Wimps

That would be the Norfolk City Council, save councilman Tommy Smiegel. I may have to go back to referring to them as the seven bumps on a log.

In an article today, Smigiel, in his first term on council and a contributor to this blog, stands alone in wanting his colleagues to pursue some kind of action against Councilman Paul Riddick in the wake of the revelation of the latter’s tax problems. There isn’t anything stopping them:

City Attorney Bernard A. Pishko said the council is free to adopt a resolution on any issue it wishes, including one that expresses no confidence in another member.

The editorial board piles on with this piece, although I think the headline is misleading: in order to lose one’s voice, you had to have had one in the first place. But they make an important point here:

A member of Norfolk’s governing body continues to serve under the shadow of federal action with not one voice raised to criticize or even question his ability to do so.

That’s not just ignoring the elephant in the room. It’s giving silent approval to its presence.

Yep. Sorta what I said earlier.

The problem is that Norfolk suffers from a lack of leadership, a point I’ve tried to make in previous op-eds (1, 2). “Leadership is action, not position,” said Donald H. McGannon, a point with which I wholeheartedly agree.

At some point, Norfolk voters are going to realize that we’ve (mostly) not elected leaders.

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5 thoughts on “Wimps

  1. The councilman has certainly violated an ethical standard which should get him removed from the NCC. It seems to me that there should be some level of leadership which can guide this action. Unfortunately, politic concerns outweigh doing the right thing. Shame on the Mayor and other council members.

  2. This is just another reason why everyone should be talking a couple of their neighbors to go out and vote with them. I bet a lot of your neighbors don’t even know who is on council much less about the violation. When some one does something wrong the citizens should call them on it. Not only complaining at council, op-eds and blogs but really voicing there concern and voting the people out. Also the people that let these types of things slide. The whole problem is can you find enough people who care? his is just another reason why everyone should be talking a couple of their neighbors to go out and vote with them. I bet a lot of your neighbors don’t even know who is on council much less about the violation. When some one does something wrong the citizens should call them on it. Not only complaining at council, op-eds and blogs but really voicing there concern and voting the people out. Also the people that let these types of things slide. The whole problem is can you find enough people who care?

  3. Kudos to Tommy Smigiel, my rep on Council for speaking up about the Riddick issue. At the city budget meeting last night, the question asked for my group was, “What can you do now to help City government to be well-managed through cost savings”? My answer was to insist that Riddick and others pay all past due taxes. Everyone laughed. I guess it would be a cost saver if everybody was held to the same standards.
    Peggy Scott

  4. At this point I would be satisfied if the 8 of them could manage city business to the next 2 elections for Council. They seem to have difficulty presiding over the areas where they have specific authority let alone passing a resolution that has no legal force.

  5. Has Norfolk EVER had a real leader? Seriously, has Norfolk EVER had elected officials who were not on the city council for their own personal gain? I don’t think so. I’ve never seen one that has come out of city council either the poorer for it, or even the same as when they went in.

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