MANSFIELD: City Council Shoots Itself in the Foot

With buzzards circling over City Hall eager to pick off some members of city council via a reduction in its numbers, what do some councilpersons do? Well, they start squabbling over how the money for street repairs is allocated, making themselves look petty, provincial and pretty stupid — only interested in their particular ward rather than the city as a whole.

One of the arguments for reducing the size of city council is that such a move could allow for a councilperson-at-large setup under which someone(s) is elected to represent the entire city instead of just one ward. This current dustup proves that such an individual(s) is needed.

Here’s the deal: For the last three years the city has allocated street repair funds on a “needs” basis, meaning that the streets that are in the worst shape get paved first. Dude, that sounds pretty logical to me. But what some members of council want is to go back to the old system where each ward (uh, councilmember, that is) gets an equal amount of funds for street repairs, even if the funds are not needed.

We know that in some cases the funds were not needed because the councilperson traded their street repair money with other members in return for help with funding on a community development project.

The twisted logic some members of council put forth for returning to the old system is at best comical and at worse juvenile. One of the councilpersons complaining the loudest actually has had more repaving done in his ward than any other in the city over the last few years. So people are scratching their heads trying to figure out what his beef is.

This kind of petty bickering exposes systemic flaws in the current system of how members of council are elected. And the fact these members can’t see that what they are squabbling over is only adding fuel to the “reduce the size of the council” fire is proof that some of them are politically tone deaf. By their actions, they are virtually begging people to vote to reduce the size of city council.

Stupid is as stupid does.

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.

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