Well part 1 left off with Wilkes telling me PERMA’s -$28.5 million loss had nothing to do with his sudden resignation as PERMA president. I’ll pick it up from there.
Me. So how long had you been thinking of retiring from the presidency of PERMA?
Brent. At least two years
Me. So just one more time for the record. The loss of -$28.5 million had absolutely nothing to do with your resignation from PERMA?
BRENT. Look the Board of Directors begged me to stay. You can call them if you wish and they will tell you themselves.
Me. Can I have their phone numbers?
Brent. Look I want to talk about the real issues of Saratoga like the Rec center.
Me. Ok we’ll skip PERMA for now. Why do you have a pathological dislike of the rec center?
Brent. The rec center is a fire trap. Poorly built, with no showers .The entire project is a failure.
Me. I suppose in an ideal world with loads of funding and a large paid staff showers would have been included, but showers even then have drawbacks.
Brent. Like what?
Me. Well you do have children mixing with adults when they are most vulnerable. That calls for professional supervision and then security for the lockers is another issue. Also nether the east or west side fields have showers and people run, play baseball, tennis and other sports without any issues. So what else don’t you like about it beside the fact Johnson built it?
Brent. The building is a death trap waiting to burst into flames. Do you know it doesn’t even have a certificate of occupancy?
Me. I didn’t know that?
Brent. The building is such a firetrap they couldn’t get one.
Me. Look Brent I don’t know Fire Chief Williams but I did know his father, Fire Chief Tippy Williams. He was a friend of my father and assistant Chief under my father when my father was Fire Chief. He became Chief after my father’s death. No son of Tippy Williams would ever let one child into that building if it was the fire trap you claim.
I have since learned that a certificate of occupancy was issued and that Kyle York himself is in possession of a copy. I have also learned that all the building materials used were sent out to be independently tested for their fire resistant qualities and they all surpass industry standards. I also feel quite confident in saying now that Brent Wilkes at the time of this interview was well aware of these facts. With that in mind I am quite confident in saying Brent Wilkes is a liar. Feel free to file libel charges against me Wilkes. But for now I digress.
Brent. I also don’t like your blog. I find your writing one sided and unfair. Why do you hold me to one standard and you never criticize Johnson?
Me. Fair enough Brent. Because I pretty much know Johnson’s life story. How he became wealthy, his fiscal interest in local restaurants and have found them all to be legit. I am also very aware of all his philanthropic pursuits such as donating his whole salary to the Hawley home foundation. This is the same foundation that granted him a scholarship. You on the other hand have a very impressive resume filled with unsubstantiated claims. Frankly I don’t think you have been properly vetted.
Brent. What about Fort Johnson and the way he hires outside attorneys and refuses foil requests.
Me. I have also found Johnson to be very open and forthright. I also believe the City should have the best attorneys possible. The unions always do. As far as FOIL requests, when Val Keehn was Mayor she denied every foil request I ever made.
Me. I have a question for you. I asked you at The Skidmore meet the candidate’s night. “If you were Mayor would you ask the Unions for concessions” after I did read some police salaries that I admit were on the high end. You never did answer, but gave a very misleading response about Police having a base salary of 30 to 40k.That is what a cadet makes in the academy before he is even a probationary patrolmen. Most cops easily make over 70k plus benefits. I tried to correct you but you shut me up, then for the rest of the evening you refused to take my questions and even stopped Chris Mathiesen from taking my question twice. I don’t see how that’s open and transparent.
At this point I’m including the video of me asking the question of “Would he ask the Unions for concessions” Sorry Kyle I was using a $79 Kodak camera and didn’t record myself asking the questions. And frankly Kyle after you wasted my time with bullshit allegations of Rec center building code violations I’m not really concerned what you think.
Again back to the interview.
Brent. John you don’t understand. You can’t go into labor negotiations demanding concessions. You have to have an open mind. Work with the Unions. But yes I would hope for Union Concessions. Again I think you are holding me to a higher standard than Johnson and you’re being unfair and turning this into a negative campaign.
Me. Really that’s funny. Do you see whose sitting next to you?
Brent. Yes my campaign manager Pat Kane.
Me. Do you know who he is?
Me. That’s the Pat Kane who was Skip Sirrocco’s campaign manager 4 years ago when he defeated Tom McTygue. Tell me Pat are you proud of that campaign?
Pat Kane. In retrospect I would have done a few things differently
Me. That was without a doubt the dirtiest campaign this city has ever seen against a man who was a respected Commissioner of Public Works for over thirty years. Don’t ever complain to me about a negative campaign.
Me. You want to talk about rude comments Pat? The other day a comment was left on the Saratogian website “Johnson’s face is always red because his wife Julie slaps him before he goes to work.” At this point Pat starts to laugh. So Pat you think that’s funny? So let me get this right. When someone ridicules your opponent its funny, but when I reticule you candidate I’m being unfair? A bit hypocritical don’t you think Pat?
Pat. I think Brent has to go.
Me. Fine. Brent you are free to write anything you want on my blog. A rebuttal, call me an asshole, whatever. I promise I won’t change a word of it. The only condition is you sent it in a WORD format. I’m just a poor boy with a PC and I’m not an apple baby and I’m not your secretary either. Word format so I can cut and paste and you got it.
Well it's safe to say me and the Misses won’t be spending Thanksgiving at the Wilkes house this year. But seriously, I don’t trust Brent. I believe he has milked PERMA for his own personal gain at the expense of injured workers. I think he has deliberately misled the public. I think he is simply against the Rec center because Johnson built it. I believe he is a big government kind of guy who believes our taxes are low and his job is to educate the public why they need to pay higher taxes and once again I reiterate. I believe Brent Wilkes lied to me about the rec center. That alone is reason enough to disqualify him for Mayor or even as a legitimate spokesperson for Charter Change
Is that a bit harsh? Yes, but the stakes are high, with the very form of government we have at risk.
I will have many new posts leading up to the election so stay tuned....
Till next time goodnight.