Once upon a time
There used to be real debates at City Commission meetings.
From my files
Mike, Terry, and Chuck leave their mark
Three commissioners have just left The Table. Each will make or has already made a decision about going passive or about grooming future candidates, but all of them have left a legacy admired by some, detested by others. Each of the three has had a Coffee Conversation with Versagi Voice. See Mike Andrzejak, Terry Drinkwine, and Chuck Semchena for clues about their mindset.
was the least
predictable, therefore the most interesting. One could watch him
react to something with his gut then think out loud --
for too many minutes sometimes -- before taking a stand. His
decision sometimes reflected his gut reaction, sometimes not. Of the
three, Terry has also been the least concerned with how residents,
his colleagues, or Administration, reacted to
Chuck pleased or irritated observers with his predictability about matters he considers moral issues. Whether debating alcohol or marijuana or massage parlors, Chuck's vote almost always leaned toward restriction, toward prohibition. Perhaps that reflects his many years as city attorney, about which he is more praised than about his four years as commissioner.
Mike has been more predictable than Terry but less predictable than Chuck. Having served several terms. run for mayor, then again been elected commissioner, he was the most fluid and flexible at The Table, about both substance and procedure. If he has a hang-up, it is an ingrained suspicion of the Administration. He was forever challenging them about the timing or content of information they supplied the commission.
On the just-ending commission Chuck and Mike and Jim Rasor often seemed to be doing all the talking. Terry, the mayor, and the remaining commissioners generally spoke less often and for fewer minutes each time they spoke.
Both Mike and Chuck have been more concerned than Terry with how they are portrayed or perceived, yet they do not appear at civic gatherings nearly as often as Terry -- which is less often than Pat Capello, Jim Rasor, David Poulton, and Mayor Jim Ellison.
In their non-public exchanges -- in conversation or emails -- all commissioners show a bit more irritation or anger with each other than they exhibit at The Table. Close observers see a lot of what C. P. Snow termed "impersonal cordiality" among our city officials. That may serve the public better than too-close friendships would.
At any rate, the departing three commissioners will be remembered in civic/political conversations for many years, which can't be said about all former commissioners.
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You make it quite clear that you think the current batch of city commissioners contains too many wimps. My circle thinks you think that if you were on the commission there would be more vigorous discussion. Am I, are we right?
If you mean would I generate argument just for the sake of argument, you are not right. But it strikes me that the current CITCOM majority has adopted the White Houses detached mindset toward issues and about their role as public servants. Lord, we've gone more than a year without a serious flare-up, except a couple tiffs between the mayor and the mayor-pro tem. In parallel, there have been only slight differences between the commission and the Administration.
There is so little intensity that I sense the commissioners can accomplish their jobs by group-texting at specified times. What residents would miss most if there were no CITCOM meetings is the input from residents during Public Comment. Even the quiet residents display some fire in their belly, which is more that can be said about most of the people on the other side of The Table.
A charitable interpretation would be that these are civilized and polite individuals. A counter-interpretation is that they (Mayor Jim excepted) are disengaged and bored and will not run for reelection.
Farms to produce electricity from biodegradable materials
Four Michigan farms have been selected to produce electricity for a utility using biodegradable materials in anaerobic digesters: Jackson-based CMS Energy; Beaver Creek Farms in Cooperville; Brook View Dairy in Freeport; Green Meadow Farms in Elsie; and Scencic View Dairy in Fennville, according to a Detroit Free Press report.
"Barack Obama has already checked out of his job
"The degree to which Barack Obama is now phoning it in – sleepwalking perfunctorily through his second term, amid golf rounds and dinner parties – is astonishing." -- Telegraph.co.uk
With its 200,000-square-foot walls of glass, the planned Minnesota Vikings stadium may feel open and natural for spectators, but these nearly invisible walls could be a "death trap" for songbirds, says Audubon Minnesota.
The world is
coming to an end -- again
2012: The Mayan Calendar has been added to the list
The Last Word re Global Warming?
Global warming "hucksters"
Ancient climate change link to CO2?
The global-warming hockey stick is broken
No energy is "renewable"
Monsoons getting drier?
DTE getting serious about solar?
Pseudo climate change science