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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Council Committeezzzz

Posted by on January 24 at 15:33 PM

I won’t bore everyone by giving a complete rundown of council committee assignments, which just came out this afternoon, except to say that Richard Conlin is head of the utilities committee, which everyone thought the new council member would get saddled with, and which has been retooled to encompass environment and emergency management. The still-TBA new council member will get the new neighborhoods and economic development committee. Meanwhile, the rest of the committees have been retooled in subtle and sometimes bizarre ways (parks, education, libraries and labor?) and the government affairs committee no longer exists.

OK. That’s all for today. I promise.

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Emergency management? Yikes. That means he's going to have to talk to John Pennington, our regional manager for FEMA and a stuffed shirt who makes Michael Brown look like Einstein. The New Republic recently ranked him #2 on a list of the Bush admin's worst political hacks -- behind only Harriet Miers. He's got a fake degree from one of those "prestigious non-accredited universities" you get spam for. How come the Strangler never did a story on him? Be a natural in post-Katrina.

I hope Conlin's got a strong stomach. If any disasters happen around here, the city's going to be on its own. I can think of one way to "solve" the viaduct problem that won't be pretty.

Hopefully, I am the first and only one to compare the Slog to Melville.
Melville who spent chapters of his thome detailing various parts that make up a whaling boat. The design of the little pine boats and how the rope was made and coiled. All the details about Harpoons and their history. Surprisingly, he did not reveal the secrets of the "Short Warp" which is the lanyard that connected the rope to the harpoon. He said that would take too long to explain.
My understanding of 19th century whaling remains incomplete to this day.
How am I to understand the Council if I don't know the committees?

Hi Erica,

I remain AMAZED and pleased at your coverage of City Hall. THANKS! You are a local treasure.* I have been reading the Stranger for a couple of years now for its very detailed notes on what's happening down at 5th & James.

These committee assignments make sense to me, and also help explain Question No. 2 which I could not answer in last Thursday's semi-finalist "orals": "Describe a situation where you were able to successfully address the needs of downtown businesses, a neighborhood, and minority communities at the same time."

It would appear that sitting Councilmembers had this new committee in mind & were looking for an individual qualified to head up the new Neighborhoods & Economic Development Committee. They rearrange their committee assignments every January--nothing new there.

Also, adding "Labor" to Parks, Education & Libraries is no more bizarre than placing "Arts" with Public Safety (or maybe Nick L. was thinking of Shelley's "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world"!) Labor used to be part of the now-disbanded Government committee. It had to go somewhere!

At any rate, you don't bore me! Thanks for keeping tabs on these valiant City warriors--our elected (and soon-to-be appointed) representatives.

Gail Chiarello, Semi-Finalist and City Hall Junkie (*I am also a great fan of Kathy Mulady's coverage in the PI.)

Thanks, Gail! I actually do think adding arts to public safety was a kind of weird decision. But yes, the council does change its committees around to suit the interests of specific council members, in ways that don't always make sense to the typical outside observer.

Oh, and I like Kathy's coverage, too.

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