Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pre-caffine morning thought

My watch has this imprinted on it:


So I wonder.....If I suddenly find myself under 160 feet of water, will my first concern be whether my watch will still work?

I think I definitely need some coffee.....desperately!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday night thread....

I ran into a lot of people while I was "out and about" this afternoon. One of them was a constituent who introduced himself to my wife by saying, "I'm the guy who's going to replace your husband on the City Council next year." I think I'll run again just to annoy this asshole....

I remember something from my religious past ...something from the 23rd Psalm, I think...something about "He preparest (ed note: "preparest"?) a table for me in the presence of my enemies." Well, that's exactly what happened yesterday afternoon.

I arranged to meet a good friend at our favorite coffee shop at an appointed time and when I walked in, my two biggest political enemies were sitting right in the middle of the place. We had a pleasant conversation that I no doubt will be skewed into some horrible shortcoming on my part on this guys blog site again but I fully intend to provide another reasonable, rational, calm response just like the last one (see previous post).

Council meeting Tuesday night....Mayor will be absent...Council President will Chair meeting...could be heaven...could be hell...

BTW....that Alderman I wrote about? The one with the three DWIs and two "Driving After Revocations"?....he lost in a three way primary on Tuesday night....he got 24 votes (you need 20 signatures to qualify for the ballot)...the next guy got 26 and the next got 113.....low turnout for sure but there doesn't seem to be much question about who the voters want.
Time for a second glass of wine...sit by the fireplace and zone out....


Thursday, February 19, 2009

A calm, rational response

I am reliably informed that one of my political opponents has written two lengthy criticisms of one of my proposals. Both dissertations (lol) are filled with inaccuracies and petty cheap shots at me personally.

I won't link to the site but I will give a calm, rational response here.

Let me begin:


That is all.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fun and furious

Last night was frustrating to say the least.

It's awful to fight a battle when you know you're going to get pummeled by a 4-1 vote, but you say your truth and you go on from there. I got some blows in but I wonder if anybody out there was actually listening. If they were, then they got an inside peek at just how corrupt this regime really is....

There, I said the word:


In all my years of public service I have only seen one or possibly two instances of real, honest-to-god Adam Clayton Powell type of corruption (I saw HIM too!) and I've been telling myself that what I'm witnessing here isn't corruption, it's just STU-PID-I-TEEEEE!

But after last night, I'm not so sure anymore.

If there was any saving grace to the evening, it was that I got to give an INSPIRATIONAL speech to a civic group...It was successful and I got "rave" reviews.

chicken one day and feathers the next...that's the way it goes.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


A brief message for my "distinguished colleagues" on the "dark side":

That is all........

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meeting hangover!

The 3 + hour ordeal of last Tuesday night still isn't over There is fallout all over the place and some of it isn't good.

I think the opposition ambushed us, beat us up and stole our lunch money.

And I think I have some of our "allies" to thank for that little (Little?....hell was MAJOR!) fiasco.

Somebody once told me that one of the problems with liberals is that they firmly believe that if they just sit down with their adversaries and reason with them, then, naturally, the adversary will "see the light" and come around to your side, or, at worst, compromise with you in a reasonable and rational manner.


Sometimes your enemies will meet with you only to find out "where you're coming from" and use that to mount their attack.

And that's exactly what happened before the last meeting. One of my "allies" (I'm really taking liberties with that term here) sat down with an opposition leader and calmly, rationally and forcefully laid out our side of the agenda and told him also who had been 'BRIEFED" on the agenda......

The result?

Well, now I know how General Custer felt.....

If there's any good point about what went down of Tuesday night, then it is only that it drew a different line in the sand as far as the public is concerned. It might be that a good portion of the public is happy only that a decision has been reached and that 2/3 of the issues to squabble about have been put to rest. That's okay....I don't like the decisions but I can live with them.

I didn't want this issue to be divisive in the community but there are people here with an agenda who demand that they get "their way" some extent they have and it isn't a tragedy for the community (at least not yet) so I won't throw myself in front of the bulldozers to stop it....(like I should be doing on the $35MM power plant that won't serve us...)

Next battle please.....

Monday, February 09, 2009

Of bloggers

This is a present for that "special" blogger we all know and "love".

photo courtesy of WTF Is it Now?!?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Candidate's Forum?

Our local newspaper ran a "candidate's forum" in yesterdays paper in advance of the Feb 17 primary. In one ward of our city, there are three candidates vying for election to the council seat. The incumbent has had more than his share of problems. Problems like

  • Arrested for driving while intoxicated, THIRD OFFENSE
  • Arrested for driving after revocation TWICE
He never speaks at Council meetings and his voting is erratic. He may, at times show up at council meetings in a three-piece suit and purple streaked hair, or he may show up in a sweater, jeans and a Harley-Davidson jacket. I would normally write all of this off to personal "style" but I think it goes, far, far beyond that.

He's young and I have talked very frankly with him on a lot of occasions in an attempt to build or strengthen coalitions on various issues. The problem is that he insists on flat-out lying to me from time to time so my trust in him has disappeared. I don't even try any more.

Both of his opponents are well-educated and appear to have done their homework....which impresses me. One of the candidates has six prior years experience on the Council and knows how things actually work. I think he's the one I'm most likely to support.

But again.....god only
knows what's going to happen in the next two weeks. The incumbent thinks he is going to WIN the primary. I think he'll even drink to it! In truth, I think he's TOAST:

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Perfect Spy **

** With apologies to the great John LeCarre'

I read that book some time ago and I'll admit, at the time, I thought it was the most depressing novel LeCarre' ever wrote.....but I've changed my mind since then.

I think LeCarre' told a basic truth about how "spies" and not just "spies" but "double agents" are groomed. But let me tell you about "double agents" and then maybe it will all become clearer.

My beloved spouse sometimes refers to me as a "double agent"...that is, I sometimes tell her a "version" of the what happened to the last piece of German Chocolate Cake...or if my son and I (during his much younger years) wanted to do something she would object to we sort of "massaged" the information to make it more acceptable.

Okay...double agent DOES = LIAR. But, at least in my case, LIAR for a good and noble cause.

Politicians are sometimes the best "double agents" in the world. They are privy to information from both sides and sometimes they even work "both sides of the street" in order to accomplish their goals. They work overtime to create narratives about both themselves and their enemies that will appeal or repulse the public opinion. Sometimes the narratives are founded in truth, and other times.....well....not so much....

Personally I don't vary from the truth because I have a bad memory and couldn't possibly remember all the lies necessary to keep from tripping myself up...

So you see, there's a little bit of "double agent" in us all. And for good reason.

In my lifetime, primarily my childhood and adolescence, I needed to be a double agent to survive in my family. I don't know if I ever said this before but alcoholism was a problem in my family and life could get....let's say INTERESTING at survival and ability to avoid beatings and humiliation in front of my peers depended on how good of a "double agent" I could be. How could I avoid my peers seeing my family at its worse? How did I explain some of the more bizarre incidents involving my family to my peers at school? How could I explain not asking a girlfriend to the prom? It depended on how good I was at creating a couple of good narratives: one for my peers and one for my home.

LeCarre's main character in "A Perfect Spy" was in the same kind of fix. LeCarre' s character described each day in his home life as a child as "learning to survive in enemy territory"....which served him well in his future profession. I know what he was talking about.

The experience has served me well in public service becasue I know that not everybody involved in public service is your friend....not everyone in public service is there to serve the public or provide good government and, as I noted elsewhere, some people in public service are just plain EVIL.

I bring this up because I cannot help but keep looking over my shoulder....especially when my companions spend time with my opponents.

Who is the perfect spy?


Or them?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Of audits, fire stations and just plain meanness....

I promised another post on this so here it is....(I suspect I'm only talking to myself here but, hey, it's therapeutic...)

I think I wrote about my outrage last year when the audit report was delayed because of sicknesses both on the part of staff and the lead independent auditor. I didn't mind that at all but the administration wanted to stay "on schedule" and present the audit on time so they presented us with three or four pie graphs and and a verbal statement that "there were no significant findings" and recommended we "approve the audit"..

Being my normal, mild-mannered self, (insert roflmao image here) I went ballistic and within a couple of months worked up an audit committee ordinance to present to the council. You would have thought I was raping nuns by the reaction I got. Anyway by the time it finally came around to being heard, two weeks ago, the battle lines were clearly drawn. It was voted out of committee and will go to the council.

I'll probably lose this on the council floor but I think there needs to be a check and balance on the executive branch's ability to control the conversation about the city's finances. I don't think the auditor understands that he works for the COMMON COUNCIL and not the administration. I've tried to convince my colleagues about this but I think they are marching to a different agenda....(I wish I knew what the hell it actually is!!!) Anyway that's been keeping me quite busy.

The Fire station issue is roaring ahead full speed and I suspect it will occupy a great deal of my time for the next couple of months. At this point my only objection to the proposal is the cost. I think letting nine (9) firefighters design the station without any aldermen, citizens or taxpayers to constrain their wants versus needs was a huge mistake.

The original estimate was for $3.1 Million for the project and now it is zooming toward $7MM including land, demolition, FFE and construction. I am not happy. I would be happier with something around the $4MM mark or maybe just slightly over that but this 26,000 square foot palace is a bit too much to bear. I mean it has private "berthing quarters" for 10 firefighters and a "fitness center" which they generously tell us that City Hall Staff can use too!!!! whoopee!!!! I'm sure the taxpayers are going to be thrilled that we're building a fitness center for all city employees....there is a "classroom" and a public meeting room (because there obviously isn't enough public meeting space in the city.....although I don't remember ever hearing any complaints...oh, yeah....that why we built a CONVENTION CENTER in 2001!) Anyway....

I think it's over-designed and I want to proceed but I'm not going to agree to the costs....

In the meantime.....

My political adversaries are currently stalking me....(see old post)

My adversaries are referring to me as a "cancer on city government that must be cut out". (Sounds a bit ominous, no?) I think that's one of the strange things about our City's all underground and all done through "whisper campaigns".

Oh well, got some more reading to do....more later.....

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Same old, same old...

I can't believe that local issues I wrote about over a year ago are still making front page news in our local rag.....

Worse than that...the former City official who has decided to stalk me....("....thoroughly researching my history and background", writing a blog about every statement I make on televised committee meetings and council meetings, and hiding in the break room so he could peek through the door at my presentations before a committee....yeah, I think that's pretty much "stalking") is still at it and seems to be obsessed with me. For a while, he was obsessed with another alderman but now he's back at me. cheeezzzzzzzz......

I guess nothing ever changes.

I have a full day ahead of me starting with a work session in an hour....a working lunch with a staff member....and then two committee meetings within an hour of each of which I have to make a presentation to....


Why am I wasting time writing here?

Good point...


Monday, February 02, 2009

I'm baaaaaaaaccccckkkk!

I've been on a self-imposed hiatus....but I've got a few things to get off my I'll be posting some more soon!