Note: For those of you accessing this blog after reading a column in Georgetown News-Graphic, please be advised that the following is rated “M” for Mature and contains adult language, sexual situations and partial nudity.
The hard part of the upcoming Georgetown City Council election might be finding eight people to mark on the ballots. With the extreme dysfunction of the past four years (including several “What the Hell?” moments in the past two), I fully support the idea of bringing some change to the group.
Finding the right would-be leaders to bring about that change, though, might prove to be somewhat tough.
I attended a recent forum designed to let the candidates speak on a few issues, but instead of coming away enlightened and enthused, I left bored and disgruntled (mostly, and later I’ll explain four candidates who seem to get it). The event got bogged down by poor lighting, poor sound and, trumping all, poor candidates. Many spoke in dull monotones, a few appeared completely clueless about issues and almost none offered any insight as to how to improve Georgetown.
The cheap buzz word of the night was “economy,” as in “the economy is tight” or “the economy is bad” or “the sky is falling, the sky is falling.” What this translated into, though, is this: “I hear people on TV talking about the economy, and a few other candidates have suggested the Georgetown economy is tanking, so I had better say the same thing or else I’ll look stupid.”
Trust me, there are plenty of other things that make you look stupid, so why not branch out and suggest things other than the economy need the Georgetown City Council’s focus.
Frankly, I’m not sure the Georgetown City Council can do one single thing about “the economy,” at least in terms of how the national problem is impacting people’s pocketbooks in Scott County. The Georgetown City Council is not bailing out any Wall Street businesses. The Georgetown City Council is not coming up with any solutions to the problem.
Actually, if you listened at all Tuesday, you’d realize the Georgetown City Council is a big part of – and I know this is a difficult concept for the candidates and incumbents to realize – Georgetown’s problem. The council approved previous budgets. The council authorized spending. The council let money burn through the proverbial pocket, scarcely stopping to think about what happen when the cash actually quit growing on trees.
I’m going to make the argument that our city’s leaders aren’t even as smart as a squirrel because even that little bushy-tailed rodent has enough common sense to take a nut or two and, well, squirrel it away for when a harsh winter hits. Or even a mild winter. Or, really, just winter itself.
Hey, Georgetown City Council, this is the winter of our discontent.
So, instead, of accepting responsibility and trying to make amends, what has the vast majority of council candidates suggested as a feasible solution to “the economy.”
The solution, according to the city, is simple: George Lusby, please quit hogging the city’s money.
You see, Scott County’s judge-executive and fiscal court have been frugal with the taxpayers’ funds (some might argue too frugal, but that’s another day), and now that they have money in reserves, here comes the city, asking for help.
Sorry, but I don’t think the answer for Georgetown is to pass a collection plate and ask George, et al, to give generously. I’d rather see the council members prostituting themselves on the corner of Main and Broadway. Hey, if you’re going to fuck us, you might as well get paid. (It’s also worth noting that every time you ask George for funds, you’re just begging for merged government. Guess what? It’s time.)
Besides getting help from George Lusby’s House of Lending, the council candidates seem to be pushing another viable option, one that I file under the category of “huh?”. It’s not new news that Cardome is a financial drain, but it’s odd how it only really becomes a major point of contention every two years when the leaves start to change. How about instead of making Cardome a seasonal campaign issue, something actually gets done about it?
Oh, sure, this word museum is supposed to ride in on a white horse and save the day, with most candidates saying it will not only boost Cardome but will bring more money to restaurants and hotels as out-of-town guests come visit.
Really? When’s the last time any of you made a special overnight trip to visit any museum, let alone one for words? I was in Chicago a couple of months ago and didn’t visit the Field Museum, and it has a fucking T-Rex skeleton, which is infinitely cooler than any collection of words. And this is coming from a writer, a man who loves the written word. I can’t, for any reason, picture any sort of scenario that makes this word museum a success. Georgetown, including its government leaders, hasn’t exactly embraced the arts community, and last time I checked, writing is an art (just not in every publication you happen to read).
(Note: I do think some candidates would greatly benefit from a trip to the word museum, including Alan Gibson who called “growth” a big word. It’s six letters, one syllable. I’m hoping he meant it’s an important word).
What can be done? Short of moving, you can vote. In particular, you can vote for newcomers Kelly McEuen, Dick Robinson, Mark Showalter and Connie Tackett. I don’t want to speak about the incumbents – they’ve had two years (or more) to win you over. These four, though, didn’t just recite talking points or rehash statements we’ve heard for years and years. (Although he didn’t overwhelm me at the forum, I also have pretty strong confidence in Larry Prather).
No, this group actually tried to offer new ideas, positive thinking and common sense, all three of which are lacking in city government. I’m not one who gets impressed too easily by local candidates, mainly when most local candidates aren’t very impressive. But McEuen, Robinson, Showalter and Tackett are just that: impressive.
I feel comfortable voting for them Nov. 4, and I hope others in the city do the same.
Or maybe George Lusby can just tell us what to do and save us all.