"A million to one shot, doc!"
Kramer, in "The Fusilli Jerry" episode of "Seinfeld":
"Have you ever met a proctologist? They usually have a very good sense of humor. You meet a proctologist at a party, don't walk away. Plant yourself there because you will hear the funniest stories you've ever heard. See, no one wants to admit to them that they stuck something up there. Never. It's always an accident. Every proctologist story ends in the same way... 'It was a million to one shot, doc, million to one.' "
I thought of that quote when I heard what happened at City Hall Tuesday morning. It seems to capture the difficulty the Mayor's administration has taking responsibility for their decisions.
Mayor Bill LaFortune's chief of staff Clay Bird came down to the City Council's Urban and Economic Development committee meeting to say that due to some freak oversight on the part of the City Clerk's office, necessary paperwork wasn't filed in a timely fashion, and therefore a proposed charter amendment won't be on the April ballot with the bond issue. The purpose of the charter amendment, which passed the Council unanimously, is to restore the supermajority requirement for a zoning change in which a formal protest is filed by a sufficient number of property owners affected by the change.
The committee meeting will be broadcast on TGOV (Cox cable channel 24) sometime between 1:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. tomorrow and every day through the rest of the week. I'm told it's must-see TV. Some of the Councilors seemed quite excited that the charter amendment would not make the April ballot. Now there's talk of delaying the bond issue yet one more month, to May, along with the charter amendment, the District 5 special election to replace Sam Roop and the recall elections in District 2 and 6, all on the same day, with the Cockroach Caucus hoping for a clean sweep -- stop the charter amendment, elect a John Benjamin crony in 5 and get rid of two good councilors in 2 and 6. The Cockroaches apparently hope that a single, relatively high turnout election will ensure that their deep pockets will overwhelm the volunteer efforts in support of Medlock and Mautino and the charter change.
I'm not buying the excuse that it was a mistake by the City Clerk's office. There have been too many coincidental mistakes -- agendas not getting posted and the like -- and they always seem to favor the Cockroaches. If it wasn't an intentional slip, perhaps it's because the City Clerk's office is too busy expediting the processing of recall petitions (which will please the Cockroaches) to handle other important business.
We hear that the Mayor got verbally beat up by some development lobbyists recently, and in the process of saying "uncle!" he promised to stop speaking out against the recall of Medlock and Mautino. If that's so, perhaps he also promised them to find a way to scuttle the charter change and speed up recall. The Mayor doesn't dare come out openly against the charter change and for the recall, beacuse he'd lose his political base, but if he supports the charter change and opposes the recall, he risks offending the men who might bankroll him to the next level of his 8-8-8 plan (eight years as mayor, eight as governor, eight as president).
It seems that the Mayor wants what the Cockroach Caucus wants, but he doesn't want the public to hold him accountable for enabling the Cockroaches to get their way. Like the proctologist's patient, he finds it easier to pretend it was all an accident. Sorry, I'm not buying that -- rectocranial inversions like that don't just happen spontaneously.