Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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What’s the best present anyone ever gave you? I have a good idea of something most of us would appreciate. How about a going-away present that lasts for a couple of years, is valued at almost $200,000 per, and was given to you while no one was looking. The old Airport Commission ought to hold their heads in shame. They gave our airport manager the keys to the town treasury.

Knowing that the excrement was about to hit the propeller, as it were, these five Airport Commission members signed off on a contract with the airport manager that they had to know would have been vehemently contested when two new appointed members took office. Instead, the Gang of Five deliberately overlooked numerous transgressions at the airport and signed the manager to a most lucrative contract days before two members were to depart.

So, why would the commissioners do such a thing? That’s like the old saying about dogs: “Because they can.” This smacks of the lowest, sleazy, old-boy network, cover your buddy’s behind trickery. I can’t wait to see what their explanations are, not that there are any rational ones. I’d guess that we won’t hear much and if we do, it will be the usual “all in a day’s business” kind of double-talk.

The manager has been under fire of late for (among other things) authorizing work that wasn’t bid upon first. That’s not cricket when one is spending taxpayer money. Not that the members of the commission seem to care. Minor stuff when you run a concession that is well funded and few people have taken a good, hard look at what’s truly happening behind the scenes.

I’ve always thought the airport (in general) seems to run very nicely. It’s easy to fly in and out of here and the food out there is quite tasty. That comes from a total tyro, me. Now, the internal workings look terribly askew, and worse. No expert help needed to see this dog has fleas.

When the airport manager says he’s worth more than what his total package comes to, all I hear is a huge ego, combined with, “what are you going to do about it?” Let’s wait and see what the Massachusetts attorney general’s office has to say about the airport fiefdom. Is there any way to recall the remaining commissioners? Probably too late for that, and firing the manager could cost more in a lawsuit than what he’s now receiving from the town.

After having lunch at the aforementioned airfield on Monday, I had a taxi driver pull me aside for a short tale. They said that the driving here this year is the worst ever. When I hear a taxi-driver say such a thing, it must be true. Not that any one of us couldn’t see the problem.

Merchants must be happy these past few weeks. We’ve had nice weather for the most part, though a few cloudy and rainy days must be financial godsends to downtown businesses. I overheard a couple of business owners on Main Street speaking to one another last week. It was a beautiful, sunny day. One said to the other, “not many bags out today.” My beautiful day was a slow one for these store-owners. I loved the term, though.

If you noticed the Boston Globe article on boston.com this morning concerning the Nantucket/Martha’s Vineyard “rivalry,” it seemed like much ado about nothing. Not the headline, just what came after that. Sure, there’s plenty of kidding between our two islands, mainly due to the Island Cup each year. But that’s all it is. Most folks on each island don’t know the other one well enough to have true feelings about them. Then, the Globe reporter tried to bring visitors to each island into the fray. Monday must have been a slow news day in the Hub.

We’re halfway through August and I’ve yet to hear of any summer-induced psychosis, at least nothing that’s permanent. Two weeks to go for us. We might just make it. Enjoy it while you’re able.
– David Goodman’s “Goodman’s Gam” appears weekly in this space and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror.

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