This week brought further proof that when it comes to local politics “dirty” is the nature of the game.
I recently wrote an opinion piece about how I was sick of local politics. While the Boyd/Lambert circus continues to put on a show in the major media sources, I want to call attention to some quieter but equally queasy things I observed this week.
Vice Mayor Larry Sewell blames police chief for ticket
“You can thank JR for that.” – Vice Mayor Larry Sewell blaming police chief J.R. Reed in a reply to Facebook post made by his brother Randy Sewell claiming the ERPD were part of a “window tint scam” and pulling over people in the bike lane in an attempt to bring in funds through ticketing.
When I read those words I was shocked. I understand that Randy Sewell claims he had no knowledge of the window tint law when he got the windows of his car tinted. Is this the police chief’s fault? Did the police chief call the window tinting place and ask them to use a shade darker than that allowed by law?
No. His brother Randy has simply unknowingly broken the law. He found out the hard way that his choice of window tint and that driving in the bike lane in an attempt to get around traffic and turn is against the law.
Is it perhaps possible that East Ridge Vice Mayor Sewell has obtained some information that proves that the police in East Ridge are conducting any ticketing operations in an attempt to line the coffers? I mean it’s pretty audacious for the Vice Mayor to call out the police chief in a post and subsequently blame him for his brother getting a ticket for breaking the law, so he must have some evidence correct?
Nope, it’s nothing at all like that. This, my friends, is just another shining example of good ole boys at their finest. Vice Mayor Sewell has never been fond of the police chief. He, along with several other past councilmen, have had the chief on their “hit list” for a while. Unfortunately in the city of East Ridge their isn’t much they can do about it.
Our “weak mayor” form of government protects the employees and subsequently the citizens of East Ridge from those to whom absolute power corrupts absolutely. The city and it’s day-to-day operations, including the oversight of the police chief, are left to the City Manager. The City Manager is the sole person who’s job truly is at the will of the council. Everything else is just beyond the touch of those who may be corrupted.
Of course, those familiar with East Ridge history, and more importantly its black, seedy, rampant political corruption, knows exactly why provisions like this exist. To stop people like Larry Sewell from using the tiny flake of power he holds from corrupting the departments within our city working every day to help the citizens and taxpayers of this city.
This comment is just further proof that it’s a good thing Larry Sewell’s time has run its course. Good Ole Boys like Larry Sewell need to take their place among relics of the past as we move into a new era led by a true government of the people serving for the people.
Brian Williams To run for Mayor
This week also saw Councilman Brian Williams file paperwork naming a treasurer for his bid to become the next mayor of East Ridge. My question to this piece of news is WHY?
East Ridge has a weak mayor form of government. This essentially means that the mayor is just a glorified councilmen. A figurehead to take photos, sign legislation, show up at functions but does not actually possess any more power than any other councilmen.
The mayor does get to lead the meetings and use a gavel. However, any member of the council can add something to the agenda and have the city attorney or city manager research something.
So why run for mayor?
To me it’s not so important as to what kind of ego trip was at play to cause Williams to run for mayor, as it is what happens to his seat on the council should he win? If Williams were to win the mayor’s race then his vacant seat would be filled by a vote of the council. Should they not be able to reach an agreement within 30 days on the person filling the remaining two years of the vacant seat, as the mayor, Williams could name any person of his choosing to fill that seat.
I can’t help but think it ironic that someone who ran on a platform of transparency and preforming the will of the people is totally willing to subjugate that will for the sake of his own ego. If Williams becomes mayor he obtains a nice flashy title with no real gain in any other measurable way. The people end up with a new council person seated completely outside of the democratic process.
The taxpayers and citizens of East Ridge deserve to be represented by folks who just want to come and do their best to make East Ridge a better place to live, work, and grow up. We are not stepping stones to be used to achieve your own personal gain. If you’re thinking about running in 2018 because:
It’s a good first step to the state assembly,
or county commission,
or to remove the city manager,
or get a friend hired to parks and rec,
or to replace the police chief,
or maybe to simply gain a title to your position even if it means getting a non duly-elected person appointed to your previous position….
Just DONT. Stay home… the backs of citizens you’re treating as stepping stones have been broken enough and we are not going to lay down and take it any longer.