This is the busy time of the month. Various bodies for various cities (and later this week, the day after the paper comes out, county) have their monthly meeting to hash out the affairs of government. Elected representatives gather at the table and hash out ordinances, resolutions, and ultimately the direction of the body, the city or county.
It’s interesting to watch, if you think about it long-term. The vote at the next meeting will impact life ‘round these parts for years to come. And the vote is never done under the heading of “This will change life” but rather “we’ve got to take care of this thing which is laying up against this other thing before this third thing happens” and then they review spreadsheets and numbers and projections and then a proposal is made, seconded, discussed, voted, gavel, next item on the agenda….
But then it’s government, real government, resources being allocated, a general effort to do the most good to the most people while harming the interests of the fewest. That’s real government, not the stuff of some expensive haircut blowhard on a television screen, but of men and woman working toward a communal end. Oh sure, blowhards are attracted to that environment, but thankfully, and based on now some hours spent sitting in meetings, we have darn few, maybe none, in government in this region.
Which means these meetings are like watching paint dry. That’s not, if you’ll allow me, a bad thing. Oh sure, it might be more exciting to report if there were flailing arguments, people screaming, that sort of thing (as seen on TV!) but it would be less government. There’s some comfort in watching paint dry. It’s a quiet time, a peaceful time, and granted, you’ve got to quiet yourself down in order to appreciate it for what it is, but if you can do that (and I like to think I can) you get to see a natural order of things.
Flowers bloom, weather fronts pass, governments meet, debate and consider, paint dries. It’s all water from the same well. I go, listen, take notes, and the end result shows up in these pages.
Damascus: Despite the naysayers (who are always busy being naysayers) the city keeps trucking right along. I drive through there a lot, an awful lot, and people are pretty much following traffic regulations. (Although stories are getting out about knuckleheads blasting through town at high speed, expect future reporting on that.)
Even was coming through Saturday night and saw a Van Buren County deputy pulling someone over (after they passed me doing about 60).
Damascus is keeping it together.
Clinton: Not a lot to say here. It was a typical meeting, with typical considerations - although Tim Clark’s hard work and sense of humor will be missed. It was good to see Phillip Ellis stepping into Clark’s role, if for no other reason than Ellis is a nice guy, and one who is engaged in the community.
I’m a little worried we didn’t play up the promotions thing going on between multiple agencies, all focused on attracting more tourism to the area. Expect to read more about that in months to come.
Police/Sheriff: Here’s what you didn’t read in the news story was the sheer pain-in-the-neck heavy-lifting work that went into dragging, ultimately, the guy out from under the bed and putting him in jail. And speaking of pain-in-the-neck, he was lying under the bed holding a very real looking CO2 pistol.
And he resisted, and they were in a motel room. Cage wrestling anyone? But wait, it’s cage wrestling, and the good guys were using to Taser to encourage an outcome. So you’re wrestling, there’s a Taser, wrestling makes you sweaty, electricity loves to find a conductive path, sweat is a good conductor, he had a gun that looked real. It was shocking, plus they had to get the guy out from under a bed frame, and he didn’t want to go.
Yeah, there were some sore backs the next morning. Once again: I’m glad there’s cops. Frankly, I’m about half scaredy-cat and half Rambo and I doubt if I was in the room it would’ve been as orderly an outcome as what we wound up with. I mean, it was a real-looking gun!