Chris Graham: Mike was right, you know

The little dustup that we saw back during the City Council campaign involving Mike Harris and, well, pretty much the rest of the City Council, that’s all over and done with, right?

Eh, maybe, maybe not.

I talked with Harris after the election about his late-in-the-game criticisms of the way now-former Mayor Frank Lucente conducted business in his term leading the City Council.

“I’ve got plenty of support out there,” said Harris, who briefly became the target of fellow Council members after the letter to the editors of the local print papers in which Harris accused Lucente of creating a culture of business being done behind closed doors.

I remember being surprised at how Harris was almost jumping out of his seat with excitement at telling me in detail about how he has conversations with city residents who have gone out of their way to thank him for taking the stand that he did.

I expected to see him walking on eggshells after having taken his stance and then watched Lucente and ticketmates Bruce Allen, who was selected by City Council this week to serve as its mayor, and Tim Williams, who will be vice mayor, sweep to victory in the city elections.

There’s the old saying about what happens to the plotters if they fall short of killing the king.

Well, Harris is sticking to his guns, and I’ll stand out there with him. Because he’s right, you know. The City Council in Waynesboro could use some sunlight as disinfectant.

There are still 3.4 million reasons for Waynesboro taxpayers to be upset with this group. That’s how much money we, the people paid for scrub brush out near Interstate 64 that may or may not ever materialize into a business park at some point in the next 25 years. That the purchase price went to campaign donors who backed the 2008 election bids of Lucente and Allen was nearly enough to topple the City Council majority in 2012.

The May elections were thisclose, about as close as we can expect the elections in May 2014 to be when Harris and Jeff Freeman, who seems to have come back into alignment with the Allen-Lucente-Williams troika after having veered off for a brief time with Harris before the Harris letter-to-the-editor forced him to choose sides.

The only hope for those who want to see any semblance of open government in Waynesboro is to see Harris fighting the good fight from the inside.

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