|By G. Michael Dobbs|
Several things are on my mind this week
Those of us who live in Springfield are waiting for the other shoe to drop. The news last week that the city will be required to pay the back pay to the teachers is merely the first in a series of announcements that might lead the city into bankruptcy and receivership.
I understand why the teachers, patrolmen and any other unionized city workers whose pay was frozen by former Mayor Michael Albano years ago are frustrated. I know that they have done their jobs as well as they could in an environment that is far from optimal.
I also understand that if a receiver is appointed by the state, they will be back at square one concerning their contracts.
The city is in a perilous state. One wonders if the Legislature will allow it to go bankrupt what good will that do anyone? Teach someone a lesson? Who?
What lesson will it teach homeowners or school children or municipal employees who lose their jobs?
Certainly, the governor, when he is running for president, would not want to explain to folks out in Iowa that he allowed his state's third largest city to go belly-up. You see, Romney would be a tad embarrassed here as allowing Springfield to go bankrupt is a betrayal of support for his hand-picked Finance Control Board who have worked hard for the city's recovery.
The clock is certainly ticking away in Chicopee and it would appear that Mayor Richard Goyette is determined to wait out his detractors and complete his term in office.
I have to give him his due. He certainly has a thicker hide than most people. I think many folks would have resigned and cowered in their basements if faced with his charges.
I suppose that doing what he is doing can be interpreted as the actions of an innocent man. He isn't guilty so why should he resign?
But if he was innocent, why doesn't he do the job as it should done? To be an effective mayor you have to interact with people. Goyette refuses to do that.
If I were a betting man, I would bet his legal counsel has told him not to speak with any one.
"Just do what you have to do in order to collect your paycheck and lay low," is probably close to what was said.
That approach is doing nothing to help the people of Chicopee, most of which again I'm willing to bet would like to see Goyette leave office now.
There's no point now asking him to go, though. He's sticking.
I received a box of Maypo in the mail the other day.
Actually it came to our Assistant Managing Editor Sarah Corigliano who turned it over to me.
It was a puzzling artifact to her because the package was aimed at a Boomer.
Do you remember Mayo? It was a maple-flavored quick oatmeal that was very popular in the late 1950s and early '60s. It was the first of the flavored oatmeal offerings that are so popular today.
What made Maypo so popular was a series of great commercials created by animator John Hubley and featuring a little kid named Marky who would declare "I want my Maypo!"
A new company has bought Maypo and two other hot cereals and intends to revive the brands. Maypo never really went away, but there is now a renewed effort to make it a more prominent brand.
This is happening more and more as manufacturers realize that we Boomers get nostalgic for the products of our youth. Ovaltine I still drink it has seen a comeback and Breck Shampoo once made here in the Springfield area is undergoing a new marketing effort.
What would you like to see come back?
By the way, my mom wasn't a Maypo mom. She remains an Old Fashioned Quaker Oats gal. While I loved her oatmeal, I still can't forgive her for her Wheatina phase.
Yes, these are my opinions alone. Send me your thoughts at email@example.com or to 280 N. Main St. East Longmeadow, MA 01028.