2008 and had a history of missing meetings. This past April, after

Schultz applied to be appointed to former council member Dan Thompson’s council seat, he withdrew his name from the pool of candidates, citing increased time commitments at a new job.

Gardner City Council member Kristy Harrison, acting on a concern voiced by a local resident, asked Schultz at last week’s council meeting whether EUB meeting attendance would be a problem. Schultz assured the governing body that he had a more manageable schedule and that absence would not be a problem.

We are very disappointed to see that, only a few days after giving the council and Gardner residents his assurances that he would be able to attend meetings, Schultz not only missed his first EUB meeting, but perhaps one of the most important meetings of the year.

Schultz, at last week’s council meeting, said the decision to serve on the board was one “near and dear to my heart,” due in large part to his experience working in the electric utilities field. However, his action – or, rather, inaction – makes it appear to Gardner residents as though his recent appointment may not be a high priority in his life at this time.

Similar concerns were voiced when former Gardner City Council member Mary Peters missed appearing at multiple council meetings toward the end of her time on the governing body. Instead opting to participate in the meeting via conference call, there were grumbles among those in the audience when it was obvious that Peters continued to be absent from important meetings among the council.

In both cases, whether those who serve this community are elected or appointed, there exists a duty to actively participate in those meetings that determine the course of our future. Especially in light of recent political turmoil locally, Gardner residents need to see officials in action who make promises and stick to them. A mere week and a half  separates Schultz’s promise to attend EUB meetings from his June 14 absence, which translates into a poor beginning to an already controversial appointment.

We urge Schultz to keep his word to the council and the people of Gardner. He owes it to the governing body that seated him, and he owes it to those served by the EUB.


  1. No Show Schultzie shows his true colors once again – the colors Drovetta just loves!!!!

  2. Jack Burden says:

    What an embarrassing situation, or at least it should be, but obviously the mayor and his newest appointment have no shame. Well I’m embarrassed for them and the entire governing gody.

  3. gardner2 says:

    On the other hand, this guy has a job. He’s willing to serve. He has experience. He lives in Gardner. Do we sometimes have too high of expectations from our volunteer leaders?

    I don’t know the situation with Mary and why she missed but the same leniency should be given to her as well. She was present on the conf. calls. That seems like enough.

    I don’t feel like beating up people who serve and give their time. I don’t see Judith or Jack volunteering to do any of these jobs.

  4. McDonald says:

    @ Gardner2 Judith isn’t responsible for anything and could careless about anything. As long as she is complaining she is unhappy and that is the way she likes it.

    I am disappointed that Schultz didn’t show up or at least call and let someone know why he wasn’t going to be there. I think Schultz thinks this is a high school popularity contest or something.

    As for Drovetta, I’m concerned with his appointment of Schultz that the recall effort has taught him NOTHING!

  5. gardner2 says:

    I agree that the recall hasn’t taught Drovetta anything. The Schultz appointment was ill advised. But worse, everything that the two departing recalled officials said on the way out is coming to fruition. Here we are in a budget crisis and the only thing the Mayor is talking about it raising taxes.

    Do we know that Schultz didn’t give any reason?

    Your comments on Judith are spot on. She likes to criticize the doers.

  6. Jack Burden says:

    There were other candidates for the opening of the electric utility board and I think the mayor should have picked one of those people. The city council agenda from June 7 spelled it out. It said all of the candidates were excellent and would have been good board members. So why not pick one of them?
    I think drovetta thinks he can get away with this because no one is watching now that the recall is over … the bad part is he is probably right.
    There are 14 appointees serving right now, who among them missed their first meeting, other than Schulz I mean? It’s not like this was his first problem with attendace g2 … he had the same problems on the city council and the planning comission before that. It’s not just a busy guy missing a meeting, it’s a pattern, and people need to recognize.

  7. Willie Stark says:

    Well the Gardner News did a poor job of reporting this. They didn’t try to talk to Schultz because if they did they would have said something clever like “repeated phone calls for comment were not returned” or “Mr. Schultz was unavaialble for comment at press time”. Doesn’t even look like they talked to the mayor. Think they are afraid of what they might find out? Maybe they would be disappointed to find out there really was no story. Was everyone else at the meeting? Who else has missed meetings? Seems to me they’re just trying to stir the pot and this was convenient.

    Maybe they ought to talk to Schultz and see what went on, seems like there is more than they want to tell.

  8. Hey, Willie, would you believe whatever Schultz would tell you????? If you do, I got some oceanside property to sell you in Colorado and the price is right.

  9. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    I attended the June 21, 2010 special Electric Utility Board meeting. Mr Schultz was in attendance and, in fact, actively participated in the board’s discussions on the proposed 2011 EUB budget and the review of the wholesale energy purchasing process.

    Due to several other timing conflicts, board members tentatively rescheduled their next meeting to the week of July 12, a week Mr Schultz assured the other members he would be available.

  10. Had a great meeting last night. Missed everyone. Thanks for the visit Jerry.

  11. Jack Burden says:

    Oh Willie … are you familiar with “All the King’s Men”?
    I don’t think you are, because if you were you would know that the pre-election Willie Stark was idealistic and wouldn’t defend the establishment and their cronies.
    The post election Willie Stark became a corrupt political boss dependant on patronage and intimidation to acxhieve his goals. I’m not sure the people you are attemting to defending, Drovetta and Schulz et al, would appreciate the support of a character like Willie Stark.

  12. Willie Stark says:

    “Jack, there’s something on everybody. Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption. He passes from the stink of the dydie to the stench of the shroud. There’s ALWAYS something”

  13. Jack Burden says:

    Those are the words of Willie Stark and they are cynical and damnable. If you want to be taken seriously Willie, you damn sure don’t want to be uttering them.

    It is a good book though.

  14. Willie Stark says:

    Now, now, lets not diminish Jack Burden’s role in shaping and perhaps even creating Willie’s career. I would certainly think that he has some culpability in Wille’s evolution.

  15. Jack Burden says:

    Bottom line Willie Stark, you remind me more of Sugar Boy than Willie anyway.
    Your boosterism of the mayor and his cronies reminds me of the literary incarnation of Sugar Boy, while your single minded defense of all things drovetta lends itself to the recent theatrical interpretation of the character. It makes me wonder if perhaps, you are in the mayor’s debt, or possibly he may be in yours …

  16. Jerry L kellogg Sr says:

    RB, thank you and the other EU meeting participants for the hospitality and courtesies offered to those of us in the peanut gallery last night. It was in my opinion a very educational and productive meeting. The Gardner community should know that they have a very professional and proactive Electic Utility Board and operations staff working to offer their ratepayers, both residential and commercial, optimal service.

  17. Jack Burden says:

    My hat is off to anyone willing to serve, unfortunately schulz seems to like the idea of serving as long as it’s not too much of a sacrifice.
    So what’s the story with you kellogg, who are you and what do you stand for? Are you an acolyte, an advocate, or are you merely a dillettante? My sincere hope is you aren’t some drovetta sycophant masquerading as a concerned citizen.

  18. Willie Stark says:

    Maybe Jack there are people who the support the mayor because he has given a lot of years to this town. More than a lot of us have lived here. Maybe Jack your perception is not reality. Maybe Jack he cares about this community and the people who live in it and he is not afraid to speak out and he is not afraid to say things that aren’t PC or that aren’t what evryone wants to hear.

    Maybe Jack he actually knows someting and people should listen to his years of experience because my observation is that he has served without a single minded agenda.

    Just becuae you don’t agree with him does not make him a bad person nor does it make his supporters cronies.

    Of course you and I and Judith and McDonald and the others who post here or on the Gardner Edge are a lot more alike than we are different. Its comfortable for us to sit on the sidleines and not take risks. Its comfortable for us to sit back and critcize because we aren’t accountable.

    I for one am grateful there are people like Drovetta who put themselves out there and get criticized for doing work that most of us are afraid to do but think we can do it better.

    Yes Jack we are alike probably more than either of us would care to admit.

  19. Jack Burden says:

    Willie the biggest problem drovetta faces is not his tendency toward appointing cronies, it is his own hubris. If you don’t think so I suggest refllecting on the matter before getting back to me.

  20. Willie Stark says:

    You call it hubris others call it confidence. Its ok to feel threatened by another’s self confidence. I would hope that leaders have self confidence.

    Jack, you, like so many others who comment online, spout generalities and make statements with out backing them with concrete examples to support your contention. You say Drovetta’s problem is hubris yet you give no examples of where he has gone wrong due to pride or confidence.

  21. Jack Burden says:

    “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle”

    This is a very popular quote from a George Orwell opinion piece published in London in 1946. It’s a sagacious statement in and of itself, but what never seems to be mentioned is what Orwell stated next, which is;

    “One thing that helps toward it is to keep a diary, or, at any rate, to keep some kind of record of one’s opinions about important events.”

    I know of what I speak Willie, because I’ve kept a record, but alas this is still my opinion. The words and actions of the mayor over the past 16 months are well documented, and as such I am not inclined to rehash them to provide fuel for your doctrinaire ramblings.

    I suggested previously you reflect on this matter before getting back to me, it appears that you only contemplated your next trenchant comment.

  22. Willie Stark says:

    Just 16 months Jack? My goodness The mayor has performed exceptionally in the last 16 months. His term began with three rogue councilmembers attempting to hijack the government structure and then after the citizens rightfully removed two and the third ran away with his tail tucked, Drovetta was hijacked again by the poeple who worked to remove those council members.

    They worked through a recall knowing fully that if successful he would be appointing replacements and then cried foul when that eventuality came to pass. Which by the way he appointed an outstanding council.

    Based on the the last 16 months I would say that this mayor is exactly who we need in that office during this time. He has been forth right, honest and exemplifies the transparency that so many seem to banty about these days.

  23. Jack Burden says:


  24. The mayor doen’t care anything about anyone. I have seen him and his nose is in the clouds. He thinks he is the bomb and he talks down to you. I also saw Mayor Lehman at Price Chopper and she is always nice. We need some one cares about all of us.

  25. Willie Stark says:

    Wow Sondra that’s a different experience than people I know have had. What was the issue you were discussing that he spoke down to you?

  26. HollyGoLightly says:

    Oh, cute. The mayor got himself a pseudonym and is trying to protect his “legacy” online. Awww.

  27. Jack Burden says:

    I don’t think so Holly … what drovetta has here is the mayors herald and champion. He is trying to protect his legacy though, and less than 1/3 of the way into his first (and only?) term in office.

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