For all the reasons that Lee Wong is now president of the West Chester Trustees, local politics is at best dysfunctional beyond repair with the same old faces. Only Catherine Stoker knows her true motives, but it appears that during an election year where Lee and Cathy’s seats are both up for re-election, Cathy—who has been a trustee for West Chester since 1994 and represents every brand of big government intrusion into business interests, private residents, and is a tremendous supporter of the public education black hole school funding that currently exists is dealing her friend a bad hand of cards. Cathy and Lee have a great relationship and work well together for their own collective oriented agenda, but politics is…………….well……………politics. For an example CLICK HERE to see video and commentary on the sidewalk debacle that took place in Becket Ridge by Lee and Cathy.
If anyone has ever seen Lee Wong conduct a meeting, it is obvious that he struggles to keep everything organized, so it appears that Cathy is throwing her friend under the bus by allowing him to draw all the fire that is coming from the West Chester Tea Party’s commitment to fiscal responsibility—which is proving challenging. Cathy’s years of experience knows that whoever is president will take most of the fire as they are required to provide frequent quotes to the press—and this will be politically difficult for the kind of person that Lee is.
The same type of shuffle game occurred on the Lakota school board last year when Joan Powell relinquished her president’s seat to Ben Dibble. She had an election coming up to win, and the new comer Julie Shafer was elected vice-president allowing Powell to hide in the background till the heat died down that was going on at the time. CLICK HERE FOR REVIEW. It is relevant to the trustees of West Chester as they are all politicians in the same community and are functioning from the same strategies. While inexperienced politicians like Lee, Ben, and Julie are led to believe that they are being promoted for their good behavior, the more politically manipulative “old timers” know how to preserve themselves under challenging circumstances, and both Lakota school board members and the West Chester trustees are faced with huge challenges in 2013 from new blood running for their seats.
I know of two people who are thinking seriously of making runs for the trustee seats of Cathy and Lee, and they stand a great chance of removing those two progressive minded politicians. Cathy had arranged with Lee in much the same way they worked out the issue of the side-walk in Beckett Ridge–that he would become president and she would be vice-president because they hold a 2 to 1 vote over the third trustee George Lang recently re-elected during 2011. In Cathy’s case, it is best for her to appear she is not a power-hungry name plate goddess by relinquishing some of her power to Lee—while the real motive might be to diffuse political attention away from herself to Lee, so that her seat gets most of the progressive votes over the two conservative challengers who are planning to run against her.
It is interesting that there is never any explorations in the local papers about this kind of behavior. Reporters have allowed themselves to be lap-dogs to people like Cathy, Lee, and Joan. Reporters enjoy powerful people with name-plates because it makes for easy reporting, so seldom is any substantive investigation done into the motives of politicians when positions of power changes. But in Lee’s case, it would seem obvious given his political handicaps what Cathy is up to. Voter apathy is how Cathy has managed to keep her seat and maintain invites to all the prestigious West Chester social occasions for over 20 years. Often, that is the real motive behind these types of politicians; they enjoy the social occasions and the feelings of importance that they offer. They are always seeking ways to exploit voter apathy—such as changing around the names to make positive adjustments appear to be happening, to give the appearance of democracy in action. But the reality is quite something else.
It will be up to voters to prove Cathy politically wise, or not during the election of 2013. In the past such decisions have worked, but that was before people started to wake up, as they are beginning to do now. The question will be whether or not voters will give new people a chance to rock the foundations of West Chester politics with much more competent minds—instead of the scheming that goes on which centers completely on self-preservation using politics to provide the illusion of personal value in the context of social occasion. The management of a district or a community is not about hand-shaking, charity events, or touchy-feely progressivism. It’s about making hard decisions and care-taking the community’s tax money with more than lip service—it requires a surgical approach to all things financial, and a healthy disdain for the power of a name plate.