March 20, 2008

Two Cities--Two Mayors

Good grief! Politics down in this neck of the woods is something else!

His Arrogance, the good mayor of Memphis is stepping down from his position to pursue the position of superintendent of schools, not only in Memphis, but Knoxville, and Nashville. He was just re-elected, in November, to a historic, fifth term. This made him the longest-serving mayor in Memphis history. He's already held the school superintendent position, having served there prior to becoming mayor.

So why he is returning to that position? The problems confronting the school system couldn't have been that much of a concern for the past 16 or so years. Could it be that after almost a year's vacancy, the board was unable to find a suitable candidate? Didn't anybody want the job? According to his appearance on a local tv channel, he became so moved when he visited the juvenile complex and thought of his grandson, that he just knew he had to do something for the youth. Tears sprang to his eyes and were wiped away. Why did the fake tears shed by the ex-policeman during his trial come to mind? Is it a done deal? Doesn't he have to be vetted like everyone else? Something is not right in this picture. What's the real reason for leaving that office? Why would he run again? To prove that he could win? Rumors are rife that the Mayor of Shelby County, who decided not run for the position, had cut a deal with His Arrogance. Hmmmm....

Well, a few days later, His Arrogance announced that he never intended to complete his term but ran to "save the city." Seems he felt that his opponents were incompetent and "could not take Memphis to the next level." Now you just know how that played with the media. His Arrogance suffers from hoof-in-mouth disease. Then, the school board told him to get in line. That things had changed since he'd been in the school system...plenty of qualified candidates. Yada yada. Did I mention that the position has been vacant for a year? There may be plenty of qualified candidates around but they don't seem to be interested. I'd say that the school board is not too interested in His Arrogance and his saving grace. Now that they didn't keel over and offer him the position, he has indicated that he might stay in office. Stay tuned.

Now to the city of Ripley. Maybe I didn't pay enough attention to the politics in D.C. (and if you believe that I have a bridge to sell you) but the charges, counter-charges, paid advertisements pro and con, drives home the notion that they do things differently down here. How on earth, given the vitrolism, do they work together to accomplish anything? "Can't we just all get along?"

There's a letter in the paper from a 90-year-old woman giving the current mayor high praise for his demeanor, class, etc., and thanking him for what he has done in the past five years. Then there is the advertisement ripping him apart. Geez! There are letters accusing the current mayor of theft, nepotism, and Lord knows what else. The current mayor is responding to statements he has heard--he hasn't been here long enough to know the problems; he's moving to AZ; he hasn't accomplished anything while in office. I ask you: after 39 years as a resident, just when do you become a part of the community? He's the current mayor, is on staff at the college, and helped bring UT of Martin to the city this year. But he didn't try to consolidate the town's utilities under the auspices of his son-in-law.

Elections are being held on April 3. Should be interesting. I'm sitting it out because I don't know the players. And, from what I can see, it wouldn't matter, anyway.

No comments: