THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: MY SHORT STINT WITH THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL.
Okay; so last week my employment with the city council (Darlene Mealy/41st Council district) came to an end. And no, Ms. Mealy had very little to do with that. In fact, I suspect that I could have stayed on as part time communications director, once I followed the blogging rules of the council. I chose not to work under the blogging rules set by the council’s lawyers: that’s all. It was my choice and mine alone. They have a right to set their rules and I have a right to reject them. Many disagreed with me and that’s their prerogative. I couldn’t function with handcuffs on, it’s just not me; and I have to be true to myself.
How long did you think it would take before I called the “Speaker” (Christine Quinn) a “Deputy-Mayor “(again)? Or better yet: “a Bloomberg employee”. How long before I bring to everyone’s attention (again), the fact that Mayor Bloomberg is illegally occupying Gracie Mansion (term-limits hijack)? Or that Charles “Chucky Bee” Barron will be a racially-obsessed jackass, unless /and until he changes tactics and predisposition? Or that the Black, Hispanic and Asian caucus of the council is impotent? Or that council staffers deserve higher salaries? Or that Tish James needs to stop extolling the political virtues of the somnambulist (Al Vann-winkle) in public forums? He has been sleepwalking for umpteen years now. Or that Barron is correct in one thing: most council members have no balls (and are gutless too)? They are a bunch of wimps and ass-kissers. And so on, and so on, and so on.
Sure you readers of Room Eight New York Politics and Daily Gotham blogs would have loved it; but my writings would have eventually brought on a confrontation with Ms. Mealy, and I would rather not let it get there. After all, she did take a brave chance by hiring me for the part time stint.
I must admit that in general, council staffers are very pleasant and cordial. They do earn their paychecks. They are basically nice, informative and friendly.
I learned quite a few things in four months. I found that John and Jane Q. Public are generally unrealistic with their demands on council members. Doing constituent service is mentally satisfying once you resolve the problem(s) they came into the office with; and yet, listening to some constituents (using ignorance as a guide) can be pretty frustrating. Some people swear they have all the answers while not knowing squat. Constituent-service requires patience and compassion; it’s not easy. It’s God’s work.
If you are looking for “gossip” about Darlene Mealy, her office and/or staff, then I am not the columnist for you. Apart from two or three instances where we got our signals crossed up- relative to our communications- we got along well. I suspect that she is going to run for something higher one of these days, and I will say this: don’t underestimate her. She has good political instincts. She probably needs to vocally tackle more issues and be more visible too, but she has loyal supporters in this district/area.
Her staffers work hard for her and they probably need to be encouraged more by the council member; but they do cover her back. In this game that is numero uno.
I don’t know if I would ever work on staff for an elected official again, but I am happy to have spent this little time on the other side of the fence. It was short and sweet: thanks for the memories. Down the road I’ll probably say a lil more on all this, but until then: stay tuned-in folks.
Post new comment