They couldn’t get it together to work together on working together.
Oh, some of these city politicians talk about how they have to find a way to get along. If you ask me, herding cats would be an easier chore.
And cats don’t whine as much.
This time, the city has a Kumbaya session of let’s play nice in the big blue playpen and council members are no-shows.
Too bad Coun. Sean Chu wasn’t running the Kumbaya. It wouldn’t be a group hug at all.
It would have lasted less than two minutes.
“I don’t think we should get along. When people don’t agree with each other, get over it,” says Chu.
“I’d tell them: You’ve got to grow a thicker skin. First off, the mayor should look in the mirror. He can’t stand anyone opposed to him.”
Tough medicine from the councillor called Caveman as a city cop because when he served in the Taiwan military he lived in a cave.
Jeromy Farkas, bad boy to much of the rest of city council, says he did all his homework and was ready for class.
The councillor thought the council Kumbaya was silly but he gave it a shot even though he didn’t need a test to tell him he was a square peg in a round hole.
As part of the song-and-dance, Farkas had to ponder statements asking himself how they applied to him.
I wonder how they apply to city council.
Like this nugget.
“I would enjoy spending an entire day alone with my thoughts.”
Isn’t that what some councillors do on council meeting day as they stare into space or at the screen of their computer looking glassy-eyed at God-knows-what?
Then there’s this one.
“I often get my best ideas when doing nothing in particular.”
Well, there’s plenty of doing nothing in particular at city council but not many best ideas.
There’s this gem.
“Daydreaming has provided the impetus for the solution of many of my more important problems.”
Again, council does its share of daydreaming but solutions to problems?
The creation of problems? Yes. The ignoring of problems? Double Yes.
The inability to understand problems? Yes! Yes! Yes!
Solving problems? Not so much.
“Much of what is most important in life cannot be expressed in words.”
Much of what ends up being most important at city council cannot be expressed in words — except with an outpouring of nasty lingo the editors would surely take out of this column.
Here’s a good one.
“I sometimes get a kick out of breaking the rules and doing things I’m not supposed to do.”
Pick me, pick me.
The sane one at the Cowtown Kremlin is the one not following the parade.
Farkas says he’s not against teamwork.
“I’m happy to be on the team but they have to let me be on the team,” he says.
“It’s our job to work together as a team. This is the team Calgarians chose.”
Don’t remind me.
Farkas is a one-man band, still being investigated by the city’s Integrity Commissioner over a Facebook post written when the rest of city council was looking stupid, insisting they wanted a pay freeze while the math said they were getting a pay hike.
Farkas receives more vindication in the past week.
City council did not believe Farkas when he said they were up for a pay hike in 2019, according to the math city hall uses.
City staff backed up Farkas in writing. Council wouldn’t listen.
On Facebook, Farkas told Calgarians city council was headed for a pay hike. He was right.
Farkas said he proposed a five-per-cent pay cut and it failed because council would not even debate it. True.
A pay freeze was also rejected. Also true.
Farkas calculated the 2019 council pay hike at 2.37 per cent.
Then Edmonton city council, using the same math, landed on 2.37 per cent.
City brass now admit the number is 2.37 per cent.
Calgary city council decided not to take a pay hike in 2019.
So why is Farkas still in the doghouse.
Because on his Facebook post, Farkas shows councillors voting against a five-per-cent pay cut when actually they were against DEBATING a five-per-cent pay cut.
Of course, being against debating a five-per-cent pay cut almost certainly means you are against the cut.
Farkas has tried to offer an olive branch. Councillors take the olives and break the branch. They want grovelling.
No Kumbaya plays.
“For a long while I was willing to chalk this up to politics. But I can’t help but wonder if it is personal.”
Wonder no longer. It is.
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