Harley Doles & The 64000 Dollar Questions.
Today marks the 43rd day of the Harley Doles “I’m-sick-but-not-sick” Sick-Out, a strange sequence of events that has seen the unhinged Town Supervisor — whose salary is $64000 dollars a year — complain of an undisclosed medical condition while being seen conducting town business.
His behavior has been peculiar. On Sunday, he was seen giving a real estate tour of the town theater to a church group from Westchester. Earlier last week, he penned off a series of disjointed notes to local media and town council members at strange hours of the morning. While he claims that he is ill and scheduled to have a medical procedure on the second week of this month, he also insists that he’ll return to work in “mid-February” (less than two weeks away).
All in all, Harley has been a busy little badger. But this sudden flurry of activity leads us to ask what we term “The $64000 dollar Question”:
Is Harley Doles really ill?
Let’s examine the facts.
- Doles’ recent appearance at the theater: During the appearance, Doles stated that he wasn’t sick to someone who questioned him. Whether he was putting on appearances for his guests on the real-estate tour, or whether there’s a shred of truth in the statement (or both), he was reported to look physically healthy and able-bodied, not having difficulty in walking a group of people around the building. Of course, if he was unwell, he lacked the presence of mind to stick to his original story.
- Doles’ activities: According to stories published in the Times Herald-Record and The Photo News, Doles’ indicated he is unable to perform “sustained activities”. Therein lies a mystery that Doles’ will not answer, nor does he appear willing to provide a doctor’s note documenting the extent of physical limitations. If this were a disability or short-term medical condition in the private sector, this would be standard procedure.
- Doles’ prior attendance: This isn’t the first time that Harley Doles just hasn’t bothered to show up. In 2014, he missed several town board meetings, leaving his chairing duties to Gerry McQuade. Doles’ routine is also to be a no-show at any Town Board meetings where public comment is scheduled. The pattern certainly appears to be arbitrarily deciding to show up depending on whether the topic interests him. And public comment is something that doesn’t interest Harley Doles. But Harley’s record on meeting duration…well, it might be a record since many board meetings he chaired dragged on until past midnight. Clearly, he has the stamina for sitting around in long meetings.
- Doles’ musings: For many years now, Harley has shown a tendency to burn the midnight oil (see a pattern yet?) in his writing habits. These range from anonymous responses to Photo News postings to furtive e-mails to a variety of press and public contacts, to letters to the editor. His latest contribution was a rambling diatribe to the members of the town board and copied to local journalists. But that behavior isn’t new or a change for Doles.
And while we’re on the topic, Harley Doles — better known as “the great deflector” — is adept at blaming others for his own misdeeds, or manipulating the facts. We present two links, courtesy of John Allegro and United Monroe, and available through filings per the Freedom of Information Act.
- Harley’s Consent Decree: Mr. Doles continually accuses others of underhanded dealings and failure to comply with required legal statutes, as he recently did in local media. However, Doles should address questions concerning complaints filed against him and business partners “concerning certain wrongdoings…with regard to their activities” in 2009 as a real estate broker. (More information available in this consent decree)
Harley’s attempts to shut down public comment: During the past several months, Harley has been busy racking up legal fees with the town’s attorney, Peter Tilem, who was a criminal attorney rather than a municipal lawyer. His questions? Your First Amendment rights of speech. (Click the thumbnail link at right for a larger image; image courtesy United Monroe )
The 64000 dollar Questions
So that leads us to the $64000 dollar questions on Harley Doles.
Is Harley sick? The short answer is “It depends“. Mostly on your definition of “sick“. At the very least, it’s clear that Mr. Doles has issues and is a manipulator. Whether that indicates a more deep-rooted psychological problem, we can only speculate. But physically, he’s getting around and performing a lot of activities, and he’s been busy. He simply refuses to come into the office and has signed himself out as “sick”.
He still is collecting his $64,000 annual salary. Meanwhile, the day-to-day matters of town government are being managed by the Acting Supervisor, who continues to only earn his $17,000 annual stipend, and still must run his own business as his “day job”. Way to work the system, Harley.
Is Harley returning to his post on the Town Board? Again, “it depends”. Harley shows such bravado when he’s surrounded by armed guards — heck, who wouldn’t — but when confronted with the ire of the public absent those guards, he’s letting Gerry deal with the fallout. Since Gerry is no longer the Acting Supervisor, and his influence on the town board is in minority, Harley’s Round Lake duck boats are more fierce. Harley won’t get a positive vote on any initiative, and he won’t be very effective in his actions on behalf of KJ land developers or the KJ Political Elite. And he’s alienated a majority of residents of the town. What’s left other than the fat lady singing?
Harley may try to make a stand by being the fly in the ointment. Or try to override the adopted actions of the Acting Supervisor. We venture he won’t get far, but it’ll make town board meetings more entertaining. Make sure you turn to Channel 22 and bring the popcorn.
Then again, it’s difficult to remove a public official in New York. It’s said that you finally leave New York politics in one of two ways: Either you’re indicted and convicted, or they carry you out in a pine box. It can be imagined that Doles uses his lame duck status until he is removed by vote at the next election. And in the time-being, he simply milks the system and Monroe’s taxpayer to the tune of — you guessed it — $64,000 a year.
Perhaps the true $64000 dollar question is how much the taxpayers are paying for the luxury of a useless politician in office.
What’s next for Harley? An unceremonious end to his political aspirations.
Harley has burned every bridge he’s crossed, and alienated every potential ally through his words and actions. At 60 years old, this is as far as his life will go. That’s a pretty depressing thought: Being the most despised resident of a town where no one wants him to live, where he’d be heckled publicly, where he would have no career in either the private or public sectors, and where he’s a political pariah.
Boy! It’s a good thing Maria still has her job as a Supreme Court Justice…unless she’s fed up with him too. In which case…well, there’s no hope, then.
Our prediction: We haven’t heard the last of Harley Doles. Because purely in his own mind, he sees himself as more relevant than he is. He will refuse to admit that he was ever wrong, deluded, and incompetent. And he isn’t mature enough to step down gracefully because people like him never do.
And that’s unfortunate now that we’ve had an opportunity to see a Monroe without his toxic influence.
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