April 17, 2012

The Judge Wore Sneaks

That's right, boys and girls, the judge who officiated at the installation of the new city board, had on sneakers along with his judicial robes. So with the sneaks, you'd expect a casual get-up under the robes, right?  NOT. Dress shirt, jacket, and slacks.  Maybe his feet hurt.

The Big Rip held its municipal election a few weeks ago. The African American community is now in the majority by about 1,000 people, according to the recent U.S. Census figures. At least four Blacks ran for seats in the wards having a high number of Black residents; only two, incumbents, won.  Voter participation was dismal. Only 16.99% of the registered voters bothered to vote.  Excuses ran the gamut from "didn't know" to "they aren't going to give it us, anyway." You know that was a shock to Sistah Girl's system.

A handful gathered for the installation ceremony.  I have to wonder if the turnout would have been better with more promotion. I doubt it. 

The aldermen from my ward have been there before. In fact, one sits on the County Commission as well. Now, I think that is a major conflict of interest but it seems that that is an accepted way of doing things down here. 

Assignments for the major departments were handed out, along with the recommendation that the department heads retain their positions. Uh oh, the Police Chief just might have a little problem on his hands. The Commissioner/Alderman, now in charge of the Police Department, immediately countered that he would agree to the chief's remaining for 30 days, provided he received a boatload of information. A moment of shock.

Now, the things he asked for were ordinary requests...pretty much the issues I had raised when appearing before them a year ago.  Policies and procedures, plan for decreasing crime, yada yada.  I had learned, prior to the election, that he was a former chief of the RPD.  But the request, accompanied by the 30 day time limit, gave the impression that he had an ax to grind.  Talking about telegraphing a punch!  It would have been more politically correct to agree to the mayor's recommendation and then meet with the current chief in person with his request.  If things aren't up to snuff, then work it from there. The support for the chief was a little timid--coached more in terms of support and respect for the mayor's recommendations--with a few words of praise for the chief's performance.

And now we're back to selling off the old fitness center. The alderman in charge of parks and recreation is bound and determined to sell the building, which sits in the middle of the school complex, come hell or high water. The Zoning Commission declined to change the zoning from residential to commercial, the county will only pay 60K for it, and the school board doesn't want it. So now it comes out.  The move to a new building with all of the state of art equipment (it really is a showplace) was predicated on the sale of the old building.  Without it's sale, there is a budget deficit. Aha! 

Seems that no one took in account that the county or school board might not want it.  Selling it to an outside entity may not be the best use of the property, particularly since it sits right there in the middle of the school compound.  Somebody might want to open a strip club!  Stay tuned.

I was extremely happy to see the end of the meeting. I'd run out of cough drops, was down to my last tissue, and the chills were hitting hard.  I hit the door running...minus sneaks.

Be Safe. Be Blessed.

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