Saturday, January 05, 2008

Watergate lite

I couldn't disagree with Gail Kerr more regarding her "Other Peeves" point in her column today:

Note to the Metro Council: You are the council. Not a grand jury or special prosecutor's office.

Chill with the Watergate-like hearings.

Note to Mayor Dean: You have a staff. This is what they are for. Ditto your police chief and police force.

If you need investigations done, guess what? That's what they do!

I would have expected Gail Kerr to see that this Council and this hearing exactly mirrors Congress and their committees but on the local level. Would she have said the same thing about the Watergate break-in? Would she have written: "President Nixon: You have a staff. This is what they are for."? We're not talking about someone stealing a couple of campaign files, or knocking off the vending machines. We're talking about the personal information of 337,000 citizens. We have learned so much about how our Metro government does and doesn't run as a result of this ONE hearing, I can't imagine how much more has been swept under the rug because it wasn't subject to such a public hearing but quietly investigated.

Mayor Dean is out of the country...not much he can do right now. Unfortunate timing but 'them's the chances ya takes'. Thieves were apparently the only ones working this holiday season and so here we are. I don't recall anyone on his staff taking the lead in his absence. In fact I don't recall reading or hearing much from councilman at all while constituents were demanding answers and none were coming. The Public Safety Committee, chaired by CM Michael Craddock (District 4-Madison) did exactly the right thing in calling in department heads to answer some pointed questions and account for their actions. Our community is better off as a result.

No comments: