There are a few job openings in town.
We’re talking about positions that include your very own private office with an actual window and the opportunity to sit in meetings and make decisions that effect every one of your fellow residents – or at least those with minor land-use issues.
C’mon, step right up, don’t be shy, take the plunge – someone has to do it! Jobs are going begging, and even in this disastrous economy, there are few takers.
You guessed it: We’re looking for eager folks with independent means who want to run for City Council.
Pay: $6,250 annually.
Benefits: office furniture, free heat and cooling, use of a chair on the council dais.
Power: Limited to matters that the Mayor doesn’t want to be bothered with, as well as ratifying the budgets of the city’s enterprises (which run perfectly well without the intervention of well-meaning but clueless part-time elected officials).
Commitment: 20-30 hours a week.
Perks: invitations to functions which any sensible person would pay to avoid.
Length of sentence: four years, with an additional four years for good behavior.
Intangibles: occasional illusions of glory; the opportunity to engage in public quarrels with your co-workers; abundant time for daydreaming during work hours, as council meetings drag on interminably.
Seven of these jobs must be filled by April 5th, and so far there are only six applicants.
By contrast, there are currently eight announced, or sort-of announced candidates for mayor.
Three mayoral aspirants (Messrs. Bahr, Gilmore, and Munger) have collectively raised $250,000. Two others (Mr. Bach and Mr. Skorman) are expected to step up with big numbers as well.
Of the six candidates for council, only one reports having raised any money. Angela Dougan, a candidate for the District 2 council seat which was vacated by Darryl Glenn, collected $3,000 in November from two contributors. Joe Woodford gave her $1,000, and Gary Erickson wrote a check for $2,000.
Yet despite her fundraising prowess, Ms. Dougan is not assured of a place on the new council. Larry Bagley is also running for the District 2 seat, meaning that the six candidates can only fill five seats, leaving two at-large seats vacant.
Look, these are tough, unrewarding, frustrating, and ultimately meaningless jobs, but someone has to do them. Imagine the negative national publicity if there aren’t enough candidates.
I’m not sure how many Springs residents have undergone “leadership training” in the last decade or two, but the number must be over 1,000. Take the names, throw them into a hat, draw two, and demand that they run.
And if they refuse?
Not a problem! If the people could vote on it, I’ll bet they’d trade a couple of council members for $12,500 worth of enhanced city services.
A few more trash cans in the parks, for example?
Quiet, useful, undemanding,willing to work for nothing, there when you need them…