Sunday, February 26, 2012

City Council Election-Is That All There Is?

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.


  1. First, I"m glad you're writing again and I will keep praying for you and your family. That's always more important than a blog.

    Second, one of the major reasons I did not run for CC was that I did not want any part of the EC. It's going to happen. It's going to be MMM big shiny trophy that we all to pay for. If it doesn't turn a profit we'll have to pay for it. We won't know its long term success by the time MMM is up for re-election so he'll point to a $182M expense as a "money maker". My point is that I agree with you. I think the current system is broken. I think the Mayor and Council have very little respect or trust for one another. Frankly from what I know after being a part of so many meetings and discussions during the EC conversation I don't blame them for distrust and hurt feelings. People lied. People fired people with little evidence for doing so. People bullied their staff and Council members to get their way. People lied to the public. Sitting Council members lied about not knowing the Sanford building would house the basketball team. So many lies. I want no part of it and only people with too much free time on their hands would want to be a part of it. The more I learn the less I feel like anyone can change this current administration and 1/2 of the council that is going to say Yes to the Mayor no matter what he comes up with. What's sad is that even if Kermit wins the balance of power doesn't shift. If De wins then the Mayor has another advocate and the city gets worse. There is no accountability. There is no trust. Citizens don't care much anymore and frankly the administration likes it that way b/c people don't pay attention that way. It's a sad age in our city. I'm not bitter because the EC was voted for...I'm bitter because people lied to the public and the public bought it. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

  2. Unfortunately this is reflective of today's America. People tend to lean and vote the way the media leads them (carrot/stick) without exploring for facts on their own...and we all know how accurate media "facts" can be; why, every bit as truthful and accurate as a good majority of politicians. Speaks a bunch and quite loudly, doesn't it? It is a sad state of affair as we have gotten to the predominantly "what's in it for me" society vs. "what can I do to better my community"!

  3. ....Staggers just wants another chance to irritate and annoy with his personal agenda - again....

    Other than restoring fiscal responsibility to spend, spend, spend mayor and council, what do you think his agenda is?

    Oh...and welcome back. Hope everything is back on course.

    Polly Amalo

  4. Please have another family emergency and go offline again, what a miserable sloth you are. My God your life must be really miserable. Maybe you and Traub should hook up, you'd make a good, but odd, pair.

  5. I decided to publish @Anonymous 7:24 a.m. to illustrate the deplorable behavior of those who cannot comprehend decency and responsible political dialogue. This type of comment is not the first of its kind directed at me through anonymous comments on this blog but it does follow a past pattern. Resorting to personal anonymous attacks only indicates a person's cowardice and their small mind and the inability to engage in meaningful dialogue.

  6. Jennifer, thanks for printing that lame-o anonymous comment. It is indeed a great indication of the lack of courage some people have in public conversations. This is America people and I'll respect your right to disagree with me if you have the balls or ovaries to sign your name on it. Until then you're a wuss and a coward and your opinion doesn't matter to me.

    Jennifer, you and I don't agree on everything but you're brave enough to put your name on your opinion so I'll always respect you for that. Anonymous dude...not so much.

  7. "Please have another family emergency and go offline again, what a miserable sloth you are. My God your life must be really miserable." WOW!

    The miserable one is the person who has written this offensive comment. Have you ever heard these quotes? "When you judge someone, you don't define them, you define yourself." OR "What you see in others is a reflection of yourself." Try looking in the mirror @Anonymous 7:24 am.

    What is utterly ridiculous is this person continues to read this blog, yet has so much hatred for the author.

  8. "This is America people and I'll respect your right to disagree with me if you have the balls or ovaries to sign your name on it."

    Looking for Ovaries, look no farther then the RR Relocation project presentation;

    While some may find my posts crude and rude, I am simply pointing out the incompetence of our city government. It's not like they spelled 'PUBLIC' wrong in the last sentence of the last paragraph of the presentation. They spelled it wrong THROUGHOUT the presentation, almost every page. If they cannot even spell a simple word like that correct, how can they trust them to even complete the project?

    As for Kermit. I have been hearing lately that a lot of people ARE supporting Kermit who supported Huether during the mayoral campaign. Some people learn from their mistakes. I have never had reservations about Kermit and his qualifications. I compare him to my current automobile. I own a VW, most reliable vehicle I have ever owned. My next vehicle will probably be a VW. Why? If something works for you and you trust it, why change for change's sake? That is silly. Staggers was a fantastic councilor, and if he gets re-elected he will be a good one again. No doubt in my mind.

    Jen, I know you and Kermit didn't see eye to eye, but that is no reason to throw him under the bus, because you know he will challenge Mike more then anyone.

  9. Keep voicing your opinion, Jennifer. Your point of creating dialogue and thought provoking topics is much appreciated by many of us - whether we agree or not. Some people have no idea how to have an original thought or point of view so with that - they destruct others that do. Must be a great way to live.

  10. Jennifer, in the past you have blocked one, maybe two of my posts. They were in regards to a city retiree policy known as "spiked" pension checks. I guess I understand WHY you chose to block my post(s). Being anonymous and blaring out is easy I know. But blaring out, in my opinion, can have unwanted consequences. Over the years, and I'm talking at least seven years, I have been very critical of our red light camera. Call me paranoid if you want, but if I signed my real name to my posts, I feel my vehicles would have a red flag attached to them. Tell me, l3wis, rufusx, Andy T, or anyone else who is critical of city policy, do I have a legit concern?


  11. I didn't speak to this in my previous post but, Jen, I do have issues with a portion of your comment "Unfortunately, no civic and business leaders have stepped up to the plate.", in particular, as it would seem to indicate preference toward one or the other and leaves out the otherwise qualified. Are those the only ones you feel could do the job.

    Personally I'd rather have a common working family person with a true sense of commitment to community, honesty, integrity, fairness, and a keen desire to listen to both sides of an issue without being influenced by "business" and/or political cronies. The ultimate would be someone not easily swayed or intimidated by those with money or political ties!

    Unfortunately my observations have been that a good portion (certainly not all) of "business" leaders have hidden agendas and typically sought out election not to serve responsibly for the greater good of the community but merely and solely to further their agendas. The real unfortunate aspect is it has permeated ALL levels of government.

    Think of a late highly praised and revered governor that got into office as a middle class working stiff, but by the time he left office he left as a very wealthy individual. Hmmm...think NW part of town, now state property, purchased/owned by this same individual prior to leaving office and sold to the state for development of needed state facilities after leaving office...I wonder?

    As for Kermit, yeah I'm going to vote for him. He's a known element...I know as a constituent what to expect from him. I didn't before, nor do I now, care for his stance on many items but I greatly admired his firm commitment to his beliefs, his resiliency,and particularly the fact that you know where he stands. Too many others speak from both sides of their lips in the pursuit of their own agenda and self-gain!


  12. I put my name on everything because I want people to know that I stand behind what I say. I also have nothing to lose. I am not someone the city can take anything away from. I have no city contracts to worry about and I don't run with big names in the city so my relationships aren't hurt when I stand up and tell them they're screwing stuff up. I'll also tell them when they're doing a good job...I just haven't had much to talk about in that area lately b/c we've had a city obsessed with building an arena for a year.

  13. Would that be the same arena you supported building downtown, Andy? So now it's an irresponsible consumption of city officials time because your location wasn't chosen?

  14. Um, I'm sorry, what's your name?