Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Next Council: A New Hope, Or Same Old?

Some voices have contributed apt and concrete points (and interesting, timely background) to the discussion concerning next Monday's election of a council president in InsolvenCity.

(Others, however, have offered nothing better than wisecracks, snide asides and sarcasm.)

The process and posturing may have rendered the result irrelevant. If council can not assemble and maintain a coalition that changes city government's course -- including, but not limited to, resisting the broadband streaming of bad and worse ideas from the mayor's office (and its for-profit subsidiaries, Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and whatever company John Verbanac happens to prefer)-- the choice of a president won't determine much beyond which few miles of city streets are to be resurfaced.

(Don't forget that a couple of council members are convinced Vince Lombardi said, or at least meant, "paving.")

The ingredients for council's renaissance appeared to be in place when Kraus, Rudiak, Dowd, Shields and Peduto formed a progressive majority-to-be (with several candidates for a sixth member of an effective coalition). That progress seems to have become illusory, however, as Dr. Dowd has begun to embody Bluto's "seven years of college down the drain," inexplicably gravitating toward the mayor's office (and the mayor's lackey).

Optimism should accompany each New Year, inclining mention of the bright spots in InsolvenCity's changing government.

Jim Motznik has departed council, passing the Motznik Chair In Advanced Mayoral Fealty to Rev. Rickey Burgess. Motznik takes his sewer boots (right) and old school political philosophy (and resume) to a district justice's office, elected by voters who apparently share Mr. Motznik's theories of constitutional jurisprudence. (This is a list of bright spots for city government, not for the Commonwealth's UnifiedJudicial System.

Labeling Motznik the Ravenstahl administration's most reliable and aggressive sycophant should not discount the energetic servility of Tonya Payne, who is probably looking for ready to start a temporary new gig bridging her bootlicking for the mayor service to the city and her bid for higher office.

Natalia Rudiak seems likely to be, and Daniel Lavelle might be, a welcome force for good in the seats vacated by Motznik and Payne. But if Dowd continues to portray Anakin Skywalker, the consequent disruption in the force may be too great for even two eager new rebel fighters to overcome as a troubled system seeks A New Hope.

UPPERDATE: Atop the Slag Heap is a guess that Theresa Kail-Smith would be the consolation prize were Bill Peduto unable to arrange five votes. This prompts two observations: (1) it is difficult to believe that Natalia Rudiak could embrace the Dark Side this soon, and (2) if Kail-Smith's level of inexperience is considered adequate, why would Rudiak be excluded from consideration? A better bet than Smith-for-president is the Heaper's summary of InsolvenCity 2009.

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