From Moscow to Manchester CARROLL COUNTY

September 27, 1993

Manchester Mayor Earl A.J. "Tim" Warehime Jr. made like Russian President Boris Yeltsin last week: They both acted decisively to eliminate political opponents they say were interfering with the effectiveness of their governments.

Mr. Yeltsin, claiming that an unruly parliament was more interested in vindictive politics than attending to the needs of Russia, dismissed the country's legislature as it was dismissing him. Half a world away and on a much smaller scale, Mr. Warehime, also tired of the increasingly nasty political wrangling in Manchester, summarily declared vacant the council seat occupied by John A. Riley. While the wisdom of Mr. Yeltsin's action remains unclear, Mr. Warehime's unexpected assertion of authority was exactly what the Manchester council needed.

Since last May's election, the council has been engaged in an escalating, mean-spirited battle over the day-to-day running of government. Unhappy with town manager Terry Short and his efforts to modernize the municipal operation, three council members -- Mr. Riley, his sister-in-law Kathryn Riley and newly elected member Doug Myers -- sought to have Mr. Short removed. Important town business ground to a halt as the council battled over the town manager. Stymied because they lacked a fourth vote necessary to fire him, the three council members amended the town charter so that they would hold enough power to remove the town manager.

Just as it appeared the trio had prevailed in this political donnybrook, the state attorney general issued an opinion that Mr. Riley could not simultaneously hold an elected position in Manchester and an appointed post as town manager of neighboring Hampstead. While Mr. Riley pondered his next move, Mr. Warehime delivered the unexpected coup de grace.

The political battles are not over. The council must vote on a

replacement for Mr. Riley. And if Manchester councilman Robert Kolodziejski rescinds his own resignation, which he had announced earlier, a stalemate could arise.

We hope not. The council should select a replacement who is not identified with either side so it can get to work on more pressing problems such as setting the water and sewer rates with the fiscal year already begun, replacing faulty water meters and revising an antiquated town code.

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