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As Long as We Remember...

June 16, 2006

"Lennie" Rides Again

Roy Meachum

John "Lennie" Thompson stopped dancing from toe-to-toe. In a rare moment of straight-forward candor, the commissioners' president allowed as how he's running for re-election.

At the news, Pushkin barely burped. I agreed. Nobody around these parts was in the least surprised. We've heard Thompsonian blather before, and there was a lot of that before the media learned the next four years will not be Lennie-free.

The commissioner's allegations that WFMD radio host Blaine Young made him "do it" are pure and unadulterated hogwash. He was driven to offer his head on the electoral chopping block once more because there was literally no career choice.

His single venture outside the shelter of his mesmerized no-growth followers ended in disaster. Judge Terry Adams did not really cut off his head: she is too kind. The voters did it. They sent him packing and in such fashion as to take away any illusions he has a political future outside Winchester Hall.

A licensed attorney, he once admitted to a Gazette reporter to using county facilities and cell phone for private clients. Unfortunately, for the general good, there don't seem to be enough clients who want the highly controversial demagogue to espouse their cases. His lack of trial experience made his race against a seated judge even more ridiculous.

Let's face it: "Lennie" Thompson will never be anything but a big fish in a small puddle. Unfortunately, we live in the puddle. He dominates county business by dint of a quick mouth and the total inability to see anyone else's view, especially when it comes to the serious problem of growth.

With thousands of approved building sites waiting only the first dozer's bite, his intractability on such matters as roads, schools and water presage an even more uncomfortable life in these parts. Having cast the sole official's vote against the Potomac River water agreement, he congratulated the majority by claiming they had just scored a great victory - for developers. Never mind the drought that crippled the entire community three years back.

That attitude compels him to view roads and schools in the same light. He reasons: If we build, they will come. Well, Lennie, they're coming anyway, replicating here the urban mess they left behind. What we need is a board that recognizes the simple need to have proper public improvements in place and now!

With Bruce Reeder stepping back into private life again, Mike Cady and John Lovell say they'll stick around, if voters want'em. Maybe not. The history of the county board has consistently found an expansive panel following a no-growth group, which is then succeeded by real estate interests; the cycle continues. Whether true or not, many folks feel developers have "owned" Winchester Hall over the past four years.

Incidentally, Jan Gardner is still teetering on her toes. A race against state Sen. Alex Mooney looks from here a death wish on her part. Members of the Democratic Central Committee admitted as much. They're trying to talk her into running for re-election.

Speaking of challenging Senator Mooney, word on the street has Tim Brooks deciding to give up his quixotic chase. He was running so far behind that spending money shaped up as a waste.

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