Saturday, October 21, 2006

Does Mother Hen Close the Chicken Coop Door to Cluck with the Turks?

My wife and I enjoyed our first bottle of McCrea Wine last night a 2003 syrah, a tiny celebration
of a great week and a year of marriage without a pre-nuptial agreement!

If you haven't seen it yet, you need to watch the video of the Wednesday City Council meeting. The council nearly "imploded" as the Weekly Dig describes over a congratulatroy resolution with a picture of Team Unity on it. Steve Murphy was absolutely correct in his point that politcal pictures have no room on public resolutions, but the discussion degraded from there.

See it here: The good stuff happens about an hour and twenty minutes in. Maureen Feeney is especially vibrant, asking if she should wear a shirt that says "Team Disunity", and m0ck compliments them for posting their meetings because "the rest of us are in enough hot water." She almost gives a compelling arguement for all discussions being outside of the public view, sort of the way George Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove like it.

Donovan Slack's name is bandied about the council and later she quotes Michael Flaherty as saying he'd like to be part of Team Unity. So, I went to Chuck Turner and asked "can a white man be part of Team Unity?" Chuck responded in the affirmative and said that anyone who subscribes to their progressive agenda is eligible. "we'd be crazy not to include other people. If we could get a majority of 7 we could really get some things done." I wonder if Team Unity could publish or let it be known exactly what the guidelines are that need to be followed. I wonder if Gibran Rivera or Sonia Chang-Diaz, or maybe more interestingly if Samiha Diaz could join?

Interestingly, Chuck told me that he is not supporting Dianne Wilkerson for State Senate. He has had one too many times of Dianne selling herself and her constituents out. Most recently by supporting Northeastern University putting 1200 more beds in Roxbury. To say that Dianne has sold out to the establishment (too cheaply it appears from her myriad money woes) is pretty noteworthy from my district councilor, who proudly sports his Grace Ross for governor button.

Hey, it just occurred to me that political campaign stuff is not allowed in government buildings. I guess that Chuck must have forgot about that. So many rules, hard to choose which ones to follow.

A quick rundown of the local political scene. Steven Murphy has been actively campaigning for Deval Patrick and I'm sure is craving a Patrick win and a chance for a position, probably in Public Safety, in a new democratic regime. That would put John Connelly on the council. John has been out and about, recently seen at a community event in East Boston. That would put Matt O'Malley on the bubble. Matt has been working as Sheriff Cabral's liason to the State House. Patricia White has, of course, retired to raise her family. Ed Flynn has been teaching public school in Boston, computer courses, and has been active in South Boston. He is the leader of a community crime prevention group that has been asking for more police and more funding to combat the terrible drug problems in Southie.

(aside: we saw the Departed last night and were not impressed with it, quite disappointing)

I was at a fundraiser the other night where Byron Rushing gave a wonderful talk about the history of Roxbury. In a big slice of humble pie, I was sitting next to Shiela Dylan of DND and some other City Hall development types. Shiela was very nice and enjoyable, the others ignored my wife and I. No one had a clue who I was, as they discussed BRA and other city projects. It was Nuestra's 25th anniversary, and a great event overall for a group that has done a lot of great work building housing and communites.

A building inspector friend of mine called me up yesterday to talk about some things. He is really getting frustrated. As he said "if you don't know anybody they can make you wait 6 months to get anything done, if you have the right connections you get your permit in 2 days." He just keeps his head down and his mouth shut because he knows it is futile to try and fight this entrenched system. He then described to me something I hadn't about since the 80's here: building inspectors shaking down contractors for money. There is a relatively new inspector that was coming into his district and giving contractors a hard time. One of the contractors asked my friend if he could talk to him and he described what was going on. This is very disturbing news, and I'm not sure what to do or what can be done about it.

Finally, one of the City Councilors told me that he is sure that Menino is running again next time around. Great News!!!

Enjoy the weekend, preferably on two wheels!

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