Pal Johnny

As I was infusing a nice pot of Darjeeling I decided it was time to attack another blog post head-on.  Last week I had several emails getting acquainted with my new pal John Onufreiczuk. If you will recall, I had a little something to say about his comments in favor of former Councilman Merrill Young in a previous post.  As I savor the beautiful, honey colored tea in the cutest little Starbucks cup my niece gave me for Christmas, I begin. 

In my first contact with Mr. Onufreiczuk, he wrote:

“It has been brought to my attention you posted on your blog that  I may run for City Council. I read your article and while I feel you are missing a few facts on my comments regarding Merrill Young, I do enjoy your blog.  I have had conversations in varying degree with current council members Byboth, Goss and Jones over the past 6 months.  I can assure you that I AM not running for Wylie City Council for multiple reasons.”

I am not going to post his reasons why because they were personal.  If you wish to know, go ask him yourself.  I can tell you I am relieved, because it seems Onufreiczuk has been mired by the good ole’ boy crowd in the past and I truly think we need some new bodies sitting up there. 

In a subsequent email, Mr. Onufreiczuk attempted to clarify the appearance of his support of Merrill Young: 

 “As far as Merrill goes, he was WRONG! Maybe I am wrong but, if you find a tape of my comments before Council I do not know the word 'maybe' was in my comment.  He was Naieve to think you could get a degree 100% based on life experience. Now, the fact the State nor Wylie ISD know how to do a background check is scary! At the council meeting I took exception to the fact people were calling Mason's evil, calling and accosting his wife and daughter, and to make matters worse rumors, are swirling of a drunken bunch of stupidity by a Council Member in Vegas. If I recall the same councilman is on the Wylie View calling Merrill out. I told Merrill to his face in private he was wrong.”

From Onufreiczuk’s explanation, what I think really happened was that his message was slightly bastardized by the newspaper report of that ill-fated council meeting when the lynch mob came hoping to topple Young.  Frankly, I would have been there holding the torch right alongside the mob had I been called to physical involvement back then. I was involved, but in another way on the Wylie View and Wylie News Online posting my opinions about this situation and about the former Superintendent Fuller, and my opinions were many.  You see, Mr. Young’s insidious infractions fell awfully close to home for me.  My oldest son was in his very first science class back in 7th grade at McMillan Jr. High and when I told my son what had happened, in his words he said he felt ‘violated’.  He went on to say that he trusted Mr. Young.  I was incredulous as to why Fuller and his posse would simply move Young to a paraprofessional position rather than fire his ass.  Even my son could realize that Young should step down from his council position and lose his job with the district at the time. Young’s arrogance was astounding and Fuller and the bobble-head gang’s positive reinforcement of his crappy behavior was absolutely inexcusable. Thus the rumblings of TXun started.

As our correspondence has grown, Mr Onufreiczuk has given me his personal assessment of everyone on council at the moment, and I have provided him with my own uncensored version.  In doing so, I think we both are able to agree on a few concepts.  Onufreiczuk stated, “I do hope that at least 2 people step up to run for the seat I assume Byboth is vacating and someone steps up to challenge Jones. Nobody should run unopposed.”  Well I have to agree with him on that one.  It should have been a crime that Mayor Eric Hogue ran unopposed in the last election.

Onufreiczuk hopes that whoever puts their hat in the ring for Councilman Bennie Jones’ and Mayor Pro Tem Red Byboth’s seats will run on the following conservative platform:
1. Balance the budget, no reaching into the rainy day fund.
2. No new bond issue until current ones are retired. 
3. Do everything financially prudent to attract retail and 
industry in order to lower taxes across the board.  Lower 
taxes create jobs and attract business investment and 
4. Understand the role of Gov't is to provide essential 
services, nothing else. If Council wants to increase 
funding in one area, it must be offset by cutting 
another area.
Hot damn, Onufrieczuk is actually a conservative after all!  I know he got caught up with the Wylie View crowd and he also has been caught up with the good ole’ boys and for that I will have to put the boxing gloves on with Onufrieczuk, but overall I think he is a pretty decent guy. 
Continuing with the fiscally conservative vein, Onufrieczuk also went on to say, “I also wish the Council would pull funding for the rec center. The city is not in the business to provide recreation.  If the cost is X and you have Y members, the cost is X/Y. If you are over budget, hours/staff are cut.  I believe voters were told the Rec Center would pay for itself when the bond package was presented.” I agreed, telling him I found the fact that council has always expected the Rec Center to run in the red since its inception is the absolute height of stupidity. Realizing the city is not a for-profit organization, we can still apply some common principles and sound business practices and I don’t know of any company that would stay in business for very long with the plan of running in the red indefinitely. 
I remember reading a recent poll.  The findings showed that the majority of people queried actually agree with the conservative tea party principles even though they are not active or members in any way.  I would have to agree with that.  When we remind ourselves of the last election results in Wylie, it was pretty clear that the majority, though by slim margin, were willing to support a new conservative over an old incumbent.  I wonder what the trend will look like this year.  The next election will definitely be an interesting one to watch and an interesting one to blog about.