When I was a kid there was nothing better than a trip to the circus. Monday night’s Council meeting was a return to my childhood.
I don’t know which contributed more to the circus-like atmosphere. The Council Democrats who got up and walked out of the chamber before Mayor Greg Ballard delivered his budget address. It might have been the protester who held up the sign, and I am not making this up, “Stop rapeing the taxpayers”. Or it could have been the Baptist Ministers Alliance, which is always good for a chuckle or two. The sad part of all this is that this city has serious issues that need to be addressed and you would think people would want to keep the silliness down to a bare minimum. So with that said, the Democrats who left get the Ringmaster award.
With a $75 million drop in sales and income tax revenue you would think that Democrats would want a place at the table to make sure programs important to their constituents remain a funding priority. Instead most of them walk out (please note Joanne Sanders, Jackie Nytes and Mary Moriarty Adams stayed for the entire address). The walkout was reportedly the brainchild of Democrat Vern Brown, the gist of his complaint being that the city never consulted with them before putting it together. I asked City Controller Dave Reynolds about that and he told me they never asked.
The only “idea” that has come from the Dems regarding the budget so far was from City-Councilor Jose Evans who put out a release saying the city was going to end its policy of take home cars for police officers. The city is not eliminating take home cars for police officers, but looking at take home car usage in other areas of public safety, IFD, Animal Care and Control and Homeland Security.
My Democratic friends must be taking a playbook from the national Republicans, complain, don’t offer up any real ideas and hope voter anger is enough to carry the day. I shouldn’t be shocked at this behavior, for the past three years they have been scarce on offering substantive public policy ideas. And the ones that do have a thought are ostracized by members of their caucus.
Oh well, I guess a majority of them leaving the room and walking out was for the best. If they have nothing to offer the best they can do is leave. So now instead of calling them the party of no, I can label them the party on the go.