#63: Pasadena, TX 11/1/16

This week, we go to Pasadena! No, not the home of movie stars and the Rose Bowl. But rather, the home of even COOLER STUFF.

Exhibit A: barely half a second after the Pledge of Allegiance, the entire council and packed audience sharply pivoted 90 degrees to face the sacred flag of Texas.

“…with liberty and justice for all. Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.”

Oh, I’m sorry–you guys DIDN’T know the Texas Pledge of Allegiance? Pfft, this is why the country is going down the tubes at warp speed.

After sitting down, each council member had the opportunity to make announcements. As it turns out, the most pressing issue in Pasadena was…Council Member Cody Ray Wheeler’s backyard lagoon?

“About 12 days ago, I had someone drive through my fence into my pool,” he recalled fondly. “Before the gentleman could get out of his car to my house, the police were already there. So I appreciate them doing that.”

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“What I’m saying is, the pool party is cancelled.”

Council Member Cary Bass was ever so curious about the young people with matching t-shirts in the front row. “We got Keller Middle School! I think you are gonna sing a song for us today,” he teased the kids, as the room chuckled. “They’re lookin’ at me goin’, ‘there’s no song. We’re gonna talk.'”

And, tragically, they did opt for talking over singing.

“This year, we will be collecting nonperishable food items for the food drive,” one child read at the podium as the other middle schoolers stood in formation. Suddenly, she barked: “Rangers, lead the way!”

To which everyone behind her chanted,  “ALL THE WAY UP!”

Everyone in the chamber laughed. “Allll the wayyyyy up!” Mayor Johnny Isbell repeated singsong.

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I’ll take 500 of those shirts, please.

Well, shucks–between the cute kids and Council Member Wheeler’s pool being ruined, this was just the perfect council meeting.

Until…

“I’ll be supporting this,” Mayor Isbell said of a bill that would keep insurance premiums for city employees low, but raise premiums on retirees.  “I think it’s a good deal for the city.”

Almost everyone agreed–except for Council Member Pat Van Houte, who voted no.

“Council Member Van Houte votes no….against the city employees. Great,” the mayor mumbled, clacking his gavel. “Okay–”

“Mayor,” Council Member Van Houte leaned forward incredulously. “What did you say?”

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Children, leave the room. This is Texas and people have guns.

His Honor paused and stared at her, searching for words. “What did I say? I don’t remember what I said.” He sounded genuinely bewildered. “I said, ‘Council Member Van Houte votes no on the insurance rate employees…for the employees.'”

He shot her a dirty look. “Did that bother you?”

Look, I’ll admit that the mayor, who was talking like a librarian with a sore throat, was hard to hear. But he DEFINITELY did not say THAT.

“It sounded like you said something else,” Van Houte shot back skeptically.

Mayor Isbell brushed her off. “I’m sure it’s on tape, whatever that is.”

Final thoughts: City Council Chronicles exists solely to quash minor verbal feuds. I wouldn’t say the mayor’s pants are on fire, but I do give 10 out of 10 Pinocchios to his revisionist history.

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