Why is Sarah Palin running with John McCain if she hates old people so much? From the Anchorage Daily News, 6 August 1997, we read of Palin’s successful efforts to rid Wasilla of septuagenarian museum curators. Born during the New Deal and nurtured to maturity during the high point of American economic liberalism, these women probable harbored sympathetic attitudes toward the very state apparatuses that hundreds of renegade Wasillans had elected Sarah Palin to drown in a bathtub.
Opal Toomey, Esther West and Ann Meyers don’t seem like politically active types. There are no bumper stickers on their cars, no pins on their lapels.But the three gray-haired matrons of Wasilla’s city museum decided to take a stand last week. Faced with a $32,000 budget cut and the prospect of choosing who would lose her job, the three 15-year-plus employees decided instead to quit en masse. They sent a letter to the mayor and City Council announcing they plan to retire at the end of the month, leaving the museum without a staff. They also sent a message: They’d rather quit than continue working for a city that doesn’t want to preserve its history.
”We hate to leave,” said Meyers, who at 65 is the youngest of the three. ”We’ve been together a long time. But this is enough.” If the city were broke, it would be different, she said. ”If they were even close to being broke.”
Instead, the city is flush thanks to a 2 percent sales tax passed in 1994 that has left it with $4 million in reserves. There is no reason the museum’s budget should be cut, Meyers said . . . .
The women are only the latest to leave the city payroll, noted John Cooper, who was the museum’s director until Palin fired him last fall.
In addition to Cooper, Wasilla Police Chief Irl Stambaugh left last winter after Palin fired him, and planning director Duane Dvorak and Public Works director John Felton turned in their resignations this summer.
”People are voting with their feet,” he said.
Palin maintains she is doing what voters asked. To have $4 million in reserves is prudent. That’s not even an entire year’s budget, she said.
Much of the latest flap over the museum is a misunderstanding, she said.
All the council wanted was to cut back the museum’s hours in winter from seven days a week to five. The women made the decision to resign, Palin said.
West, Toomey and Meyers disagree. They say they were told that one of them would have to leave in September.
Probably by drawing straws to see who might be processed into bland, green wafers.