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 22nd, 2011

Jenkins guilty plea provides opportunity for fresh start

Village of Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins has pled guilty to several misdemeanors involving the claim he and his long time girlfriend Rochelle Massey were selling knockoff Nike sneakers in his store.

Although Jenkins previously said he would never take a plea, he will be able to remain Mayor because he did not plead guilty to a felony.

For the sake of the Village of Monticello and its viability as a productive and thriving municipality, it is now time for everyone to move on.

There are way too many issues confronting Monticello to allow Jenkins’ conviction to disrupt the everyday business of the village. No one should ever think because of the plea and dismissal of the felony charges that anyone is untouchable.

The fighting, threats, cockiness, and circus that have made Monticello famous over the past several years must cease to exist. Those who want revenge or are angry that justice was not served must instead put their energies to beneficial use.

Jenkins initially ran for office because he wanted the voices of the ignored to be heard. He undoubtedly bucked the system to get elected. One must admire his nerve, style, and fortitude when he ran without the backing of a political machine and created his own.

Jenkins clearly has been taking some bad advice as mayor and needs to reach out to more people. It is essential he displays some level of remorse to earn respect back from his constituents.

It is not too late for Jenkins to return to being an advocate for the people. He must take a step back and sit down with everyone and hash things out. Equally his opposition must be willing to do the same.

The Village of Monticello known as the “County Seat” is going through devastating times. Crime, drugs, and gang warfare has become a way of life. Lack of affordable housing and a stable economic base plagues the village. It clearly cannot continue to survive with status quo. Broadway looks like a war zone, and costs running the municipality have gone through the roof.

Despite all this, there have been some innovative attempts to turn things around.

Even if all elected officials finally work together and resolve their differences, there is still the question if the Village can survive as a viable governing body. As Governor Andrew Cuomo has said throughout his campaign, there is too much government and there needs to be consolidation and merging of municipalities.

The Town of Thompson thanks to Supervisor Tony Cellini has worked endlessly with the Village in sharing and consolidating many services in order to save taxpayers money. But, that may not be enough. There might come a time in the very near future when the Village will be forced to dissolve into the Town of Thompson.

Until that day comes, the conclusion of the Jenkins criminal proceedings provides a perfect opportunity for all concerned to begin with a clean slate.

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