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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bad Decision In = Bad Result Out

City Council’s deferring the floor to the Stevenson Group ahead of residents with children was a subtle reminder of where we (ordinary residents) are ranked. Yes, it is true that The Stevenson Group may have been first to request an agenda spot, but we here at EU are no strangers to Council proceedings. We have seen deference given based on age, status, and the length of debate.

As anxious as we are for good news, we also have the distinct tendency of being victimized by bad luck, bad decisions, and a strange combination of bad luck spawned from bad decisions. In this case it may have been a poor decision offer the floor to a marketing firm over children out on a school night, and coincidentally bad luck struck. True to the saying that “no good deed goes unpunished,” the logo campaign has been saturated with the stink of impropriety.

When will the bloodletting end? Over and over again, some among us fail to let common sense be their guide. During the meeting, Ms. Heffley commented, “Maybe Mike Krill brought this up before, and we didn’t listen.” How many embarrassments, I told you so’s, and uncomfortable moments must we endure before we do something right? Rules and procedures are there to be followed not avoided. When you encourage a system or culture of getting around the rules, you are asking for trouble.

Let’s take the campaign to hire a police chief as an example. When the administration decided to be “creative” in order to get around the laws that pertain to the head of Easton’s police department, they opened Pandora’s Box of bad precedents and waste. Joe Blackburn made the Mayor and our city a laughing stock, and there is still no one running our police force. The common sense contingency says, “MAKE CAPTAIN SMITH POLICE CHIEF.” Give the job to Capt. Smith, give him the full authority to establish change, and if you continue to search for a “Chiefmissionor” at least we won’t be in limbo. What else needs to happen? The scapegoat pen is close to empty.

So, as you make plans to give a private, closed-door State of the City speech to the Chamber of Commerce, please be aware that the excuse that it’s been done this way before will not make it right. We are aware that the Optional Charter of the Third Class City Code doesn’t state the format or forum of the State of the City report, but we don’t believe you’ve earned the luxury of shutting us out. Give us a break; the Chamber members don’t all vote in the city. Address your constituency.

Please Mr. Mayor, use a good measure of common sense, and spare us all the embarrassment of another bad decision.

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