Thursday, April 18, 2013

Why are these council candidates running?

Someone asked me today to pick a winner in the District 13 City Council race, the one between Jennifer Staubach Gates, Leland R. Burk and two other candidates no one cares about except their immediate families. After giving an answer, I fired back with a question of my own: Why are these candidates seeking this seat now held by retiring Ann Margolin?

Jennifer Staubach Gates
So I decided to visit their respective Web pages in search of an answer. Ms. Gates, who, of course, would hope and pray we don’t forget the "Staubach," says "Being a great city means having great basics. As our Councilmember, Jennifer will focus on improving the city services that touch our everyday lives, and she’ll making sure that City Hall is continually working to cut waste, find efficiencies and protect our taxpayers."

Talk about hyperbole. What does that mean exactly? Has she identified "waste" to cut? What efficiencies? And protect us from what, pray tell. (What we need is protection from empty headed city council candidates.)

She certainly has identified ways to spend more taxpayer money. "Council District 13 has the worst streets in the city with 170 lane miles of streets that need reconstruction, and another 70 lane miles of streets that need resurfacing. … As our Councilmember, Jennifer will work to prioritize the immediate improvement of our streets, and she will work to ensure regular maintenance so that we do not fall into such disrepair in the future."

That costs money. So does this:

"Jennifer knows first hand the value of our local parks, greenspaces and rec centers. As our councilmember, she will work to ensure these amenities are clean, well-maintained and enhanced, so that our neighbors of all ages can have access to the outdoor spaces that improve our quality of life."

So she’s for better streets and cleaner parks. That’s really standing tough on the issues.

But how about Burk?

Leeland Burk
He promises, according to his Web Page "to continue the strong fiscal leadership and neighborhood advocacy shown by previous District 13 leaders."

What???? Translate please. Is he including those previous District 13 leaders who are convicted felons?

He lists his priorities as "stimulate smart economic development (as opposed, I guess, to stupid economic development), protect the character of District 13's neighborhoods (does this include Five Points, one of the highest crime areas in the city?), make sure your tax dollars are not wasted (he doesn’t say how, but the way one of his "previous District 13 leaders," Mitchell Rasansky did it, was to be in the minority and vote against everything) and support the efforts of all who are combating crime" (which, I guess, answers my earlier question about whether he will protect the character of all his district’s hoods).

So he’s for economic development, neighborhood protection, against wasteful spending and against crime. Now that’s standing tough.

What I find interesting is that neither Gates nor Burke have the courage to publish a stand on a "real" issue facing the district, such as a lighted soccer field for Ursuline Academy.

Obviously, what we have here is a popularity contest, not a race involving issues. Just another example of why the city is so lacking in leadership from its elected officials and another reason I’m thankful for our council-manager form of government, Heaven forbid we should allow these dolts to actually run things around here.

No comments: