#56: Revere, MA 10/3/16

One if by land! Two if by sea! Three if…Revere’s mayor cancels the community forum?

“I got an e-mail from the mayor’s office,” announced a sullen Councilor Charles Patch. “The subject was tomorrow’s community forum. They postponed it. They’re either going to reschedule it or they want you to go to the Ward 4 meeting.  I hope the mayor’s going to have somebody standing down there at six o’clock for the people who are going to show up.”

Here’s the problem: with his thick accent and his hand clenched in a fist, Patch sounded less like John. Q. Councilor and more like a mafia boss discreetly ordering a hit:

So I got an e-mail from the mayah’s office. They postponed the community forum. They want you–YOU–to go to the Wahd Fo-ah meeting!

Well, I SURE HOPE the mayah’s gonna have somebody standing down theah at six o’clock for the “people” who are gonna show up.

“Don’t worry, mayah. I’ve got some nice warm concrete you can rest your feet in.”

As it turns out, a bunch of goons kneecapping the mayor was the least of Revere’s problems.

“Calendar item #3,” read the clerk, “requesting the police and fire chiefs appear before the city council to discuss ways to lessen overdoses at Dunkin’ Donuts.”

“Overdose” is a little extreme, don’t you think? I mean who hasn’t had one too many French Crullers and passed out on the floor of a Dunkin’? Is that what we’re talking about, Councilor George Rotondo?

“We have to do something about people utilizing public bathrooms and doing drugs, in particular heroin,” the bearded councilor wrung his hands.  “If they are in a bathroom alone, the likelihood for mortality is very high.”

Councilor Anthony Zambuto was quizzical about this toilet fixation. “I’m not sure what he’s asking…that we let two people go in the bathroom? So if one shoots up, the other can call 911 if they have an overdose?”

Councilor Rotondo balked at the suggestion of having a buddy system for needle pushers. “No! To the contrary. In Bahstahn they actually have someone sit in with someone who is shooting up, but this isn’t what that is at all!”

The council took a vote as the camera operator made a vertigo-inducing pan. Look away if you feel nauseous:

But when it rains, it pours. And Councilor Patrick Keefe had a piece of bad news that affects the most sacred of Boston institutions: baseball.

“I think we all read the newspaper this last week…there happened to be some illegal activity happening on the field or in the dugout areas. We should find the money to have good camera systems down at the stadium and the field.”

Councilor Patch piled on to the list of problems. “We’ve had a couple of overdoses down there also. I think the cameras are necessary.”

A frustrated Councilor Rotondo furrowed his brow and grimaced deeply. “We need to put cameras in EVERY SINGLE FACILITY that we have in the city! We’ve had several overdoses in city pahks. To save one life, it’s worth all the cameras!”

It was a bad day for the pro-overdosing-in-parks-and-bathrooms crowd at the Revere city council meeting.

Final thoughts: For trying to clean up the city, I give Councilor Rotondo 10 out of 10 broomsticks. Vaya con Dios.


#18: Lebanon, OR 5/11/16

The auction block was hot at the Lebanon city council meeting! People lined up left and right to annex land for their own kinky purposes, and the council was in charge of moving the merchandise.

Vest-clad, avuncular community development honcho Walt Wendolowski rattled off the three pieces of primo Oregon soil for annexation. Mayor Paul Aziz called out to the back of the room, “Would the applicant like to speak?”

“I just wanna say,” Applicant #1 reported, “I approve of the staff report and enjoy working with the city of Lebanon.” He promptly walked back to his seat.

Applicant #2 didn’t even bother getting out of his chair. “I think Walt covered it all,” he hollered.

Applicant #3 tied him in word economy, sitting down for all of two seconds simply to say: “I concur with Walt’s staff report.”

It was a scene reminiscent of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, when Abraham Lincoln famously retorted, “Yeah, I think Walt has the right idea.”

It is biologically impossible to disagree with Walt.

After approving all three requests, there was another land matter of what to do about a shipping container someone plopped down in a neighborhood. Here to talk about it was–surprise–our man Walt Wendolowski.

“You know, at the Rotary meeting, if you see a person this much, there’d be a fine for it,” he joked, taking out his wallet and pretending to put a dollar into the I’m-Talking-Too-Much bucket. The city could ignore the trailer or try to boot it, but “in the past 15 years we’ve had only two issues,” Walt noted.

“I’m not a big fan of government telling me what I can do with my property,” warned grizzled Councilor Rebecca Grizzle. “If I want to have something hideous in my backyard, that’s subjective. And I’ve had to look at hideous things in other people’s backyards.” Tell me about it! If I have to look out the window and see my neighbor’s butterface kids one more time–

“I agree. The whole aesthetic thing is….we’d start saying ‘can you not paint your house purple?'” Mayor Aziz concurred.

Lebanon will defend your right to make your house look like a hideous purple monstrosity.

Councilor Jason Bolen had a community update from his perch as the local youth baseball coach (go Warriors!).  “We have been able to install turf around all of the home plates and all of the mounds,” he bragged. “The kids just love them. You should see these kids learning how to slide coming into home. Instead of doing it on dirt and kind of doing a skid, hop, and a rollover, these guys are sliding in there when they have to and when they don’t have to!”

“I like the sign,” Councilor Grizzle whispered mischievously.

Councilor Bolen chuckled at the inside joke. “Yeah…I did that one. It says: ‘These are kids. They’re not professionals. Coaches are volunteers. Umpires are human. None of these kids are going to get a pro contract today. Relax.'”

Also, on the back of the sign: “Your dreams are dead. Fun is an illusion. Mediocrity is noble. Vote Bolen for Council.”

Final thoughts: From letting a disgusting trailer sit to making a sign that says your kid isn’t gonna make it, the Lebanon city council is a real “live-and-let-live” crowd. It’s the kind of place where I’d be proud to paint my house magenta. I give this meeting 7 out of 10 stars.