The Old Curmudgeon: Tilting at windmills…

July 2011 Posted in Other

By Vern Holmquist

Well, here we go again, another windmill to topple. As I recall, when our present Mount Angel mayor took office there was a solemn pledge made by both mayor and city council: transparency. Yup! We were to get the message loud and clear as to what the city and council were up to. I confess I have not attended recent meetings because I hear so little of what is being discussed, but I have heard the council has voted down funding for an improved sound system for the meeting room. Oh well! It really doesn’t matter, since so much of the council’s council-to-council conversation is “off mic” anyway.

I have read both the Canby and Woodburn account of our beloved former police chief, accused of lying to our council. Now to me there is difference between lying and giving the inquisitor what they want to hear. Sometimes the questions forbid a truthful answer. As an example: Did your wife cry when you beat her last night, yes or no? Answer, No. Oh! So your wife did not cry when you beat her. You can’t answer yes or no without incriminating yourself.

It is with heavy heart that I hear this is the reason our council has taken this matter to a State agency to bar him from working in law enforcement. He did not give the council what they wanted to hear.  It has been known ever since former city administrator Jim Hunt left that legal defense can cost the city a lot of money, perhaps enough to pave Cleveland street or improve the municipal privy, even get a transparent sound system. Which, I speculate, was the reason “Do you have an attorney”? was asked.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, have you dropped into the Mount Angel Senior Center lately? So many new hand crafted gift items to choose from and all at reasonable prices. I figure the men and women who lovingly craft these items make about 35cents an hour. And then there are the wonderful volunteers who put out a very good meal for a $3 donation with some nice neighborly conversation thrown in. Ask about getting a seat at the card game or getting trimmed down at the exersize class, or ask who Osama Bin Ladin was, somebody there can tell you.

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