Trying to get fired up

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2006

Some time in late May I switched off city government. I think it was the cumulative effect of the campaign, the election and the budget discussions that just fried me on local politics.

I’ve not been paying much attention for a couple weeks now. I couldn’t even bring myself to watch last week’s City Council meeting on television.

It’s a train wreck. Watching the lame duck council and likely lame duck city manager trying to wind up the process is painful. I just wish it would go away.


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I hoped leaving town for a few days would allow me to come back to Suffolk with some fresh perspective, but it didn’t.

On Wednesday, I tried to read the papers I missed but it was still grueling.

About all I could find that even remotely moved me to write was the Tuesday Virginian-Pilot editorial which said, referring to the newly-elected council members and those expected to occupy positions of power in July, “Some city leaders seem to be in a state of willful denial about what it takes to operate a city nearing 80,000 people,” hinting that the they are opposed to keeping “the streets safe, the schools improving and the traffic moving.”

That seems like a bit of a stretch to me. I don’t recall any of the candidates campaigning on such a platform. What they, and the nearly 60 percent of voters who backed them, seemed to be saying was that they thought priorities were a little out of whack, that they wanted city government to be open,

and responsive and accountable to the citizenry, to stop pandering to the wishes of a favored few and to at least pretend to exercise a little restraint when it came to spending.

That’s a far cry from advocating anarchy, illiteracy and clogged roadways that the editorial seemed to imply.

No government lasts forever. The current leadership n in substance and style if not always the same people n has been in place for about a decade. That’s a long time in the world of politics. It’s time for change, whether the Norfolk paper likes it or not.

Suffolk got along pretty well for 260 years or so before the current city administration came into being and my guess is we’ll somehow manage to keep the doors open once they are gone.

And yes, in five years if we find ourselves begging Portsmouth to annex us because we’ve squandered everything, I’ll be more than happy to admit I was wrong.