Here’s the thing about politicians: they love the game of politics. They love the posturing. They love the posing. They love charade of it all. Unfortunately for the citizens who languish under such politicians, the embrace of this political kabuki comes at a cost: anything at all getting done ever.
Which is how we’ve ended up with Morgantown’s City Council having the stupidest fights imaginable over nothing. Literally nothing. The specifics are these: Morgantown’s City Council likes to go into Executive Session, which is a fancy way of saying that they don’t want us mere citizens to know what they’re talking about. It is alleged that one of the city’s councilors (Bill Byrne) violated the executiveness of the Executive Session by talking publicly about what was said within. The city’s mayor, Jim Manilla, has responded to this violation of trust by publicly threatening to throw Byrne off the council.
There’s more. At this week’s meeting three of the city councilors proposed censuring Ron Bane for utterly stupid public comments he’d made about the director of Sunnyside Up (Jim White). Because the city council is so hilariously polarized, the vote went 3-3 (Manilla, Wesley Nugent, and Linda Herbst in opposition, Byrne, Marti Shamberger, and Jenny Selin in support). So they inexplicably allow Bane to vote on his own censure and, predictably, he votes it down.
In case anybody’s wondering, here are two quick solutions to both problems: stop having meetings behind closed doors when you’re doing public work and stop saying stupid things without thinking. God forbid either of these solutions gets considered though.
All of this drama - this utterly meaningless, utterly juvenile drama - has happened within the last two weeks. Is there a single voter in Morgantown who supported any of these clowns thinking that this is what they’d spend their time doing? Didn’t we each vote for these people because we wanted sober, reasonable adults to represent us in political matters? And yet they remain convinced that the most important thing they can do with their time is engage in schoolyard shenanigans.
The next election for representatives is in 2013 and I should note that I like some of these people socially. But here’s hoping all seven councilors lose, and that their seven replacements are decent, agreeable people who recognize that the city’s business is more important than their own private dramas. (This is but a pipedream, I realize.)