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It started with her saving the elephants

Malone Moss wants the city to Save the Elephants – you know, the fiberglass elephants that Mark Cline put up on the old landfill hill a month and a half ago. So she wrote to her city councilman, Bruce Allen. “I am a citizen of the city and find the decision to let Mark Cline’s elephants be placed on the mountain one of the most refreshing decisions that the Council has deliberated,” Moss wrote to Allen. “It is my understanding that Waynesboro wants to become a destination city, and I believe keeping the elephants on the mountain might just start something great.”

Allen, who famously refers to himself as a “man of few words” when he actually does speak in public, maintained his reptuation in his reply. “Malone Moss, Thank you for your input about this project. Sincerely, Bruce Allen.”

This was the start of a back-and-forth that a few of us in the local media and city leadership have been following involving Moss and our beloved vice mayor, Frank Lucente, in a discussion of the issues of the day in Waynesboro that has been revealing in its own way.

“As a citizen in your ward, I ask that you table your motion for a .67 cent tax rate and do what is right for the entire population of the City of Waynesboro, for their safety and well being,” Moss replied to Allen, leading to a reply not from Allen but from the person who pulls Allen’s puppet strings.

“I think I am representing all the people of Waynesboro. The people pay enough taxes and their are to many special interest groups at the public trough. Also their can be more efficiency within our city government. Our services will not be affected with the .67 rate Mr. allen did not introduce the .67 cent rate I did and I think it was the right thing to do sincerely frank lucente.”

The debate from there wasn’t as much a debate as Moss making the case for a 70- and even at one point a 73-cent tax rate and Lucente deflecting any further discussion of the specifics therein.

“As far as ‘special interest groups at the public trough’, what are you referring to specifically? Where can the ‘efficiency within our city’ be more efficient? You must be more specific than that. Using the term ‘public trough’ makes me think that you think of the citizens of Waynesboro as being cows or hogs. Forgive me, but that’s the first time I’ve heard that term used to describe the citizens of Waynesboro,” Moss wrote.

“Malone I respect your opinion and I hope you can respect mine sincerely frank lucente.”

“While you didn’t address the questions in my last email to you, I will say to you that I always respect everyone’s right to free speech. With the overall economy in a depression, the citizens of Waynesboro are more in need of the services that are budgeted by the city than ever before. For you and Councilman, Bruce Allen, to hold out for a .67 cents tax on real estate is unforgiving in my opinion. Do I respect your opinion? No. Do you have the right to free speech? Yes.”

Come to think of it, this is what passes for discourse these days in Waynesboro. One side makes the case for a city that supports a better quality of life, the other side mutters an aside with innuendo influenced by the nonsense that goes on daily in Washington, D.C., and life goes on.


– Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press