GOP to Barbara Munsey: Shut up, already

As noted here previously, it has been interesting to see how the ever-so-loquacious local Republican party functionary Barbara Munsey plans to reconcile her twin roles as (a) serious new appointed official member of the county Government Reform Commission and (b) loquacious blog-comment-letter writer extraordinaire.

To readers of local politics blogs, newspaper comment sites, and other forums for deep intellectual discussion, Ms. Munsey is well known for the many hours per day she devotes to having the last word, no matter the topic in question. Actually, she also usually has the first word, not to mention most of the words in between.

Apparently this has the GOP powers-that-be worried at last. The reform commission is meant to be a showcase of the Potemkin strategy of the new all-Republican board of supervisors to cloak their giveaways to the development industry in the guise of good government reform and efficiency; the strategy is to have “independent” panels of “citizens” make the recommendations for killing the programs the developers hate, rewriting the Facilities Standards Manual that governs developer practices, and (coming soon) opening up the whole countywide zoning plan to developer-friendly revisions. Then the elected politicians can just say they are adopting the recommendations of these independent panels. The fix of course is in by the very makeup of the panels: the board of supervisors packed the reform commission 100% with local party hacks, business representatives, and major GOP donors—not a single Democrat, not a single independent expert, not a single representative of the rural economy. (Chairman Tom Julia, to cite one notable for-instance, was chief fund raiser and campaign manager for former Republican former independent now Republican Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York.)

But it’s important to keep up at least a few outward appearances for this to work, and so clearly Ms. Munsey has been instructed by her handlers to keep her natural tendencies under wraps. When she served as a Planning Commissioner under the corrupt 2003–2007 Republican-majority board, she was famous for disparaging and mocking citizens who attempted to speak before the panel to oppose developers’ projects. But last night at the Reform Commission meeting she said not an entire word the entire time.

The age of miracles is indeed not over.

A tougher proposition however looms: Chairman Julia pointedly concluded the meeting with a plea to his fellow commission members to refrain from blogging. Now we have another item to add to the growing list of things not to hold our breaths waiting to happen here in our fair county: the new all-Republican board of supervisors adopting an ethics policy; Ken Reid constructing a logical inference; Geary Higgins unveiling his master plan to vanquish the stinkbug menace . . . and Ms. Munsey taking an Internet vow of silence.


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