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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky: The Victim-less Victim

A. John Blake
     Last night, during time allotted for public comment, Mayor Andy Skibitsky asked resident John Blake, "Is that a threat?"  Some members of the audience looked at each other wondering what the Mayor could have possibly perceived as a threat.  It is true that the meaning of the message is in the mind of the receiver, but anyone else in attendance at the meeting last night gave no hint of any perceived threat....not even the police officer standing guard in the back of the council chambers.
     Skibitsky has resorted to this question before as a tactic to disrupt the speaker and shift the focus from the point being made.........which brings us to the next point.  Mayor Skibitsky, void of any response, will often resort to the one liner, asking the speaker, "What is your point?"  If this isn't a clear indication that the mayor isn't paying attention, TFoTM doesn't know what is, unless of course its a calculated disruption to get the speaker off point and chew up time of the allotted 10 minutes a speaker has..  A fifth grader, listening last night to John Blake, could have deciphered the point being made.  TFoTM is not suggesting that a fifth grader run for Mayor, wait until sixth.   Skibitsky's interruptions seem to be strategically placed to stop the momentum of the speaker. 
Mayor Andy Skibitsky
     Another favorite interruption of Mayor Skibitsky's is....."Could you please repeat that, I didn't get that."  This tactic has been ignored by some and TFoTM has identified it as a Skibitsky "clock killer."  It forces the speaker to backup, recite that which the speaker has clearly said, and then recite it again thus killing time.  With only ten minutes to speak, this tactic of Skibitsky's was ignored last night.  Unfortunately, the speaker ends up on the short end of the stick because for the 20 to 30 seconds that pass by while the speaker tries to continue, Skibitsky keeps asking the same question again until he realizes the speaker won't bite at the apple.  
     The "double whammy" of Skibitsky interruptions is this one, "What's your point, I didn't get that, can you please repeat that so I understand."  Avoid this one at all cost because it is clear the Mayor has his back up against a wall, has no other rebuttal, and is so frustrated that he can't remain silent and desperately needs to stop the speaker from making any further point that clearly causes Mayor Skibitsky angst.  Mayor Skibitsky does not hide his emotions very well and last night's town council meeting was a prime example.  
     When the train leaves the station, it doesn't back up for anyone.  TFoTM suggests that the next time the boat is at the dock ready to leave, pay attention Mayor and get on it, or else.  No Mayor Skibitsky, that is not a threat...........get on it, or else you will miss the boat.  Stop with the calculated interruptions or pay closer attention.

PS.....Mayor, please continue.

6 comments:

  1. what was the question/comment the mayor was responding to when he said is that a threat?

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  2. Mr. Blake had admonished Mayor Skibitsky for lowering himself to allow personal attacks on a citizen, by his town administrator, after the resident was through speaking at the microphone. Blake had stated, "Your personal lives are on the line."

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  3. Sounds like a threat to me too.

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    Replies
    1. The statement as it stands alone could be perceived as a threat. However, in the context of what the speaker (John Blake) was saying, it was not perceived as a threat to others in attendance at the meeting. Mayor Skibitsky has used this tactic before in what appears to be an attempt to look like a victim and turn the attention away from what speaker is saying.

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    2. I believe Blake was referring to elected public officials being in the public eye and their personal lives being subjected to public fodder if they choose to attack residents.

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  4. He may not have intended it to be a threat, but one could easily understand how it could have been interpreted as one or POSSIBLY be one. The Mayor had a right to question Mr. Blake.

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