#49: Blue Springs, MO 9/7/16

There are two truly wonderful experiences in life: holding your newborn child for the first time and watching a city council meeting’s intro video.

No offense to my three–or is it four?–children, but after viewing this patriotic opener, I was crying so hard that I would have gladly let Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross lead me into battle against any other city council:

His Honor moved swiftly through the People’s Business. “We have a public hearing on the 2016-2017 budget,” he read, glancing up to deliver his own saucy editorial. “I might add that the city of Blue Springs– unlike the FEDERAL government–we operate on a BALANCED budget. We don’t have a money printing machine.”

Kapow! Sucker punch right in the Congress! Although he’s awfully quick to deny having a money printing machine considering no one brought it up….

“That being said, we’ll go to the public. Is there anyone in the audience who would like to speak in support OF the budget? In support OF?” No one stood UP. Stood UP.

“In opposition TO? In opposition TO? We’ll close this public hearing.”

Mayor Ross lowered his head and gazed steely-eyed around the dais. “That brings to mayoral announcements. I will continue to talk about being sick and tired of all the murders that are taking place. ESPECIALLY with children being killed.”

The room was silent.

“The the nonsense of [driving while] intoxicated is just like taking a gun and shooting somebody because you’re dealing with something much worse. A vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds and you have no control over it! And the innocent people, that they end up dying. Especially with children. So those are the announcements.”

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You better be stone-cold sober driving through Blue Springs.

Wow, I don’t know which is tougher: following this announcement or the fact that this is the first anti-drunk driving PSA I’ve seen in 49 city council meetings.

Luckily, His Honor took it upon himself to lighten the mood. “Now, Thoughts to Ponder.”

He leaned back and twirled his note card.

“Thoughts to Ponder tonight comes from a voicemail on my phone yesterday. It was kind of a confession, of sort. He said over the last 50 years, he’s had a problem with 80-year-old drivers…or their lack of being able to drive well.” Every eye was on the mayor, wondering what kind of ageist tirade was in store.

“But in March, HE turned 80, and his whole attitude changed about those ‘terrible’ 80-year-old drivers. They’re not such bad drivers after all. It’s really interesting when we have opinions about things or people until the shoe is on YOUR foot. Then we have a tendency to change our attitudes about it.”

By now, everyone in the room was smiling. Including me–I never thought I’d find so much wisdom in Western Missouri, of all places.

“That concludes our Thoughts to Ponder.”

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A happy city council? What strange place is this?!

Final thoughts: “Thoughts to Ponder” is my new favorite city council segment. Granted, the bar was super low to begin with, but I think the world would be a lot better if more mayors interpreted their voicemail on camera.

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