His supposed purpose was to create the false impression of a more populated and prosperous area.

Potemkin Damascus?

In 1787, Gov. Grigory Potemkin erected fake villages along the route Russian Empress Catherine II traveled as she surveyed the newly annexed Crimean territory. His supposed purpose was to create the false impression of a more populated and prosperous area.

The political version of this "fake village" charade is being perpetrated today in Damascus by a group of individuals pretending to have formed a new and improved Damascus City Council. UPLOADED BY: BROWN, STEVE - Chris Hawes, Gresham Outlook - Opinion  Damascus council members are denying citizens their basic rights

Driven by motivations known only to them, following "legal interpretations" fooling no one but themselves, with complete disregard for the legal system and our community, this group has decided to become the arbiters of our future by pretending a city exists, and foolishly thinking they have any support from the people of Damascus.

When we heard of the Court of Appeals decision concerning Damascus, the members of the Citizens Committee for Disincorporation (CCD) were understandably concerned. We decided with our neighbors to await the disposition of the case. It is how our legal system works and the responsible thing to do. Mostly, we had no desire to endanger the healing our community has enjoyed for the last three years. Unfortunately, not all in our community share our reluctance.

As The Outlook has reported, three former members of the Damascus City Council have held hastily announced "Damascus City Council meetings."

They "nominated" a former councilor for "mayor," "nominated" two other men for "councilors," and it is all an insulting farce to the people of Damascus, and the system of laws we live under.

The irresponsible, unethical behavior of these people has accomplished two things. It has shattered the tranquility our community has enjoyed, and it has disqualified any of the participants from any future leadership role in any form Damascus may assume. This is the position of the CCD and its members going forward. It is not negotiable.

Let me remind everyone, especially the new "mayor," when he refers to the "opposition," "adversaries," and "Goliath" in his more biblical rantings, those would be his neighbors … the people of Damascus.

And importantly, these people are the voting majority in every election held in Damascus since November 2013. Should these unprincipled men find themselves in official leadership roles, rather than the silly political Kabuki theater characters they are currently playing, their tenure will last until there is an election to remove them.

Their actions will not be forgotten, nor forgiven.

While we await the latest chapter of Damascus to unfold in the rational adult world of the courts and Legislature, we fully expect the "Damascus City Council" to acquire some of those snazzy petty-tyrant uniforms with all the ribbons, medals and epaulets, and then vote to invade Connecticut.

Chris Hawes is a construction management consultant and 20-year resident of Damascus. He has served as campaign manager and communications director for the Citizens Committee for Disincorporation since 2012.

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