What does a feller say when a city council meeting is broadcast and there’s no internal bickering, no sniping, no one-off comments aimed at another on the panel? He says he must have been tuned in to a meeting other than the usual roundabout at Minden City Hall.
But wait. This was our own Minden City Council that showed a modicum of decorum. An attitude, as Larry the Cable Guy would implore, to “git-r-done.” A rare display of unity to move things ahead. Well, most things.
After Tuesday evening, we now officially have a Mayor Pro Tem. There may have been some question about who was wearing that hat pre-Tuesday, but city attorney Mr. Yocom did a pretty stellar job of explaining just why that particular crown sat on no head. And, as we heard was explained in a letter to the council, there was no pro tem because previously this council (per usual for that time) couldn’t agree to agree on anything.
Now, the council’s choice of councilperson Edwards could prove to be a good pick. Following the 4-0 vote (Yes, Virginia, it was unanimous), Edwards asked his cohorts to show a united front and to think positive. That’s a good thought, even if it does come about three years later than desirable.
We say the vote was unanimous. One counciler was absent. Ms. Williams-Walker was said to be out of the country. We wonder if Tuesday’s outcome would have been the same if she who claimed the pro tem title had been present. Word from friends on the inside say it might have been, but nothing’s certain. We’d like to think the Yocom letter would have been the persuasive point. That, now, is both moot and mute.
Whatever. Edwards is in a position to provide leadership while our council decides whether they or His Excellency John Bel the Gov picks an interim mayor. And, for what didn’t get done, this same united front council couldn’t agree on naming an interim Tuesday, voting against adding that item to its agenda.
A couple of the four who had no problem picking a pro tem without all five present decided all should be in on the decision to name an interim mayor. Now, the council will have to scramble to beat the 20-day deadline to pick a replacement who will serve until the Fall elections. As we heard during the motion-making to add the item, former mayor Tommy Davis could be ready to serve as stand-in.
It would be nice if our city council is the selection agency for the individual who will sit in the mayor’s chair. If Mr. Davis is willing to serve, it would have been appropriate to yes Tuesday. There’s not a whole lot to be gained by waiting for Ms. W-W’s return. If nothing else, a vote Tuesday would have shown that we are indeed ready to move forward.
But now, we wait. Maybe this wait will be of little concern. Maybe our new mayor pro tem, who seems determined to make things happen in the right way, can call a special meeting and “git-r-done.” Or, with time to think, could we see a snag in the thread of city government that will require a Baton Rouge stitcher to repair? And as we know, things from Red Stick can get sticky.
For the city’s sake, and for the sake of the legacy of a mayor who wanted to keep us moving, let’s hope our council can forget its past differences and unite. That, in itself, would be good, if even for just a little while.