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Gary Ceres


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Ceres for Washington NC City Council

Good Bye Martini Sippers

  A.E. Samaan, the famed author and expert on the Holocaust once wrote, “A "racist" thinks themselves better than other races. An "elitist" thinks they are better than everyone.” So true.

  Every town in America has its vast majority of hard-working white and blue collar workers, industrious business owners, and amazing volunteers and seasoned citizens. Washington is no different. Every town also has its small clique of elitists that feel entitled to tell everyone else how to run their lives, their businesses, conduct themselves in public and to shut up and sit down when it comes to the political arena. Unfortunately, Washington has that small group as well.

  I first wrote about this group by labeling them the chattering class in an article I wrote circa 2011 for the Washington Daily News entitled “Umbrellas, and Tables and Chairs, Oh My!” At the time, the chattering class in their infinite wisdom decided that umbrellas and tables and chairs on our streets were unseemly and not historically accurate. They didn't like when I showed up at a city council meeting with the 1915 Chamber of Commerce book showing umbrellas, tables and chairs on the streets of Washington. Some of these zealots actually advocated pulling the pavement from Main Street to make the road more historically accurate. When we defeated them they did me the pleasure of boycotting my store “I Can't Believe It's a Book Store” which is now located in the wonderful Bank Bistro; thereby tripling my business in one month as normal people rejected the chattering class's preferred methods.

  Several months later, I took the controversial step of hosting Carla Collins for a book signing at my store. Carla is a hilarious, rather raunchy, Canadian comedian. Her performance at the Turnage Theater was preceded by an adults only Female Impersonation act by Rush Derr, a native of Washington and a dear friend to Carla. Regardless of your opinions of such performances I took a stand that the chattering class despised. So I returned to my store that evening with signs of “God Hates Fags” plastered on the property. I promptly called my staff together the next day to inform them that if the media showed and asked our opinion we were to answer “Well, not sure how God feels about that but I'm sure he has not tried our 99 cent espresso!” You always respond to the chattering class with humor and good nature you see.

  I tell these stories to fast forward to today where the chattering class has actually been replaced as a relic of the past as a new even more elite and radical small group seems to think they can ruin lives if it means protecting their ability to sip their martinis, collect their trust fund money, attend their banquets and thumb their nose at the rest of us. I like to refer to this new class as the martini sippers.

  Now don't get me wrong. Many people like a good martini (I'll sip on an espresso martini any day please and thank you). But you get the point. I doubt half of them even like martinis but since their “friends” do they must embrace the martini sipping culture, pretend to support the rantings of people we used to whisper to our friends “isn't she crazy”, and look at with suspicion. But the martini sippers are sadly in charge. Moreover, they feel entitled to be in charge.

  Your utility fees went up and you can't afford the diapers for your baby … tough luck they've got a gala to attend for $250 a person. You want to speak at a public hearing because the slum lord that serves as assistant city manager won't clean his property? Tough luck, you only make $13 an hour and they would rather have $148,000 in legal fees to defend the mayor from having homes in his neighborhood that he doesn't want. You think your street should be paved? Tough luck, they've got to spend money on statues and give free tickets to the mayor at the Turnage so they can hobnob with the other martini sippers.

   They are usually behind the scenes though working with their friends in the bureaucracy, donating to the right candidates and above all telling everyone else what to do. But suddenly they are vocal and getting louder. Why you ask? Because the martini sipping crowd is about to face the music in this election and lose their grip on power at City Hall and the right to tell you how to live your life. Sure they will pay lip service to working class and the indigent but most of these martini sippers wouldn't be seen dead walking in a Black or Latino neighborhood. They won't be participating in community action projects unless they benefit their neighborhood in particular or they can write a check and throw a bone to those they snub their noses at.

   But change is in the air. We have several great candidates this year for City Council that the martini sippers hate with a passion (myself at the top of that list because I call out their BS). Leesa Jones comes to mind as the person with the most integrity in the race that I've known for over 13 years and has real people's concerns at heart and someone that won't bow to the martini sippers. Several others seem to have real promise.

   The era of the chattering class has come and gone. Now it's time to say goodbye to the martini sippers. Let's not just defeat them and their politics of personal destruction. Let's get the working class, Black, white, Asian, Latino out in record numbers for this municipal election and tell the martini sippers where to shove their martinis.

Tell the City NOT to shut the Senior Center Media, Community Ordinance to Instruct Washington Utilities to Permanently Repeal Storm Water Fees

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Time to kick out the elitist martini sippers from power.
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  • Unchallenged Good-Ole-Boy Network
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  • Transparency & Public Input in Local Government
  • Investigate Misappropriation of Funds
  • Our City is Suffering from a Brain Drain

Your city government neglects any area that is outside of the historic district or outside the personal bubbles in which city bureaucrats and elected officials operate.

It is high-time that city government operates on behalf of every citizen in the system and not just those with power and influence.

Electing me to the City Council sends a message that city government is for ALL citizens and not just the elite.

We have 22 city officials that make over $75,000 a year in salaries in addition to an average 38% benefits package.

The city greedily chose to give these individuals an additional 5% wage increase in this year's budget instead of using that money to give us a full complement of 12 EMTs which we desperately need.   Instead we will be receiving only 4 more, 8 in total.

When the median income in Washington is $37,200 this is obscene.

Our city is suffering from a brain drain.

Population has decreased from the 2010 census to the 2020 census as our young people go off to college to develop skills that they can't find jobs for here in the city.

It is time to enact tax incentives, decreased regulations and have proactive city officials that seek high-tech, high-paying firms to locate in the city to stem the flow of our young people out from the city. © Copyright 2024 All Rights Reserved
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