#87: Coralville, IA 2/14/17

Love was in the air at the Coralville Valentine’s Day city council meeting! It was a momentous night: the city had finally asked a new police chief to tie the knot. And he said, “I do.”

“A very prestigious, memorable item on our agenda,” Mayor John Lundell flashed a big grin. “I would start by entertaining a motion to approve the appointment of Shane Kron as our police chief.”

The council members were so giddy, they trampled over each other to agree. “So moved!” a couple of them shouted out.

Mayor Lundell chuckled. “We have an outstanding police department in Coralville. Our outgoing chief, Barry Bedford–he’s been part of the department for 43 years. But also, 16 of those years, Shane Kron was a member of the department.”

City administrator Kelly Hayworth gently broke in. “It’s longer than 16. I believe it’s 27.”

Realizing he was WELL outside the margin of error, the mayor blurted sheepishly, “Oh, I’m sorry!”

Your honor, take it from me: before you commit to a new beau, you should know their WHOLE relationship history!

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“Mayor, this paper just says, ‘do u like me? yes, no, maybe’.”

Also, don’t say weird things about them. Like this:

“All four candidates were cream. But the cream rose above the cream to the top. And here he is, and is our new chief,” rhapsodized Council Member Bill Hoeft in a stilted Maya-Angelou-of-the-Midwest rhythm.

After the chief was sworn in, the mayor caused a few disheartened chuckles when he announced, “now on to the exciting next item: the budget!”

Hey, hey, don’t be so facetious, mayor. There was plenty of good news for C-ville: property taxes were unchanged for the eighth consecutive year! The water plant is getting a brand new filter building! And corn has never been yellower!

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Nice chart

A man in a striped shirt and red tie sprung to the podium and signed the guest register. He had prepared a wide-ranging soliloquy about the budget, the city council, and his…um, unique hobbies.

“As always, I have reviewed the budget,” he said. “I kind of live the budget. I’m a gym rat for budgeting, if you will.”

I will. Go on.

“I would ask, how’s your own checkbook? You don’t have to answer that, but you’re dealing with your money at home and your money down here, so they should both be in pretty good shape.”

You’re losing me, citizen. I don’t think anyone’s going to whip out their checkbooks, so how about we close strong?

“Think about this: if you shower quicker, you would save yourself some money. And anytime you see someone watering their lawn, send them a thank-you card because they’ll be using all that water and spend a lot more money than you will if you shower,” he proclaimed like Columbo cracking the case.

The council members took a second to digest this insider tip.

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“Now, here’s a little trick about sewage treatment–“

“Thank you for caring” about the budget, Council Member Laurie Goodrich offered politely.

As council members gathered up their papers, the city attorney had a piece of news to share that he had evidently been sitting on for 45 minutes.

“The city attorney’s office approves the appointment of Shane. Also, I can’t help but notice that we don’t have to worry about him tearing his hair out over anything!”

Everyone let out a snicker at the shiny-domed chief. I’m sure he can look forward to maaannnnany more years of jokes like that.

#54: Oswego, NY 9/26/16

“Gentlemen,” began the mustachioed public commenter in the Oswego council chamber, “I want you to know that I’ve taken a survey through this town…what?”

One councilor muttered something off-mic.

“What did I say?” the man stared blankly.

She’s not a gentleman,” said the voice, indicating the presence of Councilor Caitlin Reynolds.

The citizen commenter smoothly bowed and issued an extended mea culpa.

“Gentlewoman! I apologize. I’m old school. Let me get on my hands and knees for this–” He pivoted to the onlookers and held up a palm. “I apologize to all you female people.”

He was buttering up the crowd for something. I could tell by his suave demeanor and the way his t-shirt was tucked into his khakis that he was about to rip someone a new butthole.

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“Dudes and lady dudes, I’m sorry.”

“I took a poll here this past two weeks. It’s been–” terrible? people are furious? “–very good feedback. Very good. You people know what Standard & Poor’s is? It’s the stock market guys who grade the credit rating. This city, this council, this mayor is at QUADRUPLE A! Nobody’s complaining! They LOVE what you’re doing.”

Wow, that’s incredible! Leaving aside the fact that Quadruple A doesn’t exist, it’s truly amazing when there are ZERO complaints about ANYTH–oh, sorry, you had one more thing to say?

“One more thing, Mr. Mayor,” the man added Columbo-style, scanning the room behind him. “I see that he’s not here tonight….I would like to dismiss the fire chief, okay? It’s time for him to go. They don’t like him anymore. GET RID OF HIM. He is BEYOND BELIEF a scumbag, okay?”

Jesus. Talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. How did we go from “nobody’s complaining” to “heads must roll?”

“And I’m sorry if that’s too direct,” the man said, not nearly as contrite as when he called ladypeople men earlier, “and if that’s personal, that’s too bad because he’s called ME a couple names in his lifetime, too. Thank you.”

Mayor William Barlow, Jr. propped himself on one elbow with his finger almost touching his eyeball. “Thank you,” he muttered.

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Nice headlights, your honor.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, all of a sudden, in marched the Grinch.

“I don’t want people to think that I’m against holiday tree lighting ceremonies,” began Councilor Robert Corradino innocently enough, “BUT we’re going to be spending about $6,000 for a temporary ice skating rink that uses a synthetic surface.”

His Grinchitude tapped his fingers. “I just feel that with all the other expenses we have, it’s a lot of money. I don’t say it’s NOT a good idea, but for ten hours on one day?”

Councilor John Gosek, a.k.a. Second Field Lieutenant in Oswego’s War on Christmas, piled on. “I don’t know how I can justify this to my constituents. We have several skating rinks available in the city we can perhaps use.”

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Why don’t you chop down the city’s Christmas tree to make your desks? OH WAIT, YOU ALREADY DID.

Rushing to Christmas’s defense was pro-skating rink Councilor Nathan Emmons. “It’s not only ‘take, take, take’ money from our residents, but we turn around and provide ENJOYMENT within our community! I think there’s a lot of value in that.”

With that, the council’s hearts grew three sizes–they voted unanimously for the skating rink. Councilor Emmons saved Christmas!