Pettiness shows itself in interesting ways.

I had hoped the last election which led to Former Mayor Karin Tome being defeated by Mayor Jeff Snoots would result in Karin tome returning to the generally personable person I have known her to be throughout my time here in Brunswick.  While I am diametrically the opposite of her on many political issues I found her to be generally pleasant and polite in everyday life.  When I first moved into town back in 2002 it was winter time and we were still settling into our recently purchased home.  July of 2003 saw my family going to our first local fireworks celebration.  It was a great turnout…I could tell the small town atmosphere was in full swing and we talked casually with the folks around us during the runup to the show.  My late wife drew my attention to something that was unusual for her to see.  There was a woman literally nearly diving into each trash can.  My wife thought she was a bit nuts….I told her that no there are people that through either environmental concerns or the financials like to grab the cans and bottles because each container is worth a cent or two.  Get enough of them and it really adds up.  I did agree that it was a bit extreme in the manner of the gathering but otherwise we moved on.  What further surprised me is nobody else even took a second glance…as if this was expected.  I put it out of my mind at that point.  I ran into her several times throughout the city but mostly at the city library where she worked as a volunteer there.  I never had anything but the most pleasant time interacting with her and even my youngest daughter liked to see her.  While we disagreed vastly in the political realm personally I had zero problems with her.

Years later Karin Tome was elected Mayor of Brunswick.  While I again opposed her agenda and did not vote for her I took the time to congratulate her.  I also informed her that the only way i would not vocally dissent against Pay as you Throw(known here on as PAYT) is if the minimal fee was zero.  She asked why.  I told her i would then startup my own neighborhood trash service because I could do it for less than anything the city could do and with no worse than the level of service the city could do.(I could…i had already figured the numbers).  There was no hostility no threatening..just a statement of fact.

I think her biggest stumbling blocks were the following:

  1.  Her refusal to lead as a representative of the entire city
  2. Her inability, either by political inexperience or by choice, to not let her personal agenda lead her decisions

This led to her nearly loosing her office via a recall and to choosing a city administrator so polarizing that he would only get along with a small subset of the entire city population.    I will say this..i could still walk up to her..address her as Karin..and who would greet me with a smile.  I ran into her multiple times at City Hall..out in the community…and at the library and personally she was still the pleasant person I had run into for years.  We never made real friends but it was nice to see that two totally polar opposites politically could have a civil conversation.

Over her term as mayor she was set on her agenda nearly to the point of being an ideologue.  The citizenry made it clear to herself and the council that PAYT was a non-starter.  The council defeated multiple attempts at trying to move forward.  When the council had gotten browbeat enough and showed signs of wavering the turnout against PAYT was strong.  Even in the face of such strong opposition the mayor would not budge.  She brought in outside “consultants” and even representatives of the sole source for the special bags that would have to be used as part of PAYT trying to “sell” the citizenry on the idea.  The results were not pleasant for her or the city.  The fight that ensured lead to her nearly being removed via a recall election.  this tension continued until the next election cycle began.

The subsequent election was brutal….one i was not happy to see take place in our small town.  I am not blaming the former mayor for it…but her style of governing contributed to an already tense situation.  Folks from outside the city brought in their big guns for this election.  Local parties, county parties, in a few cases even the state parties were brought in.  I, being normally politically inactive, even decided to support Jeff Snoots.  This was nothing personal(though i was accused of making it such), I just opposed the current mayor’s agenda style of governing.  I considered a run of my own…until I asked around and found out two things:

  1.  Jeff Snoots was vacating his council seat
  2. His support amongst the citizenry was going to crush anything I could come up with.

It was an easy choice at that point.  I supported Jeff Snoots.  Wit the considerable resources being thrown into this race I did not stand a chance to get enough support to make a dent in either candidates support level.  The hype grew until, mercifully, it was time to cast our votes.  The turnout was good for our small town and Jeff Snoots was the new mayor.  I hoped our lives would return to normal.

I haven’t run into former mayor tome in person since that day.  I had no reason to believe that her behavior would continue.  I figured(maybe with a bit naivete) she would settle down into the personable Karin Tome I had run into many times over the years.  I was rudely awakened to reality today on facebook.  A post showed up on the City’s Facebook page announcing the City Administrator was stepping down.  It was announced the Dave Dunn was stepping in as the interim City Administrator.  Folks are disappointed but I made a remark about at least it isn’t Bob.  The former City Administrator who was generally disliked by the citizenry.  The response from Karin was what I have come to call snowflake mentality.  While trying to demean me she also pretty much demeans the ENTIRE city..including many of her supporters.(That would the Original Brunswick citizens Facebook Group).

That was it for me.  I then posted my response to her three posts:

William Warren Hey it isn’t Bob….
 
Karin B. Tome Please don’t go back to “Bob bashing” on this….it makes Brunswick look so petty…..
 
Karin B. Tome Or, if you DO want to look so small, take it to the Original or “Real” page – not on the Citys page…..please. We came a long way in being professional. Let’s not lose that.
 
William Warren Karin… ROFL! I am being small? Really? You the mayor who routinely…IN PUBLIC…threw temper tantrums when she didn’t get her way politically. You who as mayor refused to drop the leftist greenie PAYT that the majority of the city DID NOT WANT and made every possible back-handed way to try to ram it down the council and citizens throats? You who was so belligerent in your agenda REFUSED to back off until faced with a recall to remove you for your belligerence? I have been diplomatic and mainly silent and even defended you OUTSIDE of the political arena…until now. YOu have just called the entire original brunswick group and the entire REAL residents brunswick page petty and small. That’s a vast majority of the residents of the entire city. You ma’dam are the one being petty and small. If you want to call me names and the entire city names go ahead….I have not personally attacked you in ANY WAY. Now I know that what others have said about you is 100% true. Even when I saw you the first year i was in town and you were literally diving into trash cans during the 4th of july fireworks going after cans..my wife thought you were a bit nuts..i said no she’s just getting a few cents for the recycling. I agreed it was a bit extreme..but I gave you the benefit of the doubt then. I have given you the personal benefit of the doubt in the personal realm ever since…until now. Do not talk to me about being small and petty when you have showcased it over and over and over again in public.
 *update 1*
Karin B. Tome William Warren Wow – anger issues
 
William Warren not at all. the emphasis was to refresh your memories of how things actually went instead of how you wish to see them. Keep coming Karin…..
*update 2*
Karin B. Tome Just asking you to take it off the City page….
 
William Warren shhhh…..
*update 3*
Michael Tome Just as a point of clarification, Mr. Warren, because one thing I think we can all agree on is that the truth matters, and exaggerations of the truth don’t benefit anyone. So, first, PAYT was not rammed “down the council and citizens throats” by anyone. Yes, a couple of public meetings were held to introduce people to the topic and they were very lively to say the least. But, not one citizen in Brunswick was forced to adopt PAYT. Second, please provide your data supporting your statement that the vast majority of Brunswick citizens were against PAYT. Yes, there was a vocal group against it, but I’m not aware of anything close to a scientific poll that provided information on percentage of people for or against PAYT. I would hazard that there were actually a lot of people who are not in your realm of communication that were for PAYT. Third, you personally were not called names by anyone that I have seen in this thread… and Finally, yes, it is kinda odd that Karin likes to separate trash from recyclables. She has done it for years, and I guess I’m just used to it now. But, in the big scope of things that’s a pretty minor character attribute. It that’s all you have in terms of truth in your criticism, I’m thinking that’s pretty insignificant.
William Warren Michael I appreciate you will come and defend your wife…however your whiteknighting does not change the facts as they have been stated.
William WarrenI also find it interesting the folks calling for this to be moved off this page continue to respond ON this page.
*update 4*
Michael Tome William Warren I pretty much gave the facts… its you who chose to alter them.
William Warren Wrong. The elections spoke volumes. The majority of folks i talked to spoke volumes….however what i saw and observed is what i based my post on. It just happens others agree. The fact that you do not doesn’t make it any less true.
Michael Tuthill Wow, William Warren – the fact that you’d have to come behind this post to blog about how the former Mayor asked you to lay off bashing someone who was a consummate professional just makes YOU the snowflake. Get a hobby bro.
 
William Warren I have several hobbies. She was not a consummate professional. That was shown in public multiple times. If she was truly the consummate professional, even though her agenda was opposite of what most people wanted, she would probably still be in office. True leadership means you can get along with folks..not try to ramrod your agenda through to the point a recall is required to get you to listen. Allow me to quote,”Or, if you DO want to look so small, take it to the Original or “Real” page – not on the City’s page…..please. We came a long way in being professional. Let’s not lose that” Hey I am not the one who effectively called most of the population of Brunswick petty and small…talk about unprofessional. If you want this off this thread..engage me elsewhere..or do what i mentioned earlier….SHHHHH
Some folks would say I should have not responded.  That’s in fact wrong.  if you do not respond folks will walk all over you.  I had to respond if only for myself.  The rest of the citizenry…that’s up to them.  I am sure if you have managed to read all of this you might be wondering what is the point?  The point is this…despite the past behavior i have mentioned here if I was to run into her again it will be with a smile and graciousness…..unless I am given reason not to.  I am looking for a reason to be pleasant…and that is how I will continue to be.