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How Not to Say Goodbye Once You Have Lost

By   /   November 23, 2012  /   4 Comments

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It sometimes amazes me and others how a chance to leave office with grace and dignity often turns into a sad commentary.

To run for re-election is a decision that is made by the candidate and the leaving of office is then a matter of decision by the candidate. Once one decides to not seek re-election the leaving is left without animosity.

However, when leaving office is a matter of not winning re-election and suffering a loss the defeated candidate has a decision to make. That candidate can leave with dignity and grace or leave leaving a bad taste in the mouth of the populace.

We have seen this sourness play out this year with several national figures and sadly we now see it play out with one of our local figures.

John Cole lost. In fact he as well as sitting council member Joel Klink both lost to an upstart citizen named Cora Heiser. The ramifications of that selection of Cora are yet to be seen. But what is not left to be seen is the incredible hubris of John Cole.

John Cole wrote a letter to the editor of The Desert Trail. It started off as a great letter of an elected official that has been defeated. Yet it did not take long for John Cole to verbalize his distaste of this forum and by doing so the victory of Cora Heiser.

John Cole states “Don’t let local squabbles distract from the pursuit of the greatest good for the greatest number with the available resources.”

What squabbles does John Cole refer to? Could it be that he is leaving after assisting in placing our city into 30 million dollars of debt for Project Phoenix and was faced with opposition to his support of same? Could it be that he is leaving after having failed to step up to the plate and address public safety in the face of our fire department being eliminated and fire service levels reduced by fifty percent and also facing public resistance to his doing nothing to solve the problem?

That is the way of things it seems.

John Cole had four years to do something, to bring a new idea to the table, and he did nothing other than place the city into debt and now to face a public safety issue of immense proportions that he could have addressed over a year ago.

Good bye John Cole. You had a chance to leave with dignity but decided to reap the wrath by blaming “squabbles” for your defeat at the polls.

Good bye.




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  • Published: 2 years ago on November 23, 2012
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  • Last Modified: November 24, 2012 @ 7:04 pm
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About the author

Steve Spear

Former 29 Palms City Council member from 2002 through 2010. Graduate of Villanova University with a BA majoring in criminal justice. Served in the United States Marine Corps from 1977 through 1990 attaining the rank of Major in the Marine Corps Reserves.


  1. I don’t advance on people for their losses or hardships and I show modesty and respect as opposed to being overjoyed with things turn out in favor of something I support to the disadvantage of someone else.

    The “local squabbles” that Mr. Cole is referring to are obviously people in this blog, including myself, who have presented factual arguments and who have documented reasons why Klink and Cora were better candidates to run 29 and spend the people’s money.

    Therefore Mr. Cole has given cause for this so-called local “squabbler” to reply.

    When he says, “We want [29] to continue to be a good place for young people to grow and seniors to grow old, in actuality that converts to we want these people — the least able — to pay off a %31 million debt in his wake (seniors will be paying it off until the day they are put to rest).

    I wish Mr. Cole well, and in his retirement may is landscape thrive and be beautiful.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      In the preperation of the beautification of Branson to Sainthood, we are in the preparitory stages of building the Basilica of Branson in Desert Heights. For those of you wishing to contribute to the cause please donate until it hurts….

  2. Steve_In_29 Steve_In_29 says:

    “Don’t let local squabbles distract from the pursuit of the greatest good for the greatest number with the available resources.”

    What other “squabbles” have ANY bearing on our city? Does John feel we should concentrate on something national instead of those inconsequential “local” things, like our pending lack of fire protection?

    And how does John square taking on a $30MILLION bond debt for a City of 25,000 residents, that basically only benefits the 50ish welfare families that would have occupied the Section8 housing and the 70 or so people that ever go watch a Theater 29 play with his “the greatest good for the greatest number” ideal?

  3. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    Could not agree with you more.

    What is also amazing is this new found tendency to engage the public with questions and statements during or after the citizen’s comments.

    Do they not expect a response!

    When I was on the council we were taught to never respond to anything that is not on the agenda.

    Now that was because the Brown Act was in place. With the removal of the Brown Act the city needs to educate the elected officials that if you wish to engage the public then be prepared to do battle with a citizen that may just have his or her finger on the pulse of the city and not the special interest groups.

    I was totally mortified as I watched the last council meeting and the conduct of those that sat at the dais.

    Just saying.

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