Mark Manna’s Maneuver
When does a resolution titled “Downsize Amherst Town Board” become a maneuver to prevent downsizing? When its sponsored by double talking flip-flopping politician Mark Manna.
The Amherst Town Board due to a public referendum approved by voters in 2010 (70% to 30%), is supposed downsize from six members to five at the end of 2013. Board member Mark Manna has fought the effort to reduce the Amherst town board every step of the way. On five occasions Manna has voted against downsizing resolutions.
Stating that he had a change of heart about downsizing, this past week Manna surprisingly filed a resolution where he advocated holding a public referendum to downsize the Amherst town board from six members to three. Well Manna’s change of heart lasted less than a week, as he allowed his resolution to be amended so that it became a request for a public referendum on whether the town board should remain at six members. So Manna’s downsizing resolution has become an upsizing resolution.
Claiming to have a change of heart on downsizing was just a maneuver by Manna. Among the dictionary definitions of the word “maneuver” are:
- evasive movement or shift of tactics
- an action taken to gain a tactical end
- an adroit and clever management of affairs often using trickery and deception
Manna really did not have a change of heart about downsizing, he is trying desperately to remain in public office. You see Manna loves being important and he loves the power that comes with political office. Since becoming a town board member, Manna has tried to move up the political ladder by expressing his interest in being a county legislator, state senator, and congressman. Rumor has it that Manna now has his sights set on running for Amherst town supervisor. Grabbing a headline as a downsizing reformer just interested in letting the public vote (when they already did), might pick up some needed votes in a Supervisor race, where 70% of voters went on record in favor of downsizing in 2010.
When Manna ran for town board he knew that per the town code he was limited to two four year terms. After his attempts at higher office did not work out Manna co-sponsored a resolution to study the elimination of term limits in an effort to get rid of term limits so that he could run again. The public outcry about removing term limits scared other elected officials from jumping on board Manna’s effort.
Manna thinks he’s slick with his maneuvers but it is very apparent that his moves are all about maintaining political power for himself.