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Chairman Bob Speaks

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To: All Ward Leaders

From: Chairman Bob

Re: The Need for Reform

It was with a great deal of distressment that I read of the negative reaction of certain members of City Council to Councilman Wilson Goode's proposal to place a term limit on City Council seats.  I want to use this missive as an opportunity to support the efforts of Councilman Goode and to let you know that I, as your party chairman, am throwing my weight behind this vital piece of legislation. And that's no pun.

Before you start whining and saying "Oh, Chairman Bob, how could you!" allow me to elucidate my thinking.

Let us consider the facts. Anna Verna has been on Council 9 terms, Joanie Krajewski 9 terms, Brian O'Neal 8 terms, Jannie Blackwell 5 terms, Marion Tasco 6 terms.  Donna Reed Miller has been there 4 terms, but we don't count the first because she didn't realize she was on Council until the end. It wasn't her fault.  They told her to show up but they didn't tell her why.

Firstly, let me congratulate all these party stalwarts for their long and dedicated service. Secondly, let me pose this question: Isn't it time to share the goodies?

We need a youth movement in this party.  I am tired of picking my way through the walkers at City Committee meetings.  I could trip and end up on one myself.

A day doesn't pass when the sons and daughters of ward leaders throughout this great city - boys and girls who are their 20's and 30's - don't importune me for an opportunity to engage in public service.  With sadness, I have to tell them the Parking Authority is filled up and we have suffered something of a setback at the Board of Revision of Taxes. In fact, due to the pernicious influence of civil service and unionization, there are fewer and fewer service niches for these youngsters.

And these kids are the future of the party.  Make no doubt about it.

We must do our best to assure that they can serve their parents' wards whilst also being able to bring food and sustenance to their own tables.

By my reckoning, this leaves Council.

It is one of the last of the great job preserves out there. To paraphrase the Discovery Channel, it is a veritable oasis in a Kalahari Desert of slim pickings --  if I may indulge in metaphor.

And not only the Council seats themselves.  There are myriad Council staff positions that must be filled.  And perhaps some new ones to be created.

I myself served as a Sergeant of Arms for Council in days of yore, protecting the chamber from all sorts of dangers, including irate citizens seeking some redress or another.  I wore a burgundy blazer, emblazoned with the Council seal. Mostly, it involved sitting and staying awake.It was a peachy position and a perfect training ground for Congress.  Only we don't have blazers in Congress. Maybe we should.

But, I digress.

In the interest of political comity allow me to suggest a tweak to Councilman Goode's bill.  Why make this a lose-lose proposition for the extant Council members? Why should we punish them after their tireless years of public service?

I say no.

I propose creation of a new position - that of Council Member Emeritus, complete with a generous salary, an office in City Hall and, of course, a car.  Upon retirement, a current Council member would ascend to this new position and hold it until their demise or indictment or either or both.  It's like the deal Gussie Clark had, only with official stationery.

We have the title. You have the job. You have the office. You have the car.  And you don't have to show up at City Council meetings!  (Only someone will have to tell Donna Reed Miller about that not showing up part.)

The torch is passed to a new generation. And the pie grows.

In sum, a win-win

I rest my case.



                                                                                       - Tom Ferrick Jr.



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