Resumé padders, lazy need not apply
Gluttons for punishment can start filing for city council, school board and the water district board on Monday.
Let me tell you, as a reporter, I’ve spent about as much time as I want to covering meetings over the course of nigh on to 40 years. I don’t need to include a line in my obituary that says, “She spent hundreds of hours a week attending meetings.”
That is not a point of pride for me.
Nah. For me, happiness is never having to attend another meeting.
Truth is, once I get there, I’m fine and have a good time – all things being relative.
If anyone thinks there’s any glory in being a member of the city council, school board or water district board, they’ve got another thing coming.
Of course, I’m referring to those elected folks who actually do their homework.
I guess if you don’t do your homework and just show up and smile for the audience and ask questions that you’d know the answers to if you’d read your packet, you might feel important or popular or something.
Reporters have usually read those packets – or at least scanned them, so when Smiley Face asks a question that already has an answer, Smiley Face just looks stupid. Or lazy.
Unfortunately, the general public hasn’t read those packets and doesn’t know that Smiley Face arrived unprepared, which puts the reporter in a real predicament.
There’s a code of ethics reporters go by that dictates that we report “just the facts, ma’am,” so we can’t exactly write something like, “Ol’ Smiley Face didn’t read her packet again, and started asking questions that, if she had, she’d have known the answers. So, she wasted her time and everyone else’s.” Usually that is followed by lots of doodles to kill the time while Smiley Face gets her answers that everyone else already knows.
That’s where city managers and superintendents and water district managers earn their pay.
They have to act like it’s a perfectly reasonable question and answer it like it wasn’t in writing right in front of Smiley Face’s nose.
They’ve got more patience than I do.
I’d probably be arrested if anyone ever confiscated my notes:
“There goes Smiley Face again, posturing for the public, asking questions she oughta know the answers to if she’d just done her homework. Blah, blah, blah.”
Then there’re the single-issue candidates.
These are people who have tunnel vision. They don’t get the big picture. Single Issue Tissue (they are so transparent) are there for one reason, and one reason only. So, they bring up their pet project in every discussion, whether it’s relevant or not. Or, the only time they ever bring anything to the table is when their pet project is on the agenda.
I don’t have much time for Smiley Face or Single Issue Tissue. Fortunately, they rarely last more than one term.
So, if you’re considering a run for elected office, think twice.
If you just want it to do it to bulk up your resume, it’s probably more work than you want to go to, and the fact that you haven’t done your homework is going to stick out like a sore thumb.
If you want to do it based on a single issue, you’re going to hate it. There’s just too much time involved, even if you don’t do your homework.
Port Aransas is one lucky town, though, because we have an unusual number of folks who really are dedicated to the public good and are willing to do their homework.
Let’s let those folks step forward.