(Those who know me in real life are well familiar with the annoying habit I have of continuing a conversation three hours after its natural end with, “And another thing!” and making another point, while my interlocutor has no idea what the heck I’m talking about.)
Tracy had a good point in last night’s peanut gallery: “if Smith was trying to stay out of this and not make a fuss, he has just spectacularly failed” and “I think Smith just gave his opponents some ammunition.”
People of District One: last night, Mike Germain had to ask (or, rather, yell to) your District Councilor to get his butt out of the hallway and represent you.
Democrats of the 13th Worcester District: one of the people you will be considering in a primary decided to sit out a vote rather than be a tie-breaker. On a vote about citizen input in government.
(Sadly, none of last night’s actions changes what I already knew about Joff Smith. He may look like my brother, but he’s not My Brother.)
Also, more importantly, regarding my threat to run against Eddy next year:
The offer of help was greatly appreciated.
Someone told me (in an email) that his impression was that thisclose was one word, and asked if I was implying that I wasn’t that close. I think it’s more like the latter.
I think in many ways, being a district councilor is both easier and harder than being an at-large councilor, and for the same reasons. You know who your constituents are, and you (should) know what the issues affecting them are, and they (should hopefully) judge you on your performance in the areas that affect them. So — you know what your job is, which is nice; but you’re also (in many ways) limited to your district (which is nice and not so nice, depending on your goals).
To be a good district councilor (for me) would mean attending every meeting that might affect the district: historical commission, planning board, ZBA, other boards, crime watch, neighborhood group, etc. It would mean familiarizing myself with the other parts of the district I don’t live in. I still have not answered a question that I’ve wondered for the better part of my life: does representing people mean doing what you think is right, because they elected you, or does it mean representing their wishes even at the expense of your own, because they need to be represented? And I don’t know if I could enter any sort of political arena without answering that question for myself.
It would also, of course, mean time away from my family, and (unambitious as it may sound) the goal of my adult life has been to be a wife and raise children. I think that sometimes when I watch City Council meetings: these people are giving up time with their significant others and children and grandchildren and friends to — do what exactly? Listen to others pontificate about an access road? Figure out a way to pontificate on something so that the listeners at home are convinced they’re getting their money’s worth out of you? Yes, I know they’re being paid, but is it worth three hours away from your kids and spouse for such limited goals?
These are the things I’ve been thinking about, and one of the reasons I’ve been thinking so much about some kind of blog project. In this city, I’m not so sure that anyone can accomplish anything more as a City Councilor than as a private citizen. Which is (in one way) great for the private citizen, and also (in another way) incredibly depressing.
If I saw that the Council were accomplishing things, and they weren’t the things I wanted to see accomplished, perhaps a run would be more palatable. But — really — is there much more one can do as a Councilor that one can’t do as a private citizen?
And another thing!
While it is true that I have sparklevision for Mike Germain, it is equally true that we live in a city where MikeGermain (he should be one word, just like thisclose) is right at least half the time, including on this issue, and where MikeGermain is actually kind of advocating for the public schools, and where MikeGermain is begging, screaming, for a district councilor to represent his district.
If this is not a world gone mad, I don’t know what is.