Here is the audio of last Thursday's Steering Committee meeting regarding the South Clarksville Redevelopment Plan. Much thanks to Libertarian Party of Clark County Vice-Chairman (and fellow Town Council candidate) Russell Brooksbank for recording the audio and providing it to me for download.
Click here to listen to the audio via Dropbox (no account needed)
While the contention is made that towns and cities led by a manager is the most popular and successful form for a municipal government, I would have to see some solid research regarding whether or not such a move would be a good fit for the Town of Clarksville before I definitively put my support behind the concept.
I understand the Town Manager position freeing up our Council from daily operational tasks and allow them to focus on policy issues, but how exactly does having a Town Manager for Clarksville "empower our elected officials to provide leadership, develop a vision and strategic plan for the community?" Shouldn't our Council already be empowered to do all the aforementioned things by the very nature of their position?
While it might be sold to us as an easily correctable mistake, should a bad hire occur, I would like more of an outline as to what the procedure to remove a Town Manager would entail. While the Town Manager would presumably be making decisions without political bias, I wouldn't be as presumptuous as to how political bias would play into the hiring or dismissal of a town manager.
The Democrats have simply wasted time, energy, and money on this issue. Putting together committees for study, then basically ignoring the committee's input is the kind of circular logic that has resulted in nothing being accomplished.
To summarize, I am remaining neutral for the time being in regards to the issue of a Town Manager for Clarksville. I believe once the issue has been fairly and thoroughly studied, then an honest discussion can take place.
Under the current system, the Town of Clarksville elects five District Council members and two At-Large Council members every four years. All Clarksville voters are eligible to vote in all five District and both At-Large Council races.
Quite simply, this is not representative government. The current system is rife for potential disenfranchisement of large blocks of voters, and across all demographics.
The people of Clarksville deserve a government capable of addressing the needs of not only the town, but the Districts and residents that comprise the town. The only way to ensure the people have representation on all levels of town government is to ensure the people are fairly represented, and this is what District Voting will accomplish.
District Voting, in my opinion, also promotes greater involvement on a neighborhood level, as the candidates will have to meet the voters they wish to represent, rather than simply heading to where the most people are to stump for votes. This will also provide the council with a broader range of issues of concern to the people, which may allow for future preparation should the issue become a full-blown problem.
My Republican opponent lists as a “Pro” for the current voting method: “Council members are more able to focus on how a decision affects the betterment of the entire town and not just focused on how it impacts their respective District.” I would argue that, ideally, any suitable council member would and should be able to do just that, regardless of the voting method in place.
By suggesting hiring an independent research firm to conduct a survey regarding district voting, the Democrats propose not only kicking the can down the road, but getting a more expensive can to kick and having someone else kick it for them. The will of the people seems to speak to district voting, and the idea of using taxpayer money to study a question that’s already been answered is irresponsible and disingenuous.
Since graduation season is more or less in full bloom, you knew it was either going to be some dumbass shit breaking out at a commencement, or some ironic yet asinine spelling snafu. Graduates in Kelso, Washington got the lead joke for reunions to come when their diplomas were presented bearing the state seal of Oregon on the cover. The students could breath a sigh of relief, as the high school diplomas themselves were correct.
Kelso superintendent Glenn Gelbrich said the matter was an ordering error, that was discovered after the ceremony had started. Okay, fair enough on the ordering mishap, but seriously, what the hell on the rest? I believe this is a detail that bears checking in advance, or did the diplomas arrive as people were still being seated?
Then again, I've probably jinxed them now. They'll get the cover right next year, only the diploma will read class of 2061 or some shit. Whichever. Welcome to the real world, kids...
Since the Presidential campaign and my Twitter account both got a brief mention in the New York Times' political blog, I decided to drill down a bit into my account, something I have been meaning to do since really knuckling down on my social media in light of the campaign.
Thus far, I can't complain. My Klout score is now hovering just shy of 60 (up from around 45), and in the last 28 days alone, my tweet impressions have skyrocketed 251%, profile visits are up 46.3%, mentions are up 34%, and I have gained 10,294 new followers. To further the comparison the Times made, not only do I have more followers than former Rhode Island governor and GOP primary candidate Lincoln Chaffee, I have nearly gained more in the last thirty days than he has total.
As a guy who enjoys movies, good and bad, I always love a good stand-off, and there is an interesting real life standoff going down in Washington, D.C. at present. At issue is the voter-passed initiative for legalized marijuana, which is set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Congress is inexplicably not pleased about this, even though it is taking effect the very same week Alaska became the third state in the union to allow recreational marijuana use and possession.
The initiative legalizes the possession of up to 2 ounces for use at home, and people will also be permitted to grow up to three mature plants. Smoking marijuana in public will remain illegal, as does buying or selling the drug. The initiative would also eliminate the decriminalized possession civil fine of $25.
Congress has final say over the laws in the District of Columbia, and when situations like this occur, they usually just add language to a piece of legislation that undoes whatever they disapprove of. This is not a regular occurrence, with the last time Congress striking down a D.C. city law being 25 years ago. The argument is based on whether or not Congress acted in time to be able to stop the initiative. In December, Congress passed a spending bill to keep the government running, and in that bill was the language to block the legalized marijuana initiative.
The only problem, according to Mayor Muriel Bowser and other city leaders, is that the marijuana initiative passed (at over a 2-1 margin) in November and had been enacted, even though it had not taken effect yet. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) chair of the House Oversight Committee, along with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) says that is wrong, and that Mayor Bowser and the city leaders could be in violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act, which prohibits spending unappropriated federal money. More to the point, Chaffetz said:
"The penalties are severe, and we're serious about this. Nobody's wishing or wanting that to happen, but the law is clear."
Yes, the law is clear, and the penalties may be severe, but for Rep. Chaffetz’s chest-thumping, it is a fairly hollow threat. To date, no one has ever been convicted of violating the Anti-Deficiency Act, just administrative punishments issued. Yet, the chair of the House Oversight Committee feels it necessary to threaten the mayor and other leaders of the nation’s capital with the possibility of prison time, and over marijuana? This is the same kind of petty and arbitrary nonsense we get, congress after congress, and yet, they still can’t figure out why voter turnout is so low, and why approval ratings are fighting tooth and nail to reach zero.
After all, what kind of example, if not precedent, does it set when a mayor is threatened with prison by the federal government for following the lawfully voted for wishes of her constituents? This is the most arrogant of actions when a government that works for the people can ignore the very will of that people. It is not like the people of D.C. voted in dueling, 64 ounce sodas, or heaven fucking forbid wanted to build a pipeline. My concern is not so much for the District of Columbia, but I will say I stand with Mayor Bowser and her administration. Since Congress hasn’t made getting much of anything done a priority, how about they leave Muriel Bowser alone to do hers?
It was not as though I expected anything less from Mitch McConnell. As the GOP was settling into the seat of power following a decisive mid-term election victory last November, Senate Majority Leader McConnell promised "dramatic change" in contrast to the tenure of outgoing Majority Leader Harry Reid. Remember that phrase..."dramatic change."
McConnell said this dramatic change would come about by decentralizing power in a Senate that has accomplished so little in the past six years the American public is about ready to start holding a mirror under its face in the mornings, just to be sure. He also gave lip service to getting committee working again and open up the legislative process, a "return to regular order," in his words. Then again, he also made it a point to bring up recommitting to "a rational, functional appropriations process," because well, it's Mitch Damn McConnell. The pork's back on the plate, and Mitch brought his big ass fork, is the simple way to translate any rationality or functionality he may have been referring to when it comes to appropriations.
Continuing forth, McConnellesque in his determination, the Majority Leader said that the voters, who have lost faith in government and no longer trusts Washington, want a 21st century government, modern and streamlined instead of the perpetually deepening pit of suck we currently labor under. The GOP is going to pursue tax reform, opening global markets to American exports, and infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL pipeline.
Okay, for those of you keeping score at home, Sen. McConnell said:
1. Change, and dramatic change at that, is coming.
2. It's high time Congress got its shit together.
3. He's almost feral at the thought of getting appropriations back the way he likes it.
4. It's time to cut the sausage-making out of government and streamline it.
5. The GOP is going to fix taxes, American global trade, and infrastructure, right after...
They go back to the fucking well on abortion again.
Yes, America, I hear ya. God damn it, so much.
Yes sir, that some pretty dramatic change, if by pretty dramatic change you meant going back to page three in your fucking playbook! You could have come out with a plan, an idea, a hastily scribbled notion on a cocktail napkin on immigration, but you're just now sitting down to come up with a strategy. Really? Throughout the mid-term campaign, and in the afterglow of victory, this whole time the GOP was shadowboxing? The fact the Democrats were knocked out in part by a phantom punch should give them a moment for pause. A couple of moments, if necessary, in case Nancy Pelosi needs to change her facial expression.
I guess you could forgive the Republicans for a bit of a stumble out of the gates. Guess they still had some glitter in their eyes from the day before. Let's hope the next big topic they pounce on is something possible closer to relevance. Maybe even something that trends on occasion. Otherwise, this drama Mitch McConnell is producing is going to start needing a laugh track.
Some guys have all the luck. You decide to dig 33 feet down in your backyard, for whatever the hell reason would possess someone to do that, and you hit something major forcing the rest of the neighborhood to spend the weekend at a Comfort Inn by the airport. Some other asshole does it, and makes a major find that archaeologists have been trying to locate for decades.
An Egyptian man was illegally digging in his backyard, and wound up finding a tunnel leading to the Pyramid of Khufu, a.k.a. the Great Pyramid. It was about 33 feet down and underneath the man's house when the tunnel was discovered. Getting beyond the whole digging a 33 foot hole from boredom, how about digging three stories underneath your fucking house? How good is the weed in Egypt? Bet this guy's homeowner's policy costs some serious bank.
A committee from Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities confirmed the passage to be the causeway of the Great Pyramid, mentioned in the Histories by the Greek Herodotus, who claims to have visited it in the fifth century B.C.
One thing I did not notice from the story was any kind of explanation as to whether or not Captain Dig Dug actually got charged with the illegal digging. Personally, I can't wait for this to wind up on some bullshit reality show- people compulsively digging big damn holes in the ground. The sweeps episode where the guy tries to take credit for the Grand Canyon would be tremendous, if only for the cinematography.
Been puttering around the apartment today, taking care of some housework, sitting down to get started on the rest while checking out the Bengals-Colts Wild Card round playoff game. At least I'm not one of those guys who check out for the year after his team is eliminated and the fantasy seasons are done. My Rams had a better season than I thought they would, all circumstances considered, but I would like to see them get a slightly more competent backup than Shawn Hill progressing forward. As for my vaunted fantasy team, the LA Sharknados, they had a decent second season, going 10-4 for a 2nd place regular season finish before stumbling in the first round of the playoffs, settling for a victory in the 3rd Place game.
Maybe if the Bengals lose, they will can Marvin Lewis, and I can shoot a resume their way. If idiots can use video game experience to justify sending resumes for college head coaching jobs, I think I am safe in using my fantasy football coaching career to justify applying for a NFL head coach position. I know I am at least qualified to coach the Oakland Raiders...
Winner, The Blogitzer
(Best Overall Writing)
2011 Blogger's Choice Awards