Why are we in this handbasket?

You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. A land filled with the reality of futility. Next stop, the Twilight Zone, a.k.a., Minden City Council meeting. 

Even a Rod Serling script would pale in comparison to these exercises in futility. As we’ve come to expect, this group finds ways to make the simplest action take on a Machiavellian air. 

From the rocker, we watched as council seat occupiers Williams-Walker and Bradford continued their bizarre streak of “no” votes when asked to approve minutes of the previous meeting. Now that’s about as innocuous an action that any public body will be asked to consider. We still wonder why the negativity. 

It might be nice if, just once, either would explain. But as we know, explanation isn’t a strong point where this puerile pair is concerned. Neither, apparently, is playing nice with others…especially when one of the others is Da Mayor. Wonder if W-W & B would change their vote if all references to Hizonner were to be removed from meeting minutes. 

Another no-brainer issue became strikingly similar to an SNL skit. How hard should it be to name a mayor pro tem, the person who would fill in for the mayor in case of his absence? Well, that depends on whether you’re dealing with competent individuals or this city council. In our case, it becomes a clown show without the tiny car.

Historically, the pro tem position rotates among the council members with each serving a term. Simple, right? But when you’re dealing with simpletons, nothing is simple. Two nominations for the position, those of council persons Roy and Bloxom, died for lack of a second. It was entertrating to watch the deafening silence of the west side of the council bar. After the two names were unceremoniously trashcanned, silence prevailed and no other nominations were made. 

Hizonner introduced the next agenda item and when he did so, Bradford wondered aloud (on the record) why the council didn’t just keep the current pro tem (Williams-Walker). Too late, it seems, to make the suggestion. Apparently the mayor followed Bradford’s most often used advice and decided to “move on.” Now, it looks like there’s no 2022 mayor pro tem. Maybe we’re lucky.

But, students, that brings up another speed bump in the Utopian road that leads to Minden. An agenda item that would have authorized the whomever pro tem to sign city of Minden checks was discarded without motion or mention. Included in that item was a pesky little clause relieving the current pro tem (W-W) of check writing authority. 

Now we have, apparently, a dilemma. Does the fact that the council did not appoint a tem mean we have no tem or does it mean the current tem temporarily continues to fill that bill? Only our city attorney knows for sure and we’re waiting for the ruling. 

Those actions Tuesday evening were the things of which sitcoms are made. Another was a little more serious, but still curious. Again, a proposed curfew for juveniles bit the dust. A motion was made to consider, and a substitute motion was offered to permanently postpone the issue. You don’t have to be the Amazing Kreskin to figger out which one passed.

Meanwhile, another home in our city was the target of a drive-by shooting. Around 11 p.m. Tuesday, several shots reportedly were fired at a residence on Plateau St. One bullet reportedly barely missed a young person sleeping in one room of the residence. 

It would be melodramatic to suggest this was the work of juveniles who seem to have the run of the streets during the late-night hours. It would be speculative to suggest a curfew would have prevented this latest cowardly act. We must point out that council sitter Edwards said earlier that evening that more study is needed. 

OK. Study. But promise to give our police department some tools with which to work in trying to curb this violence. Speaking of police, one other 3-2 vote was cast Tuesday. A new hire, which is actually a returning hire, was proposed for the MPD. The officer received high marks for her service when with the local department. Still, Williams-Walker and Bradford voted no. Without explanation. These are the folks that fuss over the need for more officers, so why vote against hiring a qualified individual.

There’s a cycle of indifference on this city council. We see opposition to silly things like minutes and a mayor pro tem and then we watch as “no” votes are cast on major items like grant money for infrastructure. We have to wonder just what in the name of Gertrude is accomplished by doing so. 

In the past, we have suggested there is some sort of vendetta against the mayor, and it’s being channeled through certain council members by someone outside government. The only persons hurt by this self-absorbed nonsense are the residents of our city. Unless, and until, we see persons interested in the development of every sector of Minden sitting on the city council, we will continue to witness a display of buffoonery every month.