No quorum at the forum

Condolences to the many who showed up for a Minden City Council workshop that didn’t work out and a follow-up special council meeting that never got to the starting gate. And, appropriately enough for this council, it happened to not happen on Friday the 13th. 

Hizzonner “Bump” Gardner’s gavel was on silent mode. Only one council member (Mr. Roy) was present. Two members (Ms. Bloxom and Mr. Edwards) were unavoidably absent, but only Ms. Bloxom reportedly gave early notice. Mr. Edwards, we are told, was surgically unavailable. He had not, however, informed Hizzonner of that pending procedure.

We hesitate to use the term “as usual” but, as too-often usual, Ms. Williams-Walker and Mr. Bradford were no-shows. Neither reportedly answered reminder phone calls. Neither reportedly responded to early emails informing them of the workshop. This would indicate that neither has an interest in issues facing the city and their constituents. No quorum. No action. No comment.

Sadly, this council has a long history of quorum failures for workshops, special sessions and for regular meetings. This, by the way, is the same council that ignored a judicial order and continued a lengthy streak of no-quorum forums. But, as we’ve seen by past actions when all are present, this group might be serving Minden best by not showing up. 

And the apparently not-interested no-shows should take a look at what they missed this lucky 13th. They missed an overflow crowd assembled to watch and listen. Our sources said even a couple of power shapers dropped in to see the unseen. We hope these council persons understand that with elections fast approaching, their invisibility makes them very visible.

Without the necessary members present, our council failed to workshop a proposed juvenile curfew ordinance which would certainly have been a very entertaining conversation. Again we most likely would have heard how we would violate a parent’s civil right to allow his/her underager to do whatever and whenever they wish, up to and including stepping all over the right to peacefully exist.

Some workshop and special session items left dormant included new hires in the police and fire departments, grants for improvements to water mains and the awarding of about $1.4 million in street improvements. Items too insignificant to merit wasting the valuable time of our favorite no-shows.

We’ve said it before. The actions and inactions of some on this council reek of malfeasance and malpractice (i.e., mismanagement, negligence and dereliction). Maladministration, we believe, is not uncommon. We see malice among council members and hear malarkey from the council table. There’s a growing malignancy on the body of city government and it’s strangling progress.

An oft-told story has Ralph Waldo Emerson visiting his friend Henry David Thoreau who, in protest, had been jailed for refusing to pay a poll tax. Through the jail bars, Emerson asked Thoreau why he was there. Thoreau’s alleged response, “Why are you not?”

Criticism isn’t always a bad thing nor, contrary to some opinions, is it divisive. When people claim to be leaders, they will be held to standards higher than those they lead. They should be. If the mantle of leadership becomes too heavy, or if our self-anointed bristle when questioned, they are advised to remember what Harry Truman said.

To those who wonder why we ask questions concerning our public servants, we ask “Why are you not?” Perhaps the answers are some a few don’t want us to hear.