Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Siegel wrongly says Hunt shouldn't run for mayor because the job is too difficult

Jeff Siegel at the Advocate is obviously an unabashed Angela Hunt fan. He proved that yesterday in an essay titled "Why Angela Hunt shouldn't run for mayor." His basic argument is that times are tough, the upcoming administration may have to make unpopular decisions and Siegel thinks if Hunt has to make those decisions she will thus become unpopular herself. And, being an unabashed Angela Hunt fan, Siegel doesn't want to see Hunt's image tarnished.

I find his arguments faulty on so many levels, I have trouble knowing where to start. First they are based a some false assumptions. Siegel writes: " If current trends continue, we won’t be asking cops and firefighters to defer raises; we’ll be laying them off." No we won't. Uniform personnel can't be fired, except for cause. They are civil service and protected by the City Charter. A freeze can be placed on hiring uniform personnel, but Siegel should not be throwing around scare tactics that they will be fired.

But more important than that, I don't want a mayor who only wants to preside over a City Council in good times. True leaders are moulded during hard times. It was Harry Truman who famously said "I'll stand by you, but if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen." If Hunt can't take the heat, then she should not be mayor at any time, not now, not four years from now.

I have not always agreed with Angela Hunt, but I never thought of her as one who shied away from difficult decisions. In fact, she has come across to me as an individual who studies until she learns all sides of an issue and, unswayed by outside voices, makes the learned decision she firmly and passionately believes is the right one. Perhaps that's exactly the type of person we need as mayor at this time.

I would rather much have a mayor interested in leading instead of winning a popularity contest.

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