Letters, October 23, 2013
Brock and sportsmanship
In reading John Brock's editorial on "Running Up Scores in Football and Other Sports" Wednesday, October 17, 2013, I could not agree more with him. I hope every coach in the state at any level, reads his column. I was a football and swimming coach at a high school in Western N.Y. many years ago and I saw those kinds of coaches mentioned in his article, numerous times. I was a teacher (first) and coach and I never had to worry about my won/loss record to keep my coaching job. My teaching philosophy was carried over to my coaching. I did have more wins than losses in my career so that could not be all that bad. I will talk here about football but my swimmers were treated the same.
When I retired I moved to a city in Kentucky that happened to have a high school football team that was strong and ranked number one now and then in the state. I decided to see one of their games. Unfortunately their opponent was weak and the score was 30 to 0 at half time without the opponent crossing the 50. In the second half the score reached the 60s while the coach was substituting now and then, a few second and third stringers. When their opponent finally crossed the 50 and appeared to be heading for a score, the coach sent in his first defense and stopped the team from scoring.
The coach of the winning team was not a teacher. He was hired for his previous coaching record. He had a menial job in the school that gave him a lot of free time to work at coaching. Coaches of his kind are always looking for the elite job in college or the Pros, just as the kids dream about being one of those elite players in college or the Pros.
The next year I was asked to give a talk about my philosophy of coaching to coaches from a wide area of the eastern part of the state that had to take coaching courses periodically. In the front row was the coach I refer to in this letter. I mentioned that any boy on my team played in every game no matter what the score. Not for one down but for at least a series of downs. Every boy had a position on special teams and they were usually not the offensive or defensive starters. They knew that I would not put in a first stringer if they made mistakes. My practices were fun, I got more focus from all members, and each boy knew that he was important and had a responsibility to the team. When a team member was injured, I had no reservations about putting in a second or third stringer. They were ready and we had a strong team because of it. When the score got out of reach either way, I substituted freely. Any boy who received a unsportsman-like conduct penalty was benched for the rest of the game or if it occurred at the end of the game, he was out the first half of the next game.
The coach I speak of in this article came up to me and thanked me for the talk and that season started substituting more freely and did not run up the score as in past seasons.
One last point, the coach is a teacher. Not just for football offense and defense, but to teach sportsmanship, compassion for opponents, students, not to kick someone when they are down. Teach respect for your opponent, friends, parents, teachers and all those you meet, for one day you, the coach, and/or the team member, may be the one on the short end of the score. You can sometimes learn as much from losing as in winning.
James E. Grapes
Thanks to Progress for Georgetown
The Harborwalk sat in disrepair for some 20 days from “when the city knew” the Wooden Boat Show was proceeding until Progress for Georgetown (PFG) said “ENOUGH “ and got it fixed in time for the event. A total vacuum in leadership — perhaps a simple time line would enlighten the citizenry to the total ineptness at the top of our city government.
Date Day Time Comment
09/25/13 Wednesday 1, all day Fire - Harborwalk closed
12:02 PM Wooden Boat Show posts notice on Facebook that Wooden Boat Show “is going to happen”
09/26/13 Thursday 2, no evidence that city is interested in expediting repairs to the Harborwalk prior to the Wooden Boat Show
09/27/13 Friday 3, where are you city?
09/28/13 Saturday 4, weekend - too soon after the fire!
09/29/13 Sunday 5, ditto
09/30/13 Monday 6, where are you city?
10/01/13 Tuesday 7, where are you city?
10/02/13 Wednesday 8, where are you city?
10/03/13 Thursday 9, hear say - city administrator solicits proposals from several contractors
10/04/13 Friday 10, and what do we do now?
10/05/13 Saturday 11, weekend - again!
10/06/13 Sunday 12, ditto
10/07/13 Monday 13, where are you city?
10/08/13 Tuesday 14, where are you city?
10/09/13 Wednesday 15, where are you city?
10/10/13 Thursday 16, ???????
10/11/13 Friday 17, ???????
10/12/13 Saturday 18, another weekend
10/13/13 Sunday 19, ditto
10/14/13 Monday 20, ???????
10/15/13 Tuesday 21, city administrator advises Harborwalk cannot be fixed
10/16/13 Wednesday 22, 12:30 PM city engineer OK’s private approach to fix
1:15 PM contractor (Coastal Structures) & engineer (Nicky Kallahan) contacted
3:00 PM engineered solution presented to city engineer & OK’d - contractor advises temporary “fix” would allow opening prior to Wooden Boat Show
3:30 PM cost estimate submitted to city
3:50 PM Progress for Georgetown (PFG) advises contractor of their willingness to underwrite the cost should the city fail to approve
4:00 PM contractor mobilization for “fix” begins
4:27 PM word is received through a third party that city refuses to fund temporary “fix” to the Harborwalk
10/17/13 Thursday 23, 8:00 AM work begins on “fix” to Harborwalk
4:11 PM work completed on “fix” to Harborwalk
10/18/13 Friday 24, done
10/19/13 Saturday 25, all day Wooden Boat Show
Thanks to Progress for Georgetown (for “stepping up”) and Coastal Structures (for “the fix”) which allowed us the pleasure of walking our waterfront! One day to fix — 25 days of indecision and still no help from our city.
What are they thinking? The biggest (by far) event annually for the City of Georgetown. An absolute outrage — vote’m out Nov. 5!
Wonder if the city might “man up” and reimburse these folks — just asking?
Sleep better at night
I’m a newcomer to Georgetown — I’ve only been here twelve years — but during that time, I’ve come to respect and admire Paige Sawyer as one of those rare animals, an honest politician. Paige does what he thinks is right — right for the city and people of Georgetown rather than right for Paige Sawyer.
Over the years, if I’ve had questions or concerns, whether it be a zoning question or a low-hanging city tree limb, Paige is always prompt to respond. I sleep better at night knowing that Paige is looking out for not only my interests but the interests of all of Georgetown.
We have the opportunity to re-elect a good and honest man to the Georgetown City Council. I urge everyone to get out and vote November 5 and to vote for Paige Sawyer.
Sawyer’s tap dance
Last month, Gallup’s annual governance poll found that just 46 percent of Americans trust the “men and women … who either hold or are running for public office,” which is near the historical low.
It’s a shame that politicians and candidates are considered so untrustworthy, but time and time again, we are exposed to statements and spin from them that are at best factual misrepresentations or worse, just flat out untrue.
Georgetown city election candidates are not immune from these types of statements and spin.
Here are some examples involving City Councilman Paige Sawyer, who’s up for reelection on November 5th.
A recent letter to the editor in the Georgetown Times praised Sawyer for being “a supporter of non-partisan elections.”
Sawyer on his campaign website states that he “has advocated non-partisan elections since he was elected.”
However, Sawyer failed to acknowledge that there is a big catch to his support of city non-partisan elections. The Times reported in 2011 that Sawyer was in favor of non-partisan elections, “but if it means single member districts,” Sawyer said “‘I say to heck with it all.’”
And Sawyer was more than happy to be a hard-core partisan Republican in his second term when he commandeered, of all places, City Hall to show “Stolen Honor: Wounds that Never Heal,” a 45-minute anti-John Kerry documentary, which earned Sawyer rebukes from fellow city council members as reported by the Associated Press.
If Sawyer truly believes that “it’s past time” to remove political labels such as Republican or Democrat from the city elections, he can lead the charge by running as an Independent candidate, which he can do right now under state law.
Somehow I don’t think his conviction is really that strong.
In August, when Mayor Jack Scoville was openly advocating a pay raise that would more than double pay for himself and City Council, Sawyer did not oppose the raises even though according to a state Municipal Association survey conducted last year, Georgetown mayoral and city council pay is well within the median range of similarly sized cities.
Instead, according to the Times, Sawyer said “he does not agree with talking about the [pay raise] issue during an election year,” which is political code for something like “let’s move pay raises forward when voters are not really paying attention.”
It’s never good when politicians or candidates speak in code.
It’s disappointing to see Paige Sawyer engage in this kind of misrepresentation and political-speak, but unfortunately, he’s not the only city candidate or politician who’s doing this.
Now, more than ever, it’s important for voters to look hard at what politicians are saying and do the homework necessary to determine who is trustworthy and who is not before casting a ballot.
Pay for Mayor and City Council
In a front page article on August 21, 2013 there is a statement concerning pay raises for the Mayor and City Council.
The article stated “Currently the Mayor is paid $7,200 annually while council members make $4.800.” It further states that the pay has been the same since 1984.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is used by our government to annually adjust Social Security benefits. The CPI for August 1984 was 104.5. The CPI for August 2013 was 233.88.
233.88 divided by 104.5 gives the result of 2.24 which means that the cost of living has increased 124 per cent since 1984.
Since the cost of living has increased 124 per cent in the past 29 years, it seems logical to expect the salaries of our City Council servants to increase by a similar amount. Using this inflator, the Mayor’s annual pay would increase to $ 16,128.
And the Council members’ annual pay would increase to $10,752. Six Council members X $10,752 = $64,512. Plus the Mayor at $16,128 = $80,640 per year.
They are responsible for managing the City’s budget of $32,000,000. Their cost would be way below 1 per cent. In fact it would be only slightly above a quarter of 1 percent, actually = .2520
Such a raise would appear to be very acceptable. Such a change should result is our expecting our council and mayor to dedicate themselves to giving us the very best decisions in handling our City expenditures.
J. B. “Bud” Black
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