Did You Miss Irony Week?
I have to admit, I missed it. Apparently it was Irony Week in the Municipality from May 5-11.
Luckily we have Mayor Dan Sullivan on the job, raising Irony Week to new heights of… well, irony.
This winter, hundreds of people – municipal workers of all stripes, and supporters from the community, filed into the Assembly chambers to protest the erosion of collective bargaining rights, and threats to the livelihood of public workers in the form of the Mayor’s Ordinance 37.
They stood in line, they waited in seats, they filled the lobby. They went on their day off, their night off, their free time. They brought their children, and their spouses. They stood before their elected officials and spoke about why they do what they do, why they love it, and why it’s important to feel that the City they love has entered into a mutual relationship of respect and support with the people they employ. There were cops, firefighters, 911 dispatchers, pothole fillers, park custodians, clerks, and bus drivers.
And Mayor Sullivan sat as the very personal and sometimes emotional stories were revealed, his attention unwavering, eyes riveted in fascination – at his Blackberry, his manicure, a spot somewhere in the middle distance of the room.
Eventually, the Mayor and the Assembly had heard enough from those people, and public testimony was cut off. Chair Ernie Hall had allowed enough testimony, he said. After a certain point, they all start to sound the same, you know? All they had to do was smile and nod for 15 hours and then they wouldn’t have to deal with it any more. So, hundreds were left, standing in line, testimony prepared, and voices silenced.
But that was OK, because they could finally just vote like they knew they were going to vote since before the first person uttered the first word. The ordinance passed.
Even now, the Assembly is going through the process of figuring out how to prevent a situation like this from ever happening again. Listening to everyone who wants to speak? They made it through that once, but clearly the Assembly shouldn’t have to tolerate this endless stream of people, with issues, who want to talk.
The solution? Limit public testimony, of course. Tuesday night’s Assembly meeting will continue to try to figure out exactly how this is going to happen.
And meanwhile, back in City Hall, a document was prepared. It was a proclamation, on fancy proclamation paper with a sticker at the bottom of the seal of the great city of Anchorage. So, it must be true.
After reading the damp-eyed homage to the glory and honor of public employees from the Municipality, we took the liberty of preparing a proclamation of our very own. You can picture us flanked by trumpets and banners, unfurling our scroll.
Whereas the Mayor and the Assembly have an obligation in the city code to listen to the testimony of the people, and
Whereas this has been done in the past, and
Whereas this is really kind of annoying and inconvenient for the Mayor, and
Whereas the citizens of Anchorage are too opinionated and mouthy and disagreeable, and
Whereas the Mayor and the bulk of the Assembly would rather be home early on Tuesday nights, and
Whereas they already have a predetermined agenda which will happen without said “input” from the public, and
Whereas they are asshats but do not wish to look like asshats, and
Whereas the mayor has given public employees the middle finger in the form of a fancy letter with lots of “Whereases” and “therefores,” saying things that run exactly counter to everything he’s done,
NOW, Therefore we, The Mudflats proclaims May 20-24 to be
Municipal Irony Week in Anchorage
And encourage all citizens to remove the wool from over their eyes, attend Tuesday’s Assembly meeting, and revel in the wonders of the naked hypocrisy of the current Mayor, his administration, and his Assembly tools.