Well, Ma, it's time for my annual Christmas letter to Kansas. But before I talk about dancing sugarplums or going over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house and all that other Christmas mush I want to tell you about them folks at the Brainerd City Council and the present they gave everybody Monday night.
Shucks, I don't know why they didn't do it earlier. But, anyhoo, they decided not to televise meetings of the city planning commission and certain other committees. Eureka!
As the mayor, the Honorable Mr. Wallin, argued, folks don't need the tube to watch government in action. Why, they keep the doors unlocked and the only reason they are closed on meeting nights is because of the fire chief and fire codes. That's probably a good thing because sometimes that durn Mr. Olson gets so heated sparks start flying.
So they don't lock the doors. And people who are good citizens and really want to know what's going on at city hall can get out of their recliners and go to city hall.
And if they don't go, so what. It's kind of like Grandpa always said: What the people don't know won't hurt them.
Getting some of these official-looking meetings off the teevee will make it easier for folks to watch professional wrestling. Yeah, they even have that up here.
That there council president, Mr. Dehen, tried to clarify the situation. He thinks that people who are on TV on that other stodgy channel, C-SPAN, are professional staffers and they're used to cameras. Never mind that they're citizens, too. But the folks around these parts aren't used to cameras. And if'n they want to go in and get proper zoning for more room for their garages or decks they shouldn't have to face the glare of TV lights.
Why, another city council member, the Honorable Mr. Scheeler, was in here just the other day saying that it gets purty hot being under those TV lights for up to six hours. You'd be proud of me. I just shook my head and told him to get a pair of sunglasses. I could have said if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen but I held my tongue just like you always taught me.
I don't quite know what they're trying to hide. Sometimes I think it's their lack of leadership. Now I'm convinced that they're afraid TV cameras might show the rest of the civilized world the revolutionary way they clear snow off the streets up here.
Remember in Kansas how they used to completely clear the downtown streets? I always did think that was a waste. People should just get four-wheel drives or learn how to climb mountains in the middle of the streets. That's what the snow removal experts do up here. They leave mountains in the middle of the streets. Looks just like the Alps around here when they're through. Ah, so picturesque.
Another of those council types, Mrs. Koep is her name, was talking Monday night how televising planning commission meetings could actually be educational. Can you believe that? She is as bad as those professors at the university down the river there where they have Jayhawks and good basketball teams who kept saying that the real decisions in city government are made at planning meetings. Shows what little they know. No wonder their basketball team can't win every game.
There is a little mystery. A fellow in a suit is always sitting right in the middle of the picture at council meetings never saying anything but occasionally whispering to the fellows on either side at the council table. Maybe he's the prompter, sort of like the people who fed us lines in those Christmas plays in grade school down the street.
So now the city council has taken the step forward and joined the other bodies around here. The school board, county board and Baxter City Council already have kept the TV camera out of their proceedings. They don't have anything to hide, mind you. They just don't want people getting confused, I guess, when they go talk to the leaders. Daddy was right: What elected leaders do at their meetings is nobody's business.
Well, got to wrap this up. Too much shopping to do yet if I can make it over the downtown mountains since it snowed overnight.
One other thing. Maybe they can put up a sign at the county line warning those TV big shots in the Twin Cities that people around here aren't ready for TV cameras yet.
Now if we could just get rid of those folks carrying pencils and notepads. Golly, if we could keep them out of the meetings, too, this would be a better place.
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