If the council has nothing to hide, then why shouldn’t it avoid an investigation? I’ll give you a reason.
In fact, I’ll give you 150 reasons.
To wit, I’ll give you 150 reasons an hour.
Hell, they’re your reasons.
(By the way, I’m really talking about money. Pass it on.)
I’m flabbergasted that the money-hawks on the city council (Yount, Harper and Gupton, especially) want to fritter away taxpayer cheese to clear their “good names”. Their “good names” went out the door the minute they got elected. No, not because of anything they did, necessarily, but because they entered the political arena in the first place.
The only way to protect one’s good name is to stay out of the ring.
Hiding behind a pseudonym works, too. A paper bag provides added protection. I think of mine as a literary/political condom. But enough of waxing metaphorical.
Government that has a hope of achieving anything is about hard choices. Without someone making those choices, nothing ever changes, for good or ill. It’s just bread and circuses and everything goes swirling down the drain until there are no resources left to fritter away on smoke and mirrors for the clueless masses.
Some are going to be pleased with those choices, and some are going to be displeased. And by “displeased,” I mean “angry”. Livid. Spittin’ mad. They will revile that “good name” up and down the block until they’re blue in the face. They’ll accuse those politicians of everything from being child-molesting drug-dealing terrorist ACLU pornographers to acts of simony (look it up).
That is, if those politicians are doing their jobs according to their convictions instead of pandering to the whim of the masses to stay in power.
Accusations, founded or unfounded, are not convictions. They simply reaffirm that politics is a human institution, fraught with human frailties and weaknesses.
Although it pains me in the very fiber of my being to agree with Mayor Clem, when he’s right, he’s right. Unless the council intends to investigate every assault on its “good name”, they should probably leave this one, and every other one, alone.
Consider the following future scenario at a city council meeting in the not-too-distant future:
Henderson Mayor Clem Seifert: Madam Clerk, is there anyone signed up to speak?
Henderson City Clerk Dianne White: Yes, Mr. Mayor. A John Q… I can’t make it out.
Seifert: Well, come on up to the microphone, and state your name and address for the record.
John Q. Thuggenton: My name is John Q. Thuggenton. I live at the Vance County Jail and the Beacon Light People’s Soviet. I’ve come today with a very serious accusation to bring before the council. All of you, each one of you, touched me. Inappropriately. Several times.
The Reverend C.J. Dale: Amen!
City Council Member Robert Gupton: That’s preposterious! I’ve never seen this man before today.
Thuggenton: That’s what you said you would say if I told anybody.
The Reverend John Miles: Tell ’em, brother!
Seifert: You’re accusing just the council, right? The mayor’s not part of the council. Not really.
City Council Member Lynn Harper: We need an investigation immediately to clear our good names.
City Attorney John Zollicoffer: For an outside attorney to investigate the matter, it’ll be $150 an hour plus my usual finder’s fee. And can I get that before I go on vacation? I haven’t been on vacation in three years and I plan on getting rocked off my ass.
City Council Member Bernard Alston: Shouldn’t we ask him when we allegedly touched him? Maybe we all have an alibi.
City Council Member Lonnie Davis: Will this affect my health insurance? I need that health insurance.
City Coucil Member Mary Emma Evans: He looks all grown up to me. Maybe he wanted to be touched. (She winks.)
(Thuggenton winks back.)
Evans: Don’t get all uppity. You’re no Clem Seifert.
City Council Member Elissa Yount: Mr. Zollicoffer, how much do you think this investigation will cost?
Zollicoffer: I don’t want to speak for another attorney, but if he follows usual business practices, probably the exact amount of the fund balance, plus expenses.
Thuggenton: Sounds like a lot. But I’ll tell you what. If you cut me a check for half, I’ll let it drop.
City Council Member Ranger Wilkerson: Well, it sounds to me like he’s a’got us by them hairs where he’s sayin’ we done touched him.
Seifert: Dianne, get Sandra Wilkerson. Tell her to bring the checkbook.
Thuggenton: Can you make that number divisible by three?
Miles and Dale: (in chorus) Tell it on the mountain, brother!
Of course, this is Henderson. No one would shake down the city government, would they?
Call your council member with this message:
Ho hey, hey ho!