hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Starting Over

I do think that if the remaining Commissioners would just stand up and apologize for having created such a mess that it might be possible to stagger on until the next election with a little less animosity.  But that is probably asking too much of guys who haven't really spent any previous time on the political circuit where you learn, if only the hard way, that the worst action is not the deed but the obscuring/hiding of the deed.  As Nixon learned the hard way, it's not the crime that will get you; it's the cover-up.

Nonetheless, I found myself poking around on the net last night looking for the crime.  One place I looked was at the minutes of the August 15 meeting, the meeting where Kiniski was fired.  The Fire District minutes are always written with an economy that is bracing.  They are short, to the point, and missing all sense of human interaction (as is appropriate, of course).  But to read, say, the minutes of the August 22 meeting (during which there was great drama of hissing, booing, threats, etc.) is to make one doubt that the minutes had anything at all in common with the actual meeting as experienced by those who attended it.

So, too, with the August 15 meeting minutes.  This is the meeting attended only by Meursing and Riffle.  It begins at 7:01 and goes into Executive Session at 7:03 for discussion of personnel matters.  At 7:12, Chief Kiniski joins the Executive Session meeting.  The Executive Session ends at 7:23.  Thus, by simple arithmetic, the executive session lasts 22 minutes.  The Commissioners return to Public
Session (where business is supposed to be conducted in full view of the public) at 7:23 and vote to fire Kiniski.  They also discuss four additional items including paying Shields $500/month for equipment maintenance, interviewing for a clerk position, and approving some procedure for the volunteers.  All this 'Public Meeting' takes two minutes.  No attendee apparently speaks or is allowed to speak.  No discussion of the motion takes place. The meeting adjourns at 7:25.

Now aside from not understanding how you could possibly do all that open session stuff in 2 minutes (!), the critical part is the 7:03 to 7:23 period: that is when we find Mrs. Scarlett in the Library with the Gun.

You can then read the minutes of the meeting before and the meeting after, but nothing will help you to understand how we got from there to here .  And that is why the Commissioners need to either explain or apologize.  The community's distress, confusion, anger, etc., are really not going to go away if the Commissioners just turn off the lights, pull the blinds down, and pretend they're not at home.  Hope is not, really, ever a plan.

1 comment:

albaum said...

As to the fire commissioners' behavior, the phrase "Whistling past the graveyard" comes to mind.