2021: A forgettable year to remember

With the new year only a couple of days away, it’s time for reflections and remembrances. Your favorite rockin’ chair sitter respectfully asks your indulgence as we wade through a year of what has often been serious silliness. 

What would reflections of year past be without giving the Minden City Council and administration well deserved recognition for  some of the most entertrating (that’s entertaining and frustrating) moments we had the (mis?)fortune to observe. From up here on the porch, the view was disturbingly clear.

Rocker’s favorite moment: Hizzonner Gardner deserves a spot on the U.S. Olympic team after displaying his talent for the official chair buttbump following yet another contentious council meeting. His target, Councilperson Bradford, showed good moves in avoiding the butted object but displayed serious demeaner deficiency as he put on his best WWF Smackdown imitation. No punches, thankfully. No Pay Per View offers, regretfully.

Other tempers flared, including from attending local constabulary, and the word “restraint” is now omitted from our local dictionaries. Also missing is “decorum.”

That incident, however entertrating, put the entire city on the locally televised map. Our visual reach could expand, we understand. We have it on good authority that representatives of a reality television network are developing a pilot featuring city politicians and associated shenanigans. No actors required.

Other council happenings of the past year that bemuse more than amuse: We must admit the council is consistent in two areas. One is the consistency with which members vote 3-2 on simply adopting the minutes of previous meetings. We’re still waiting for an explanation. That, students, should be the simplest vote cast, even by the simplest. Wethinks the reason may be that comments made on the record stay on the record, and that could be dangerous for political careers.

The other constant from this council is “no” votes cast for grant money dedicated to infrastructure projects in the city. We never hear an explanation, only the eloquence of one councilperson telling his cohorts to “Move on.” We think that advice should be followed by the folks who apparently couldn’t care less about their constituents or the city.

We  would certainly be remiss if we did not mention how proud we were when the council voted five times (or was it six) to refuse passage of the city’s operating budget for 2022. Such a lack of concern hasn’t been on display since Scrooge snatched Tiny Tim’s lunch money. All that obstinance simply because someone doesn’t like someone. We often wonder if we’re being governed by ignorance or apathy.

A related thought: While the council was in absolute violation of state law governing timely adoption of budgets, where were the public officials tasked with enforcing that law? Malfeasance was mentioned by a number of sources, and we even heard mention of a grand jury being impaneled to look into the matter. But, typically, nothing came of this. Nada. Zip. Zero. 

Selective prosecution apparently remains alive and well in our little corner of the world. Guess the proper response is Happy Reelection.

We’ve hit the high spots of lowlights, but we would be remiss if not offering solutions. Let’s begin with the most obvious and, perhaps, all encompassing. Consider, if you will, the last five letters in the word “community.” Unity. As our country’s motto proclaims, E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one. Until we come together as one, for the good of our city and not for ego or personal agenda, we will not move forward.

There’s an old proverb that tells us, “The same hammer that breaks glass, forges steel.” It applies to our governing authority. We, unified, need to ask whether our representatives are breakers or forgers. Unfortunately, in some cases the answer is obvious. The breakers need to find other means of releasing their hostility and allow others a chance to fire the forge.

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