Persing and a Missed Opportunity
On Tuesday evening, Mayor David L. Persing had a wonderful opportunity to start the healing process for his deeply divided city. He had the chance to be magnanimous in victory, to hold out an olive branch to his opponents and to chart a new way ahead for the city which would be acceptable to a vast majority of its citizens.
Instead he went into attack mode with a bellicose and threatening speech, more reminiscent of Nazi Germany than the Land of the Free, a speech which has spawned a YouTube video entitled “Defiant Mayor with only 60% of vote calls opposition, evil, garbage, makes threats”.
Declaration of War
Persing, in effect, declared war on 48.5% of the Sunbury electorate – those who either did not want or could not accept his flawed ideas for city government, or who voted for non-Republican candidates for City Council.
- People tired of incompetence, rudeness and mismanagement at City Hall.
- People who don’t want a toxic waste dump right on their doorstep.
- People appalled by the corruption evident at every level in their city.
- People fed up with the destruction of property.
- People disgusted by the blatant use of valuable city assets for personal gain.
They want to see Sunbury become a place where others will want to locate, where the streets are clean, the properties well maintained and hold or even increase their values, and where they will feel safe to bring up their kids. They want an administration which will better represent their interests and bring to fruition the vast potential of our city.
However, all these dreams crumbled into dust on Tuesday. With a mixture of coercion and blatant character assassination of his opponent, Persing got his vote out. People were falsely told that Bartello intended to defund city fire companies, that he had not paid his taxes, that he intended to slash the police department and that he didn’t even live within city limits.
In his victory speech, opponents were characterized as “truly evil”, and he said he would “TAKE OUT the garbage”, and insure that this would “never happen again”. His intent became clear the very next day with increased police activity noted in the vicinity of the homes of some of his principal antagonists.
One Party Police State
Persing has announced his clear intention, in the way of so many other dictators throughout history, to turn Sunbury into a one-party police state, where all opposition will be ruthlessly suppressed and where no candidates will dare to oppose him in the future. In Joe Bartello’s words, the real losers on Tuesday were democracy, the people of Sunbury, and their freedoms, liberties and constitutional rights.
Joe sends out the following message to his many supporters:
“Thank you to everyone who helped out with the campaign. You were essential to getting the message out. We were fighting an opponent and a newspaper that ran multiple smear campaigns against me. Thank you all for sticking with me and believing in me. I will continue to be involved with our community. I am going to continue my focus on trying to improve our downtown. I will be closely monitoring the Celotex site. And I will turn some of my attention to helping improve our school district. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
“Thank you for your support. Stay vigilant. Don’t give up.”
A Decent Christian who Cares Deeply about his City!
Bartello himself, a decent Christian who cares deeply about his city, had been bullied relentlessly and ruthlessly suppressed ever since his first days as a City Councilman back in 2010, when he refused to kowtow to Persing and his dictatorial style of leadership, instead choosing to look at each issue individually, and its effects on the people and on their city. He voted against Persing on numerous occasions – the only councilman to do so.
How was this independence rewarded?
- His every initiative was ignored or voted down.
- His attempts to improve the workings of the Code Office were scornfully rejected.
- He was smeared at every turn and his character assassinated.
- His pleas to protect the city from the still huge threat posed by toxic waste dumped at the former Celotex site were vilified.
- He was illegally removed from his post, and locked out of his office.
The local press, under the leadership of Gary “Goebbels*” Grossman, ably fulfilled the role of Persing propagandists. Conspiring with the Mayor, they published 14 articles this year alone which were critical of Bartello, including the disgraceful computer porn smear story. They went along with Persing, blaming Joe for the $10,000+ of legal fees incurred by Persing’s own recklessness and arrogance in refusing to accept the judgment of Judge Saylor, who found that he, Persing, had trampled on Bartello’s constitutional rights.
They seldom missed any opportunity to blacken Bartello’s name. So much for a free and independent local press. Their biased coverage has made it very difficult for anyone in Sunbury to obtain a fair and balanced perspective on the issues which directly affect them. They shoulder much of the blame for the warped nature of the election result.
Celotex Threat Ignored
Persing’s supporters, gleeful on Tuesday night, will be singing from different hymn sheets once the former Celotex site starts up again, with friends, relatives and their children possibly contracting serious and sometimes fatal illnesses, with symptoms such as severe rashes, dizziness, headaches, chemical burns, nosebleeds, blisters and breathing problems, all associated with the toxic effects of frack waste.
Don’t look to Persing to protect you either. His concerns would appear to lie elsewhere – in safeguarding the commercial interests of the owner of Moran Industries rather than doing what is best for those whose trust and safety have been placed in his hands.
As for Persing’s growing band of committed opponents, not just locally but now including people throughout Pennsylvania, and in places as far away as Ohio and Florida, Tuesday’s result has reinforced their determination to succeed, and to overthrow this evil regime – a regime which currently threatens the very future of our city and the safety of its inhabitants.
Not The Item will continue to defend the people of Sunbury, and fulfill the role abdicated by our local newspaper, to investigate and expose the many wrongful deeds and actions taken by City Hall. The right to freedom of speech will be upheld. We are NOT going to go away any time soon, Mr. Persing!
* Josef Goebbels was Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda.