I looked at the candidates who have submitted a petition to run for open city council seats. It is no surprise that incumbent elected councilors Jamison and Anderson, Jr. are running for re-election. It is also no big surprise that "anointed" councilor Karsky is running to keep his gifted seat on the council. They all have challengers.
Two retreads are running for the at-large seat vacated by Vernon Brown - Knudsen and Staggers. Both these candidates have had 8 years on the council. Frankly, I think it is time to let some new blood get a chance at policy decision making on the city council. Unfortunately, no civic and business leaders have stepped up to the plate. Knudsen says she is running because no one else will and Staggers just wants another chance to irritate and annoy with his personal agenda - again. The rest of the candidates are unknowns except for Ysbrand who is a repetitious wannabee.
I have actually heard people who normally wouldn't give Staggers a nod say they will vote for him just because he will be an an irritant and stick in the eye to the mayor and it will be worth watching. It is a poor excuse to vote for someone. However, it is indicative of the state of city politics these days and a sad commentary on what is going on down at City Hall.
I have a theory. Maybe it is all wet but here it is. I think no one of business caliber, thoughtful thinking and demonstrated civic responsibility and involvement has thrown their hat into the race because the current climate at City Hall and Carnegie Town Hall is just too out of control and unattractive. Who wants to be in office when that event center debacle shows it's true fiscal colors? I wouldn't want my name on those documents either. Who really wants to work with this mayor or current councilors?
Who wants to be in office right now with a city council and mayor who don't seem to understand that this is not about them. Who wants to be on the city council when the city council fires people in secret, seem to defy open meeting laws, breaks their own administrative rules and does't show real vision for this city. The self indulgent behavior down on 9th and 10th Streets makes one have to seriously consider whether now is the right time to want to join such a group. Obviously not.
I feel sorry for the dedicated, hardworking appointive and civil service employees who go to work everyday and keep city government running in spite of these elected officials. They are the unsung heros and they are the ones who make sure we have water when we turn on the faucet, when our toilets flush, who plow our streets, protect us and are first responders in time of need. They are the ones left standing long after elected officials leave office. They are the ones who provide continuity, stability and sound professional advice and counsel regarding city government operations. And they are the ones faced with these elected officials who think they are the only ones who seem to know what is right and what should be done. The elected officials seem to just like the sound of their own voices and are intent on who is going to win which debate. They must look at the pool of candidates and wonder what next.
Is that all there is out there? It seems so.