LEAVE IT TO PEEVER
Election time. Oh goody.
-Bumper sticker of the week: Compassion is revolution.
-Quote of the week: “I offer my opponents a bargain: If they stop telling lies about me, I will stop telling the truth about them.” Adlai Stevenson
-The city election: Another city election is upon us. For better or worse, here are my predictions:
* Ward 2: I’m going with Wayne Dennis. He’s not doing much to help himself, but I still think he will win. Wayne is well known and runs a successful Galesburg business. He’s been around about as long as Mother Bickerdyke. It will take him a little while to get accustom to the politics, but he will do fine. I’m relatively sure he will not play computer games or watch sports during the meetings. Wayne can find a place real quick if he becomes a member of a four person coalition who joins with the new mayor to move us forward.
* Ward 4: Lomac Payton is hard to beat. Lomac is a Galesburg institution. I know Lomac from the county board. He tries to do what he believes is right. With leadership that he can trust, Lomac can be counted on to do the right thing. He would also make a good member for that four person coalition.
* Ward 6: Wayne Allen will win easily. You cannot put your name on the ballot just so people have a choice. You have to be more committed than that. Wayne tries hard to be a good alderman. He works at it. While I don’t always agree with him, I think he can help make a difference. He’d make a good third person for the coalition.
* Mayor: I really had to think about this one, which was troublesome. After listening to the debates the other night, I think Bob Sheehan will win. I have Garza and Margaret Hall close behind, and I would not be disappointed if Hall was to win. Garza seemed like a good pick, but I have some lingering doubts, including a possible conflict of interest, and worries about what I believe were some earlier statements it is said he may have made about GREDA that he did not live up to. As everyone knows, including Bob, I was not overly happy about his first run at mayor. While I do believe he made some headway, he failed to push any new ideas about economic development and was not near active enough forming a coalition with four alderman to push things forward. As Bill Clinton did in Arkansas, Bob can come back as mayor of Galesburg and do a better job this time. I got Bob by a slim margin. Garza will fade as the election nears, and Hall will pick up some momentum. The others are history.
-A full-time mayor: I have argued for some time that Galesburg needs a full-time, paid, mayor. I certainly understand why a city manager was a good idea some years ago, and I suspect that I would have supported such a move. The hope was that a city manager could stay away from politics. This would be a professional person who would make decisions based on education and knowledge, rather than for political reasons and/or gain. It is clear at this point that those beliefs were naive and have proven to be unrealistic. A city manager has not worked for Galesburg. It is time we recognize that fact and change it. The city manager position was established by referendum and needs to be ended by referendum. I would say the time is now. Actually, it is probably ten years overdue. We need to be able to recognize who is in charge in Galesburg. That is what businesses are looking for when they approach Galesburg for possible location or relocation. When they ask, we don’t have an answer. The fact of the matter is, no one is in charge. That has to change. Take a look around, it can’t get any worse. A snake-in-the-grass, arrogant SOB who gets things done will be better for Galesburg than, than, what we got, which is nothing.