So much for my political prescience. In this space recently, I wrote that
City Council yesterday [Thursday] pulled back from passing the controversial real estate assessment programs and decided to punt. It put
This is a set back for Mayor Nutter, who lobbied hard for
I was wrong again.
Turns out Nutter is in
But, had he been able to comment here is what he probably would have said:
I owe the taxpayers of
major policy change without doing the necessary groundwork. I tried to sell Council and the public on a cake that was only half-baked and they did not buy it.
As someone who has been in public service for decades, I should have known as well as anyone that there are two steps essential to any change in public policy. One is conceptualization. The other is implementation.
There is nothing wrong with the concept behind
But, as I often do, I screwed up on the implementation.
As it turns out, I am fairly good at ideas, but I don't have the political capacity - and, to be honest, the political will - to make them reality. Sometimes it's because I don't do the necessary political sell job behind the scenes or with the public. Sometimes it's because I don't want to offend anyone.
Being mayor - even being mayor of
I like the limelight. I like the cameras whirring. I like to make bold statements and cast myself as a "Can Do" guy. But, that's just for show. I'm really a sort of "Can't Do" guy. Of course, as my mother always said, "can't" means "won't."
In the case of
I am sorry for the school district, though. I tried to use
But, I must admit, I went about it the wrong way. At first, I tried to hide the tax increase nestled inside
I now admit what my critics said: it was a side door tax increase.
Later, I made some attempts at convincing people that it was the right thing to do -- to help the district. But, I didn't use my bully pulpit as mayor to do it very well. I didn't work to rally the public behind the idea -- the equation that helping the district today was essential to the future of the city.
In short, I could have done better. I did not. Again, I apologize.
But, please do not expect me to change. I am what I am. I am an honest guy and I have good intentions, but I do not have the taste for battle over the gritty issues.
To be blunt, I much prefer to take bold stands on popular ideas. For instance, I am in favor of "green." I am against sugary drinks. I am dead set against crime and murder.
As a guide to the future, it will be much better to pay attention to what I say, not what I do. Because I don't plan to do a lot -- except angle for a position in the 2nd Obama administration. If there is a second Obama administration.
As a total aside, have any of you been to Disney World lately? What a kick, though I thought that the Pirates of the
See you soon,
-- Tom Ferrick
You can listen to a podcast featuring Senior Editor Tom Ferrick talking about AVI by clicking here.