Tuesday, March 22, 2005

How not to run a Council office

Hallwatch sent out an email when the pay-to-play ethics bill was up for a vote, asking people who lived in the district of on-the-fence Councilmembers to give them a call. Some of the people who did call reported back on what they heard from the staff members of the office. Some of the answers are pretty crazy, and a pretty good example how not to run a Council office. (Check out all of them here.)

The best exchange is from Darrell Clarke's office:
Several constituents reported instances where Clarke's office appeared uninformed about the issues and the Councilman's position on them. Was staff playing dumb? This constituent reconstructed his surreal exchange with Clarke's office from memory:

Whoa! Holy Cow! I spoke with Clarke's [aide]...the guy was totally clueless!

He said that the councilman didn't feel we should rush into anything, and there were things he wanted to see included in the bill.

"Oh, really, like what?"

"Uh...[long uncomfortable silence]...y'know things that the Councilman wants to see included."

"I am very interested in this issue and have been following it closely, so I am wondering what those things are."

"Um, uh...[another long pause]...we need to wait for the State."

"Wait for the state?"

"Yeah, we need to wait for the State."

"Is there any legislation before the State legislature right now?"

"Um, uh...[another long pause]...it will be noted that you called."
Woo boy.

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