Boring Sundays and the City Council

You can tell it is winter time because I’ve written something every week for the past month or so. Otherwise, on weekends, I’d be out on a bike, mowing the lawn, or just sunning myself on the patio. But, since it’s boring winter, here I am.

Some interesting things have happened with the city council. One, the upcoming election is almost pointless with the mayor having no opponents since they were kicked off the ballot. The two who had filed petitions didn’t have enough valid signatures. That wasn’t a big surprise.

It was surprising to hear that Bill Faber, who has twice been elected to the council, announced his resignation, with just a few months to go on his term.

His resignation was out of frustration. Items that he had wanted to be placed on the agenda, or discussed during a study session, were continually being voted down by his fellow council members. In order to have an item placed on the agenda, four of the seven members have to vote in favor.

I’m not sure when the new rule was implemented, but it’s fairly recent. I suppose it was put into place about the same time the rules for the public appearance of citizens were changed. These changes were made to prevent hours long council meetings that were the norm a few years ago. Controversial issues were often debated at great length, and with much passion. I think the most passionate discussions I’ve seen yet were over garbage pickup. That’s local politics.

The city has had contentious city councils in the past where sides were clearly taken and political knives drawn. Personally, I thought it made great television. I’d make a big bowl of popcorn and watch city council members and the public duke it out. I love a good debate. I won’t lie.

All kidding aside, it’s simply democracy in action. Look at what we just witnessed in Congress with the election of the Speaker of the House. That’s what democracy looks like. It’s not always pretty. It doesn’t wrap itself up in neat and tidy timeframes.

Yes, there needs to be rules to ensure people are civil, but discussion over topics that elected council members feel are important shouldn’t be stifled. After all, the public voted that person in.

The current system is rigged against minority thought, or in the all too common situation where people of different political or social circles try to silence others. The rules need changed.

Covid is back! XBB.1.5 is the new variant sweeping the country, and it’s highly contagious. Several co-workers have been sick lately and with some pretty severe symptoms, and lingering ailments. Not all the sickness has been due to Covid, though. There are a lot of respiratory illnesses going around, which doesn’t surprise me, since almost nobody is wearing masks anymore.

Only hospitals and doctor’s offices still require masks. We aren’t required to wear masks in my department at the hospital, but all of us still do. After nearly three years of wearing a mask, it feels weird to walk around without one. In fact, I have never seen the faces or smiles of many of my co-workers.

We’re in shock when we occasionally see each other without a mask. We barely recognize each other.

I’ll probably always wear a mask in that department. It just seems like a smart thing to do with all the germs floating around in such a small space. We used to get each other sick all the time, or at least for that one year I worked there before Covid hit. As I recall, we got sick a lot.

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll go back to being bored, and scouting out some bike trails I hope to ride when the weather warms up. Stay well.