OK, all you folks in the Park who haven’t figured out what’s happening this election. This is for you.
Four seats on the Governing Board are up for election this cycle in two separate elections. In the first batch, you get to pick three out of the following four candidates: Suhas Naddoni, Michael Bunner, Preston Banks and Brian Leeper. In the second election which fills a vacancy that got filled by the board earlier when Peter Farrell got chased out of city government for questioning why the city attorney was being paid more than double what any other city employee makes, you get to pick between Bill Treuting and Richard Shubert.
The first group is a pretty easy choice. Suhas Naddoni is at least making noises that he’d like to clean up the corruption in the city and recently complained about the Governing Board buying out Mercury Payton’s contract, an act of fiscal extravagance that borders on the completely insane. He’s not going to lead a fight to fix local government in Virginia’s worst-run city, but he’ll at least be there for the fight. The leader in that fight might be the dynamic Preston Banks, an up-and-coming African-American independent who seems like he just might have the right stuff for a long and successful career in public service. He’s sharp, and I get the impression he’d like nothing better than to try his hand at rescuing Manassas Park from the crushing burden of fiscal irresponsibility, corruption, and residential overcrowding by illegal aliens. Rounding out that group should be Brian Leeper, a perfect technocrat who revels in the details of such fascinating topics of land use planning, transportation planning and public finance so the rest of us don’t have to. Leeper helps root out the problem, Banks leads the fight, and Naddoni sidles right along to make a trio that actually seem to give a squat about the plight of Manassas Park residents.
Left out of this is the rubber stamp Michael Bunner, who isn’t going to fix the problems, since he’s lent a hand in actually creating them. Throw that bum out.
The special election between Bill Treuting and Richard Schubert is a pretty easy choice as well. Treuting got selected by the governing board to be their rubber stamp for such wonderful ideas as exceeding the state-mandated debt limit which could have put the city into receivership had any of the mental giants on the Governing Board managed to figure out they were violating Virginia Code. Treuting hasn’t let them down. Seriously, folks, anybody could do better than this, which makes Richard Schubert the right pick here.
So to recap, voters should select Naddoni, Banks, Leeper and Schubert to fill the board, and pray to God every night these four will throw some weight around and start fixing the tremendous mess that is Manassas Park. They could do it, if they get citizen support, and with a majority I suspect it will be too dangerous for Paul Ebert to wade in and start filing falsified criminal complaints as a means of back-filling Mayor Frank “Dear Leader” Jones.
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