Sunday, April 19, 2009

SN-L Says Burris Needs To Be Held Accountable For Email Issue

Ever been blindsided?

Wasn't pleasant, was it?

To blindside in football means to "hit or block (an opposing player) from his blind side," Webster's says. In general use, according to the dictionary, blindside means to "attack (someone) from an unseen or unexpected direction."

There's nothing nice or neutral about the word.

When City Manager Greg Burris used the verb in an e-mail he sent before the primary for City Council it carried weight that should not be cavalierly disregarded.

Today's editorial in the Springfield News-Leader opens with that lede.
It showed that the city manager decided two months before a council primary election and four months before the general election to use a word that portrayed two people running for City Council as members of force prone to attack from an unseen direction.

He can protest with his loudest, most indignant voice to anyone who will listen that all he did was forward along a series of e-mails for educational and discussion purposes. But that is simply not true.

His comments put an "us-versus-them" taint on the discussion. And they did so in a politically charged atmosphere. And Burris passed this critical assessment on to more than just city department heads, the group of officials who report directly to him.

Burris is still a fledgling city manager with no experience in the complicated and high-profile job of running a city. No amount of work he did in his former job at Missouri State University prepared him for the political minefields he will face in city government.

We're paying for his on-the-job training, and his mistakes.
Springfield is the third largest city in Missouri. Our governance system is a volunteer mayor, volunteer city council and paid city manager and paid staff. Who runs "the city"? Who is "the city"?

Perhaps it time to explore changing the charter and exploring an elected paid full-time mayor and elected paid full-time zone aldermen, get rid of city wide seats.

I know this: Springfield went to the city manager form of governance in 1953. I used to own an old truck, a 1953 Chevrolet.What was high tech in 1953 is just an old truck in 2008. I sold it to a guy who kept the motor and interior and junked the rest. Lots of stuff happened in 1953 and lots of things have changed with the times.

New paint and new wheels make things look nice, but it is still a 1953 model. And it will break down.


auxarc said...

Now your talkin!

Anonymous said...

What price amatuers(including the hired help)?