I have appreciated Megan Reposa’s writing style, but I have been more entertained if not informed by Megan’s very pointed questions at city pressers, with a baby strapped to her (for the record, I am not making fun, I would strap a baby to the front of me, the back of me and maybe have one in a carseat on my head if it means I could get the council to take action).
It’s been awhile since I have seen a local journalist take the council and mayor to task, and it was HOT;
So, fine. Go further the conversation, city officials. Go talk. Talk to every parent in town. Talk to employers. Talk to whoever you need to talk to so you feel like you really understand the problem.
But then stop talking and do something.
Let’s make something clear here, I don’t think Reposa was saying our 1,300+ city employees are not doing their jobs, they are, and that mechanism keeps ticking away, I think her criticism was more towards the 9 elected city officials. While it is easy to point fingers at the snowplow operator who missed your driveway with a snowgate or the police officer who gave you a speeding violation, the real issue are the policy makers. City employees can’t enforce anything or cash their paycheck without the consent and approval of the council and mayor, they are the policy body.
I said to someone the other day about the departure of councilor Selberg next year after his 8 years of service(?), “Has he ever been the main sponsor of any piece of legislation or major policy changes besides the Siouxperhero award?” Maybe he has, but I forget.
But it is not just Selberg. Most policy changes are coming from the administration with ZERO input from the council and the king is fine with that.
Councilors current and past starting with Staggers have complained to me that getting anyone from the administration to assist with formulating new legislation is next to impossible because you are put into a loop. Councilors cannot directly discuss policy changes with department heads without consent from the administration, and they must work those changes thru the mayor’s office and not directly with the department head. In other words councilors have told me it ‘creates a loop’ and just puts them on the runaround and the main reason they have discussed having their own attorney to help craft legislation.
Just look at the hoops councilor Neitzert has gone thru with the E2 ordinance. This should have been a slam dunk.
So while Megan’s criticism of the council is definitely warranted until we get a transparent administration willing to give the reigns over to the policy body we will see more inaction by the council and 4 new councilors rolling in next Spring*.
A city official asked me an interesting question yesterday, “So what has this administration finished? What problems or issues have they solved? With all of his initiatives which ones have garnered results?”
I laughed and said something like, “Oh, there has been results, just not the ones he would have liked.”
Maybe Megan caught something I have been missing here, maybe the problem isn’t transparency, or the lack of integrity and ethics or even all the lying and hiding costs from taxpayers, maybe the real problem is the lack of leadership and talent starting at City Hall and slowly rolling down the hill to Carnegie.
Or maybe they just lack courage?
*I heard two more people may drop into the council race. One is a frequent public inputer and the other is a community activist. Not sure what races they would get into? That puts my possible council race count to 6 candidates! Woot! Woot!