#48: Groton, CT 9/6/16

It’s insane.

It’s reckless.

It’s a city council meeting…in under ten minutes.

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Nine minutes and forty-eight seconds, to be precise. I don’t care how fast you can talk–to let anyone less than a three-term council member attempt this stunt is a Chernobyl-level disaster waiting to happen. But hey, we’re all young once. I say if these kids want to “find themselves,” or whatever, who’s to stop them?

Let’s go zero to 60.

“Are there any recognitions, awards, memorials?” Deputy Mayor Keith Hendrick rattled off like a Texas cattle auctioneer.

“I have one,” jumped in Councilor Andrew Ilvento without missing a beat. “We had our back to school party, and the city is so great about helping put together something that is great for the kids. This year, the Navy came over and brought stuff.”

“Stuff?” Battleships? Torpedoes? Is there time for clarifica–

“K. Receipt of citizens petitions? I see none,” the deputy mayor raced onward. “Any communications and reports?”

Councilor Lawrence Gerrish downshifted and pumped the brakes. “I’ll be having a meeting…uh…very near future on Public Safety, uh, Committee…uh, review of ordinances.”

Spit it out!

My god, man! We don’t have time for pregnant pauses! Especially not with the hairpin turn Deputy Mayor Hendrick steered straight into:

“Councilor Ilvento is stepping down from the Board of Ed/Town of Groton/City of Groton/RTM Liaison Committee. We need someone to fill that position,” he grimaced, before delivering the kicker: “the next meeting is tomorrow.”

This was a risky maneuver. If no one volunteered, there would be a five-councilor pileup at the halfway point.

“I’m waiting on Councilor [Conrad] Heede,” the Deputy Mayor gestured to Heede’s empty chair. “I thought he expressed an interest in the past, but…is anybody interested in being on that committee?”

“Is that the meeting time always?” inquired Councilor Jill Rusk.

Councilor Ilvento attempted to entice her. “Yes, Wednesdays at 5:30 and they ALWAYS run an hour. They’re VERY good about–”

The Deputy Mayor cut him off to save precious seconds. “I think you had a conflict?” She nodded anxiously.

In the kind of shotgun decision making that might careen any lesser man over the guard rails, Deputy Mayor Hendrick peeled out of this jam in a cloud of smoke and tire tracks.

“I’m gonna see if we can get somebody. I have something scheduled for tomorrow, but if I cannot get someone there…I will show up late so we can be represented at this meeting.”

Great Studebaker’s Horse…it’s minute EIGHT and we STILL haven’t done the energy conservation project! Will they make it?!

Strutting quickly, the gray-haired energy engineer spoke as he rushed the table.

“We’re at the final stages of execution. The annual energy savings, it approaches about a million dollars.”

I call this guy “Quicksilver.”

“What does this do for us?” the Deputy Mayor fired off with 50 seconds to go.

“What does it do for us? It basically keeps the sub-base in a more competitive position.”

Fifteen seconds on the clock–it’s gonna be a photo finish! 3-2-1…DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?! It passes!

Final thoughts: We had a lot of fun here, but remember: speeding council meetings kill millions of Americans each year. Be safe. Never drink and run a city council meeting.


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