Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Death By Silence

Lindsey McPherson wrote up a really terrific piece explaining the circumstances around Greg Fox's Veteran's Commission, which was killed by way of silence at last night's swearing in ceremony.  If you can't tell, I think this issue is a good indicator of future Council dynamics, and Lindsey's article seems to clarify the sticking points.

Greg Fox is a party of one on the Council.  This Veteran's Commission is clearly important to him, but I think there may be some lingering resentment from a few Dem Council members regarding things that were quoted from him that appeared in Bob Flanagan's literature.  Nonetheless, the other Council members are applying the same scrutiny to his bill as he would have applied to anything offered by Ken Ulman (and that is a heck of a lot of scrutiny).  As such, they have questions regarding:

1) Whether we need it.
2) What will it do?
3) Who will serve on the Commission?
4) Is this a function of the Executive?

While Greg may appear obstinate in getting this through, I don't see any other options for him.  The task force sounds like a way to kill his initiative via committee.  Based on voter registration numbers alone, we can assume that the members of this task force are not going to be "Fox friendly."  The other Council members can avoid the appearance of being "against veterans" by pointing to the Task Force and saying "I'm just going along with what they say."  I would much rather have seen something like this put up for a hearing where (hopefully) the true purpose of this Commission could be expanded upon.

Before reading Lindsey's article, I admittedly thought Greg was being a little aggressive in making a scene in front of the friends and family of the Council, but it now appears that this was his last chance before the bill would die by inaction.  I think this Council has shown that it has the capability to work together for across-the-board win-wins without leaving anyone out in the cold.  It is not like them to act in an overtly partisan way.  I hope Greg's initiative gets a fair shake.  If he does, the burden is on him.