What's the rush? | Editorial
December 20, 2011 · Updated 9:03 AM
Why wouldn’t someone who won the mayor’s election by the narrowest of margins make some sort of conciliatory public gesture to head into office on a positive note, instead of pulling a stunt that just looks crass?
Maybe because you were the underdog who knocked off an incumbent you and your backers painted as a boor, and you — or someone “advising” you — want to rub his nose in it whenever you get the chance?
Of course, you’d never admit that was your motivation for wanting to take the oath of office at the last City Council meeting of your vanquished rival’s tenure. A meeting at which you surely knew the mayor would receive farewell accolades from council members who are disappointed he’s leaving.
Did you hope to take some of the shine off by intruding, by thrusting yourself onto center stage just to tweak them all?
Or are you going to plead ignorance, both of state law and common courtesy? Do you expect people to believe that, gosh, you really hadn’t considered that it might create an awkward scene if your swearing-in was on the agenda?
And what was the rush, anyway? After you found out it wasn’t going to happen at the mayor’s last council meeting, why not wait until closer to Jan. 1, instead of the hasty swearing-in you arranged Monday afternoon in the city clerk’s office?
That one didn’t count, of course, because state law requires taking the oath within 10 days of when your term starts Jan. 1, if it doesn’t happen at the last council meeting of the year.
You shrug it off with the excuse that “there was just a lot of confusion,” and say the oath will be handled properly “now that we know what the law says.”
But why didn’t you prevent the confusion by knowing what the law says in the first place? That seems like a reasonable expectation for someone who’s going to be in charge of this city’s government soon.
It seems you were in more of a rush to take the oath (and upstage your rival on his last night sitting in the mayor’s chair) than you are to do something positive and constructive, like sitting down with him to arrange a gracious transition.