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Is Yorktown a real-life version of George Orwell’s satiric book, Animal Farm? Let's see how this cautionary tale stacks up if we substitute Yorktown for the Farm and its political parties and elected officials for the book’s main characters.
The plot summary is that farm’s livestock (taxpayers) lead by Hogs (Republicans) have a bitter struggle (political campaign) and take over the Farm (Yorktown). These Hogs (Republicans) promise that they will to do a better job then the Farmer (Democrats).
The first order of business by the Hogs (Republicans) is to change the rules (“courtesy on the floor” and “closed door work sessions”) to further their personal goals. The Hog’s leader, Napoleon (Supervisor Michael Grace) has a vision to revitalize the farm (Yorktown).
Napoleon (Grace) obsessively believes that if he can just build a windmill ($4,000,000 tax funded revitalization plan) the Farm (Yorktown) will be saved and prosper. Napoleon (Grace) believes that the livestock (taxpayers) won’t catch onto the incremental changes.
For Yorktown the changes mean losing its residential character neighborhood by neighborhood through the systematic granting of dozens of questionable rezoning/building code variances to campaign supporting developers.
The hope is that taxpayers won't notice or complain too much about the inevitable tax hikes starting with a 25 percent water bill increase. Napoleon (Grace) has the help of trained canines (Republican Councilmen) to quiet dissent by growling at any opposition in the barn (town hall).
Napoleon says, “All animals (taxpayers) are equal, but some animals (elected officials) are more equal than others."
Supervisor Grace and Senator Terrence Murphy having owed a combined $150,000 for years of unpaid taxes proves that they believe themselves “more equal” than other Yorktowners.
The windmill gets eventually built but collapses into a pile of rubble. The farm animals (taxpayers) finally realized that they have been duped.
Ultimately, the farm animals (taxpayers) come to the conclusion they’re in a worse predicament than when the Farmer (Democrats) were in control.
Like Don Quixote, is Supervisor Grace chasing his very own windmill? Will Grace's revitalization plan also collapse into rubble? Will Yorktown taxpayers be left to pick up the pieces?
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