Send in the clowns

A funny thing happened this past Monday. Your favorite rocker occupant settled in to watch the latest non-doings of our Minden City Council and, lo and behold, a WWE smackdown broke out.

In a pretty good imitation of a pre-wrestling event diatribe, Mayor Terry Gardner and District C Councilman Vincen Bradford spewed some post-gavel decibel challenging exchanges. Kindergartners have shown more restraint. One can bet only Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair would have been more entertaining.

With a twist to football fouls, these verbal combatants should be flagged for unstatesmanlike conduct.
While the end of the meeting was unexpectedly ludicrous, the build-up was disappointingly predictable. For the fourth time, this council (by, surprise surprise, a 3-2 vote) said “no” to the city’s 2021-2022 fiscal year budget.

This time, though, during their comments a couple of council members gave reasons for continuing a path toward a potential half-budget lesson in city management. One said all the “issues” have not been settled. Another hinted there are shortfall problems in the $39 million document.

If there’s a shortfall problem, Rocker has a solution. Put your meetings on Pay Per View. It’s amazing how many folks will tune in for buffoonery and mayhem.

And the unresolved issues? Seems like there’s two and they’re both pay raises. The mayor apparently promised the city’s economic development director and human resources department head hikes totaling $11,000. For want of an amount slightly less than a council person’s annual salary, a budget lies dormant with a looming deadline before halfsies kick in.

It’s interesting to note that $11,000 is a whopping 0.0002825 percent of the proposed $39 million operating budget. What’s more interesting is one council person offered to give up his $12,000 annual council salary to cover the raises.

Guess what. No takers.

After the comic opera, Rocker thinks he heard one observer suggest this budget will never pass without compromise. We’ve already explained the art of compromise, but it seems there are no artists in this group.

In his “Poor Richard’s Almanac,” Benjamin Franklin observed in 1758, “A little neglect may breed great mischief.” Mr. Franklin must have been gazing into his crystal ball and seeing Minden a little more than 260 years later.

Rather than compromise, how about we settle this dispute using a medieval method. Once upon a time, rather than fight a pitched battle between armies, the best warrior from each side would meet in single combat. To the victor went the war.

Since the misters Gardner and Bradford seem to be WWE ready, let ‘em armor up. The winner has the honor to decide the budget. Makes as much sense as what’s happening now, and the Pay Per View income will offset any deficits.