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Welcome to council, sucker!

Tue, Oct 6, 2009

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There’s something inherently distasteful about a common governmental process that allows elected officials to appoint other should-be elected officials.

Consider Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter’s out-of-the-blue appointment of Michael Bennet to the Senate seat vacated by Ken Salazar’s resignation or New York Gov. Basil Paterson’s (who only ascended to that office after Eliot Spitzer’s dalliance with ladies of the afternoon became known) appointment of an obscure upstate Congresswoman to succeed Hillary Clinton.

And we haven’t even mentioned Rod whatshisname…

This afternoon, City Council will give each of 19 hopefuls ten minutes of face time, as they seek to choose The One to occupy the District 3 seat.

As a resident of District 3, I’ve got a dog in the fight. But after skimming through a few of the candidate’s responses to half a dozen innocuous questions posed by the Gazette, I’m dismayed.

Save only Sean Paige, our earnest job seekers delivered clichés by the bushel, or responses so eccentric that you wondered how they’d made it this far on their journeys through life.

One refused to answer most of the Gazette’s questions, noting that she would respond during her 10-minute interview this afternoon. Clearly, she doesn’t think that newspaper readers are an important constituency-and she’s right. The only votes that count in this “election” are those of the eight people at the council dais.

Another suggested that the city ought to start a bank, make loans aligned with civic purposes, and thereby rake in the dough. Sounds good to me – and I’ll be the first in line to apply for a small loan!

But, as one who once sat for many hours at that dais, thereby wasting what should have been the most financially productive years of my life, some unsolicited advice for this afternoon’s supplicants.

  • Keep it short. Don’t use your full ten minutes. Council members would rather have a bomb thrower than a blowhard as a colleague.
  • Remember, you don’t know anything, compared to the masters of the universe whom you aspire to join. Don’t talk about all your great ideas and programs-they don’t care.
  • If selected, you’re the rookie. Your job: keep quiet, bring snacks, and volunteer for unpleasant duties.
  • You’re appointed; they’re elected. Until you win an actual election, you’re a seat filler. Defer to their wisdom.
  • Make it clear that you respect and support your superiors. They don’t want or need dissenting voices, or new forms of critical analysis. They’ve got Douglas Bruce to do that, not to mention Sean Paige.

Good luck! I hope you all lose-but someone will be the biggest loser of all, and get appointed. To you, my sympathies. Have fun working like a dog for $6,250 annually … would have been great pay in 1909, though!

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4 Comments For This Post

  1. sharon berthrong Says:

    I like this tongue-in-cheek article. Maybe a little bit of sour grapes? Not from you John.
    How are you, by the way?

  2. RJF Says:

    Phil Lane most likely will be the choice. Just how many people lost their jobs when he sold out to PEPSI Corporate? A guy with too much money & needs to fill his time …

    A worthless choice if I do say so myself….

  3. Dave Hughes Says:

    Phil Lane would have been a far better District 3 Councilman than who the Council chose – Libertarian, only-has-lived-in-Colorado 7 years Seab Paige. Who admits he knows next to nothing about the Westside.

    Wanna bet he tries to kill the Westside Historic Preservation Overlay Plan – because it ‘involves government? And wanna bet he will try to finish off the CDGB Neighborhood Strategy Area (all the westside) Block-Grant funding for curbs and gutters and paving dirt ally’s and streets and cancel the $8,000 annual contract with OWN to communicate, via its quarterly Westside Story newsletter which reaches 20,000 westsiders about city plans and OWN news.

    Oh yeah, Paige will be a doozy.

  4. John Says:

    No one has mentioned Lisa Czelatdko as an overlooked and underestimated candidate. Maybe it is because she wears a skirt or doesn’t hang out at the ElPomar Club. She has a Masters degree and working on a second one, is very articulate, personable, and especially passionate when it comes people and this city. So she isn’t a native and her family isn’t worth a million dollars. She went from being a volunteer in this community and knowing hardly anyone in this town to getting to know City Council, as well as alot of cit leaders just by calling and introducing herself all within a year. She isn’t a land developer, blogger with an agenda, or even someone trying to start a business. Here is someone who really was trying to be a fresh voice in this city and got no attention from Gazette or the Indy. I guarantee this lady will be around and upcoming. Council I think you overlooked a gem!