#38: Dover, DE 7/25/16

It’s a beautiful evening at Dover City Hall. The city council is ready to go and boy, what a diverse, good-looking group of–what?

This isn’t the city council? Then who the h*ck are these people?

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Control room, can we get a shot of the city council please?

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THERE they are. Barely.

The first order of business was presenting an oversize, Publishers Clearing House-style check to a senior citizens’ home. The guy in charge accepted the award by embarking on a long, slow stemwinder of a tale. “We have 30 employees. We’re down a couple right now. We hired people from 18 years old–she just left–”

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As the speech meandered, so did the control room–which decided that now was the perfect time for cutaway shots.

“Our average age is 75 years old. If you think about that, 75 is an average age–”

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“We have a wonderful facility. For those of you who have not been out there, I would be glad to give you a tour–”

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“It’s tough out there. For the fire department, you know, when you deal with seniors, there’s a lot of cooking incidents–”

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FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, NO MORE CLOSE-UPS.

At the conclusion, everyone snapped out of their stupor and applauded. Councilman Fred Neil–himself well above the average age in the senior home–shook hands and quipped, “as an 82-year-old, save me a spot!”

The council quickly pivoted to the youthful and chipper city librarian, who was here to brag about Dover Comic Con. “We’re starting on Friday night about 5:30 with the arrival of the Ghostbusters,” she promised.

Councilman David Anderson leaned forward intently. “Will the Tardis be there this year?”

“The Tardis will be there,” confirmed the librarian.

Councilman Neil piped up. “I thought it was marvelous when I went last year! I was greeted like a character, even though I was not in uniform.” (For context, he looks like the guy from “Up.”) “Even though I was one of the old guys, I appreciated what was going on.”

Speaking of goings-on, “Mr. Sudler had a get-together last weekend,” recalled Councilman William Hare. “I have to say that all the hype about Roy’s Ribs was true! There was only one problem with ’em: there wasn’t enough!” The councilmen cackled in response.

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The rib kingpin of central Delaware

Councilman Roy Sudler, Jr., the culinary maestro of city hall, leveled a challenge right back at Hare: “Mt. Zion AME Church, they will be hosting an annual back to school and community fair. They would like to invite you to be this year’s celebrity chef–helping to cook hotdogs and hamburgers.”

Councilman Hare reflected. “Is there a waiver that we’re not held responsible for them eating my cooking?” Ha! Councilman, you and your poisonous gruel! Stick to what you know: order a couple buckets of Roy Sudler’s Ribs and call it a picnic.

Final thoughts: Oh, hey, control room dad!

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#10: Delaware, OH 4/25/16

If you were passing through Delaware, Ohio, you could’ve watched “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” No, not the Clint Eastwood movie. I’m talking about this week’s city council meeting, which was such an adrenaline-filled roller-coaster ride, pregnant women should stop reading now.

First, the good news: Delaware needs more money to par-tay! “In case you haven’t noticed, we are going to have a record number of openings of parks, etc. over the next several weeks,” assistant city manager Jacqueline Walker boasted. “To celebrate these accomplishments for the citizens, we’re trying to”–get some strippers and champagne, ya’ll!–“have an additional $9,500 to pay for these openings as well as investing in a tent that actually has the City of Delaware logo.”

Oh, hell yeah! You can do anything in a tent–start a mosh pit, pass out city-branded key chains…Delaware, you nasty! Although, there’s one thing you can’t do in the tent: sit.

“You’re gonna have a tent? What about chairs?” asked Councilman Joe DiGenova, a huge fan of tush-resting.

“The tent that we’re looking at is a small place,” the assistant city manager explained. Okay, so maybe no mosh pit. Or even a barbecue pit. You’d be lucky to have room for peach pits in there.

Next up: the bad. During public comment, resident Dwayne “My Real Name” Johnson scissor-kicked the local watering hole.

“Does the city council currently have any plans to build a full size pool?” Johnson attacked.

“Well, we have a pool at Mingo [Park],” Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle defended.

“If you go there during the summer, you can’t find a place to put your towel down and the pool’s full,” he body slammed her argument.

Councilman George Hellinger tagged in, saying they built a splash pad at Veterans Memorial Park.

“Why would you put a splash pad in rather than a regular pool like Mingo that has a kid’s pool?” Johnson heart punched.

“Well, now all the kids will be at the splash pad,” the mayor laughed nervously, sensing the K.O.

“Adults and teenagers are not going to sit on a splash pad. That’s not gonna happen.” Boom! Down for the count. The Need-Another-Pool Avenger does a massive take down of his arch-nemesis: the Delaware City Council.

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Dwayne Johnson: slayer of giants, enthusiast of empty pools

Finally, the ugly. It seems that there’s trash mysteriously appearing downtown, and Councilwoman Lisa Keller is patient zero. “I’ve become the face of downtown trash,” she warned. “I get messages that there’s trash–with pictures–and I forward them to the city manager. I’m happy to do it, but there’s got to be a better way.”

Councilman Herrington cut in: “‘I am the face of garbage in Delaware.’ That’s a great headline.”

Assistant city manager Walker took pity on the councilwoman from the Trashpile District. “That may not be sustainable for them to come out and pick that up. I agree with you, you shouldn’t be the face of that.” Things could be worse: she could be the face of the urine-saturated Mingo Park pool instead.

Final thoughts: I’m disappointed the council did not find the obvious solution: seal the new tent, fill it up with water so Dwayne can swim in it–and in exchange for his private pool, he has to pick up trash downtown.