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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Special City Commission Meeting 5:30pm Today.Will Anyone Be There To See the Magnificent Seven ?

Who knows ? The last commission meeting which featured a prime time 7pm start on
September 13th, aside from people participating the meeting, speakers, honored guests, or the press had a crowd of zero.
City Commission meetings that were once well attended semi social functions to see or be seen, are now sparsely attended or more bluntly not at all attended. Maybe the Socratic method as practiced by our city commission is not understood. You remember Socrates  from Ancient Greece. Who2 says  his "Socratic Method" involved asking probing questions in a give-and-take which would eventually lead to the truth."

Maybe it's time for a rewrite. Keep the method which seems to be working but jazz it up a little. Call  the commission the Magnificent Seven. If that sounds familiar it should. The Magnificent Seven was remake of The Seven Samurai directed by Akira Kurosawa in 1954 Both films share a plot  which is as old as the hills. A Town is threatened and the inhabitants hire gunslingers to save thm.The  moral here is that it's OK to copy as long as you are entertaining. The Seven Samurai is a classic, whose  director also borrowed Shakespeare's Macbeth and put in  Japan under the title Throne of Blood. The Magnificent Seven is one of the most popular Westerns of all times making up for  a lack of originality with a great cast and score. That score was later borrowed by Marlboro cigarettes which  along the way switched genders. In 1924 Marlboro began as a  woman's cigarette and used the slogan "Mild as May." The moral here is if it works do it.

The 2011 City Commission remake of The Magnificent Seven is family friendly. There is no gun play, the bandit outlaws are replaced by the economy as the villain, and this time four women ride with three men.
The cast ? Well it's pretty darn good. Everybody has angle but they all seem to play off each other well and work as one.

There is Mayor  Michael Zambricki serving a record sixth term. He's the tough no nonsense type you don't warm up to at first. Later the method in his madness becomes apparent. Think of Gregory Peck in   12 O'clock High . In the You Tube video GP is trying restore discipline and the fighting spirit to a lax Army Air Corps unit during World War II. The inclusion of said does not mean to imply that there was anything lax about the previous administration of Mayor McCready. This writer believes that administration was one of the City's best. It is included to indicate that Mayor Zambricki is a man on a mission There are answers out there and he will find them. Yes he will. Don't tell him otherwise.Come Heck or high water and by the book they will be found.
There is Commissioner Pat Hardy. Most recently the odd woman out who is now the number two on the team when it comes asking the right question. .At the last meeting she even asked a question that Mayor Zambricki decided was a really good question. By the time he had walked all around the question studying the ramification the Mayor decided , "that was a great question." Zambricki and Hardy are the best inquisitors in the sense of one being inquisitive

Commissioner Michael McCready does not ask as often and when he does it is usually by way of repeating the queried person"s statement  and  relating to something of mutually agreed relevance.. He is also a  member of the City commission big three (all were Mayors) and but questioning is not his thing.. His past in city hall is very different from Mayor Zambricki or Commissioner Hardy. Mayor Zambricki has served on City Commission every year since 1989. This is his sixth term as mayor. Commissioner Hardy has served on commission since 2003 and was Mayor in 2007.Neither has ever lost a City Commission election.Commissioner McCreay ran for office four times and lost every time before running  unopposed in 2007 and thus getting elected. In 2009 he was re-elected with the highest vote total of any candidate in modern times. Before becoming mayor in 2010 he sat on the commissions of Mayors Hardy, Zambricki, and Kellet. In 2011 he was again the top voter getter while running for city commission.One gets the impression that quiet observation and listening are his strong suites.

Commissioner Sarah McClure the youngest commissioner is terms of age had a great rookie year last year. Mayor McCready needed  her  financial skills and made use of them.This year she has doing the Tree Beautification program with City Manager Jay Cravens. One wonders if this something she really wanted to do or if it is the best use of her talents and abilities. She sits between the Mayor and Commissioner McCready. In terms of questions and  commenting she is number three on the team.One a recent  rare occasion when she went  slightly awry, Commissioner McCready stepped right in.  McClure however rarely missteps.

Connie Salloum is the mystery lady who is significantly less loquacious the former President Calvin Coolidge who answered to Silent Cal. She  was appointed to planning commission Mayor McCready. She was appointed to city commission by the present commission which she supports by voting with majority. It is a known fact that she has good ideas and as long time city resident she probably has what most of us have which is definite opinions. It's just that no one has heard them.

The commissioners are flanked by two city employees Lisa Dollan the city, treasurer,
and Jay Cravens City Manager. Neither can vote but both contribute significantly to the discussion. Treasurer Dollan speaks softy so you have to listen closely but it's usually worth the effort. City Manager Cravens is a seasoned City Manager whose  power of observation have saved the city close to six figures.Since the City is the the job of Dollan and Cravens and other cities were their past jobs, they provide valuable input and experience to commissioners who have other "real jobs" or who are retired,

By one nothing. By seven a team well worth watching. The verbal three, Zambricki, Hardy, and McClure.  The quiet two,  McCready and Salloum. The veteran city employees Dollan and Cravens, Catch them in action as early tonight at 5:30.

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