Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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April 15th, 2011

Can we really blame Sager and Wilkinson?

Sullivan County legislator David Sager is not seeking reelection, and Steve Wilkinson has stepped down as Democratic County Chairman. Can we really blame them?


While there may be three cheers coming from some devious power hungry politicians and their cohorts, it is truly a sad day for Sullivan County.


Both Sager and Wilkinson brought something to the table we have not seen in a long time, honesty and openness. They both lived by the philosophy of delivering good government.


Sure, in the public arena one must have a strong resolve, and learn to let things roll off ones shoulders. But, quite frankly, sometimes there is just so much a human being can take.


David Sager went above and beyond the call of duty for us. He is an elected official who really cares about people and not backroom politics. He has always been there for Sullivan County. He is outspoken, smart, and knows right from wrong.


Sadly, when he decided to buck the system and run for higher office, the machinery of deplorable propaganda began. Political friends he once believed in turned and ripped him to shreds.


The attacks were not on political issues, but were personal. Sager always took the high road and stuck to the issues.


Friends became enemies while enemies became friends.


At the recent State of the County address, Sager along with his former nemesis legislator Kathy LaBuda joked with me about a column I had written that said they “should play nice in the sandbox.” Sean Rieber took a picture of the three of us as LaBuda remarked, “See Bill, we are finally playing nice in the sandbox.”


Sager is clearly burnt out and needs time to spend with his family and regroup. We can only hope he decides to run for elective office again. Until then we all lose.


Steve Wilkinson did the impossible. He became political chairman while working for an elected official. Unfortunately, he quickly learned one cannot do both. As a political boss he needed to protect his political base, but he also needed to protect the elected official he works for. Indeed he walked a tight rope.


It became very messy when Sager entered the Senate race and there were political threats against his boss. The bullying still has not gone away. Intimidation of running a well funded candidate next year to “get even” continues. Sadly, all this has nothing to do with issues or constituent service.


And, let’s not forget the unwarranted and appalling intimidation against Wilkinson during the County Court Judge race. The opposition was given a free ride while he was put through the wringer.


During the nearly three years as chairman Wilkinson accomplished a lot. He indeed can keep his head up high.


As his job takes him in new directions, I am certain he will excel and always keep our interests at hand.


Thank you, David Sager and Steve Wilkinson for jobs well served. There are more of us who appreciate all you have done and continue to do than you will ever realize.

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