#70: Lisbon, IA 11/28/16

Don’t be fooled. Lisbon’s population may be just 2,200 people–but its December calendar is packed tighter than a Tokyo subway car at rush hour.

“Holiday Jubilee proclamation,” Mayor Beryl O’Connor adjusted her eyeglasses and read the sweeping decree. “Whereas holiday celebration is an effective tool for fostering local pride and maintaining community character, I, Mayor of Lisbon, proclaim December 10, 2016 ‘Lisbon’s Holiday Jubilee’ and call upon the people of Lisbon to join their fellow citizens in participating in this special occasion.”

Harken, Lisbonites! Your leader calls upon you to spread cheerfulness maximus! (What exactly does that entail?)

“We’ll be having activities during the day starting out with breakfast with Mrs. Claus,” city administrator Connie Meier explained. “The parade lineup will start at four. This year we changed the theme to ‘Parade with Your Pets.’ So you can dress your pets up in Christmas sweaters and walk them in the parade.”

With this news, my heart grew three sizes. Granted, this is Iowa, so I imagine there will be several cows in festive XXL upperwear.

file photo.jpg
Pictured: Director of the Lisbon Chamber of Commerce

“Next month is kind of a busy month,” warned the city administrator. “Lisbon Schools is having all of their concerts on Monday night. December 12 would be our next regular council meeting–there is an elementary K-3rd [concert] at 6:00 and [grades] 4-6 at 7:15. On December 19th, there’s also the high school band and choir concerts.”

Uh-oh. Is it time to take the missiles to DEFCON-2, Your Honor?

“Is your daughter in band or anything?” the mayor muttered to Council Member Nathan Smith.

“The 19th is out for me,” he winced. “And she’s in basketball, so Tuesday nights tend to be interrupted too.”

Thankfully, the crisis was defused: they agreed to double up the meetings on December 5.

“What’s wrong with the lights?” Mayor O’Connor spontaneously blurted out. “One side of the street comes on and five minutes later the other side of the street comes on!”

“It’s where the photo eyes are placed–” the public works director started to answer.

“I have no idea what that means,” the mayor stared blankly.

The director patiently explained this complex marvel of modern engineering. “The photo eyes are detecting the sunlight. When the sun’s coming across, it will still be shining on one photo eye and there will be enough shade on the other one that it’ll keep ’em on.”

“It’s called photo eye?” she cautiously inquired. “If I tell somebody that, they’ll think I know what I’m talking about?”

The public works director humored her. “Yep.”

This picture was taken with a photo eye

While he had the floor, there was something else he needed to get off his chest for the good of the city:

“This it the second time in twelve months we’ve had problems with our spiral screen” at the wastewater plant. (Mayor, if you say “spiral screen” people will NOT know what you’re talking about.)

“I know everybody’s reading these wrappers, and their sanitary wipes and wet wipes are saying they can be flushed. Please, [I’m] asking people not to flush.”

He exhaled. “So yeah, that’s my little soapbox speech.”

Final thoughts: Stop flushing the wet wipes! Geez.

#69: Laurel, MD 11/28/16

It’s the holiday season, so you know what that means: the eggnog is flowing, the mistletoe is hanging, and city council members are bragging about how THEIR winter festivities are the best thing since sliced gingerbread.

“I’d like to welcome everyone back from the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope it was a healthy one,” Councilmember Frederick Smalls warmly greeted the room. “I will say, however, that I did try a new recipe. It’s Brussels sprouts with Gruyère cheese.”

He added a lackluster, “Mmmm,” as he glanced sideways down the dais.

Councilmember Donna Crary picked up on the signal.

“I will disagree,” she pursed her lips, “with Mr. Smalls. That Brussels sprouts recipe was given to me at the same time. It’s not healthy.” Councilmember Smalls loudly guffawed as the sign language interpreter mimed laughter.

“Do you know what’s healthy? That weak-ass tea you’re serving.”

But enough about Thanksgiving. It’s almost Christmas! Your Honor, when will we all get to meet Santa?!

“On December the 10th at 9 a.m. sharp, Partnership Hall will be holding the Breakfast with Santa,” Mayor Craig Moe read from his notes in a non-festive monotone. “Any tickets left?”

“Sold out!” someone yelled from the audience.

Mayor Moe looked into the camera–right into my disappointed eye holes. “Cancel that. We’re sold out.”

Whatever. I’m not disappointed. I’m not crying. These tears are just me being allergic to PEOPLE WHO GET MY HOPES UP.

“The holiday decorating contest will take place as well,” the mayor tried to reassure me. “If you’d like to nominate somebody or yourself, you can dial 301-725-7800. Or you can let my office know. We encourage you to get your decorations up and submit your nominations.”

Hey, mayor: stay in your lane. Laurelites, if YOU have a nomination for best holiday decoration, send it to City Council Chronicles. I’LL be the arbiter of taste around here.

This is my nomination for deadliest stare.

That wraps up the yuletide news: it was time to do the People’s Business. “Ordinance number 1894,” announced Council President Michael Leszcz. “An ordinance amending the Laurel city code Chapter 17, ‘Traffic,’ Article III: ‘Stopping, standing, and parking.'”

He looked to either side. “Any discussion?” Nope. “Call the roll.”

As the clerk went down the list, something bizarre unfolded. Mayor Moe leaned back in his chair and caught the eye of Councilmember H. Edward Ricks at the far end of the dais.

NO. VOTE NO, mouthed the mayor.

All of the other council members were glancing at their papers, completely unaware of this not-so-secret communication.

“Mr. Ricks?” the clerk called out.

Ricks gave a pause. “Yes,” he slowly said, sounding beleaguered.

The mayor stared daggers at Ricks.

How is she going to translate this?

“Mayor Moe?” the clerk said.

He did not respond. Council Member Ricks stonily eyeballed the mayor. The pause was so pregnant, some of the other council members stopped shuffling their papers and glanced at Moe.

“Concur,” muttered the mayor at last.

“That concludes the normal agenda,” President Leszcz continued, blissfully clueless about what transpired.

At this point, His Honor broke into a grin and chuckled. I have no idea if this was a playful joke or if the mayor was genuinely pissed. He’s a more wily character than I gave him credit for.

All I know is this: Santa better watch his back in Laurel.

#68: Garden City, MI 11/21/16

Three days before Thanksgiving, the Garden City council was ablaze in festivity. I don’t know if everyone was hopped up on cranberry sauce or had been mainlining gravy in the bathroom, but city council members were chomping like Santa’s reindeer to do the People’s Business.

And it all kicked off with this electrifying audiovisual overload for the National Anthem, complete with a booming choir and tear-jerking stock footage:

What’s even more American than a waving flag? How about a waving Santa:

“I wanted to remind everybody that immediately following the Santaland Parade this Saturday, we will have Santa down at the old farmers market,” the city’s downtown development director reminded all the good little girls and boys.

“We will have cookies and hot chocolate for everybody and I believe the mayor will also be handing Santa the key to the city.” Hold the phone, mayor. Don’t you know how Santa works? He doesn’t NEED a key–he just slides down the chimney at city hall. DUH.

And speaking of sliding, a lady from the county commissioner’s office was all smiles about her own early Christmas present: a shiny new road.

“It’s looking GOOD!” she marveled. “I don’t know if you’ve been down on Cherry Hill Road but it is smooth as a whistle! They were working like ants. I’m like, WHOA!”

As a whistle! That is impressive! Most roads I’ve ridden on are smooth as a bumpy graham cracker. Clearly some deal with the devil was made here to get a whistle-smooth piece of turnpike.

“This road is slicker than a stick of butter in a microwave.”

However, the city council meeting was about careen through some deep potholes. And like most headaches, it started when the mayor opened up public comment on a contract to purchase discounted gasoline.

“How much money?!” shouted an elderly man in a neon safety vest as he hunched menacingly behind the podium.

“We’re getting it for 98 cents a gallon,” Mayor Randy Walker patiently explained.

“HUH?!” the man screamed.

“Gasoline for the police cars, fire trucks,” the mayor raised his own voice.

“BP has it $1.98!” the man slurred in disbelief.

“We get it cheaper. They don’t have to put all the taxes on it,” Mayor Walker reassured his accuser. “That’s a pretty good deal. I’ll take that.”

The elderly man, satisfied that Santa Claus wasn’t pulling a fast one on the taxpayers, turned and sat down.

Why is everyone else not wearing their protective safety gear?!

Next, it was Mayor Pro Tem Pat Squires’s turn to talk turkey. Clad in a pink “Santaland Parade” hoodie, she read from her notes. “I move to purchase an aerial lift truck from Wolverine Freightliner. Our old one is 26 years old and it is not able to be used anymore according to the state of Michigan.”

Well, that didn’t sit right with Mr. Vesty McYellington, who immediately shuffled to the podium.

“You can fix it up!”

Mayor Walker was insistent. “It’s 26 years old. We gotta get a new one!”

“Why buy a new one?! Fix it up! It’s my money! My tax dollars!” raspily bellowed this modern-day Scrooge.

But the mayor had made his list and checked it twice. “Oh-kay,” he sighed. Then the council voted: Garden City was getting a new truck under the tree.

Final thoughts: I give 10 out of 10 stars to Santa for delivering a smooth road, new truck, and amazing gas prices to Garden City. See you at the parade!

Interview #20: Mesa, AZ PIO Kevin Christopher (with podcast)

This podcast interview is available on iTunesStitcherPlayer FM and right here:

If you saw the Mesa city council meeting review, you’ll recognize Kevin Christopher as the announcer of a HUGE agenda. But did you know he once reported on city council meetings? He did–and he has the stories to prove it!

Q: You were a journalist covering city council meetings in the early 1980s. How were meetings different in the ’80s other than, obviously, uglier eyeglasses?

A: Yeah, and interesting hair and fashion! I think the biggest change is the technology. Nowadays, it’s very easy to find out the agendas.

Q: Were there always a lot of spectators?

A: I think because [Midwesterners] have deep roots, they tend to be a little more passionate about issues. We always had pretty good crowds. Madison had like 20 aldermen–for a population of about 250,000–

Q: Wow! Chicago has 50 alderman, and they certainly have more than double the population of Madison.

A: Even that’s huge. Fifty people! Cincinnati had nine. Mesa has seven.

Q: What do you think is the ideal number of city council members?

A: I think seven or nine is good.

Q: When you started in Cincinnati, Jerry Springer was there. Did he stand out at all during council meetings?

A: He was pretty colorful. He was very charismatic and personable and I think that’s what was very appealing.

Q: You’ve sat through city council meetings in Cincinnati, Madison, and Mesa. Take me down the list–who stuck out?

A: I think the most memorable was a woman in Cincinnati. It wasn’t her real name, but she went by Fifi Taft Rockefeller. She claimed to have affairs with presidents and Winston Churchill. She’d be at city council almost all the time.

Mesa, AZ Public Information Officer Kevin Christopher

A: Generally you put like a three-minute limit on people to speak. And in Madison, they didn’t do that. I’m thinking, “no wonder these meetings go six and seven hours.”

Q: They had no time limits?

A: No! I thought that was insane.

Q: It is! Other than running egregiously long meetings, how did council members treat you in the media?

A: As long as you were fair, they treated you very well. I remember in Cincinnati, they all enjoyed the microphones and cameras. If it wasn’t a particular hot button issue being debated at the time, they would get up in the middle of the meeting and you could go to the back of the room and talk.

Q: For your current job in Mesa, you read the entire agenda–45 items–and it took you eight whole minutes to get through. Do you prepare for that? Do you do vocal warm ups?

A: I look it over. There’s a few tricky–with restaurants and things that are in Spanish. My favorite of all time: a liquor license application for “What the Hell Bar & Grill.”

Q: Are there any memorable moments from Mesa?

A: When I first came to the city, we had one council member, Tom Rawles, who decided back in 2007 he was not going to stand for the Pledge of the Allegiance. So he kind of pulled a Colin Kaepernick. This was a protest against the war in Iraq. All of a sudden we started getting these people showing up at meetings and criticizing him. He actually got police protection for a few days to be safe. I’m not sure what he’s doing now.

Interview #19: Orlando, FL Commissioner Regina Hill (with podcast)

This podcast interview is available on iTunesStitcherPlayer FM and right here:

After watching an Orlando city council meeting, I sat down with Commissioner Regina Hill to find out just how wild things in Florida can get. It turns out, nothing rattles her. We talked about Harry Potter, alligators, and more sobering subjects.

Q: If Orlando city council meetings were a ride at Disney World, what would they be?

A.) It’s a Small World

B.) Space Mountain

C.) the boring monorail that takes you around the parking lot

A: It’s most definitely not a “Small World” here at council. And it’s not a boring ride on the monorail. I think it would be Space Mountain, but it’s not a roller coaster. I would call it…adventurous.

Q: Adventurous? Maybe more like something in the Harry Potter theme park?

A: I’m sorry, but I haven’t gone to the theme park. From what I understand about Harry Potter, most of it is magic and illusions. It’s real what we do here.

Q: I once heard from another city council member that they did not ask what they considered “basic” or “stupid” questions in the council meetings because people might judge them. Do you feel the same way?

A: I think to not ask a question does a disservice to our constituents. I am very direct. I say what I mean and I mean what I say.

Orlando, FL Commissioner Regina Hill

Q: During your campaign, it came out that you had been arrested as an adult. Do you think people treat you differently in the city council meetings because of that?

A: I mean, of course everyone has opinions. I’m very confident of who I am. I’m making some wrongs right. I try to remember that I am sitting here as someone who has been given this opportunity. I represent hope.

Q: You are in Florida. And the media is full of stories about Florida that are pretty wacky. What is the oddest thing that you have seen at a city council meeting?

A: I’ll tell you, when I’m sitting on the dais, I don’t look at any oddity. What I see is free speech. What might be strange to me is someone’s reality. I think it’s a beautiful thing when people can be themselves.

Q: I respect your respectfulness…but you’re telling me that if you were in the council chamber and an alligator walked in, THAT wouldn’t faze you at all?

A: What would faze me is: how did the security guards let an alligator get in the chambers?!

Q: [Laughs] That is such a good point!

A: Who was the gatekeeper? I wouldn’t be mad at the alligator!

Q: Commissioner, when do you think is the moment when you “made it?” Or do you feel like you have not made it yet?

A: I feel like I haven’t made it yet. But the night I was elected was–outside of becoming a nurse after getting my rights restored–one of the proudest moments that I can recall. Because it was almost like redemption. Even after people said I didn’t deserve an opportunity because of my past. I haven’t stopped working 60-70 hours a week since I’ve been elected. Even in the last year, I haven’t taken time off to grieve my daughter’s murder. It’s not easy being a public servant. But is it worth it? Absolutely.

Follow Commissioner Regina Hill on Twitter: @ReginaHillFL

#62: Mission, TX 10/24/16

Way down on the border of Mexico, things got as hot as tamales at the Mission city council meeting.

Standing tall and proud at the podium was the local chamber of commerce rep. And he had incredible news for fans of comically-oversized scissors:

“Last week we were happy to help Ramji & Associates celebrate their new location with a ribbon cutting. Special thanks to the mayor for taking the time to come.”

Nice! Mozel tov. Anything else going on?

“Bert Ogden Kia also celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting.”

Again, very cool. So moving on to other busin–

“We were excited to be part of the Mission EDC’s unveiling and we were even more excited to welcome them with a ribbon cutting.”

“My wedding was the second-happiest day of my life. The happiest? A ribbon cutting.”

Dude, how much ribbon do you have in this city? Is south Texas where the Strategic Ribbon Reserve is? Anywaaaaaaaay, for the council’s first item of–

“Frontier A/C and Capital Title of Texas also celebrated their chamber membership with a–”

Don’t say ribbon cutting. Don’t say ribbon cutting. Don’t say

“–ribbon cutting. We’ve had a lot lately.”

…No kidding. After Sir Ribbons McCuttington sat down, the council moved on to alcohol permits.

An employee in a blue plaid shirt stepped forward and leaned on the podium.

“This is for a conditional use permit for the consumption of alcoholic beverage.” He lit up the screen behind council members with a picture of the site in question. “Staff is recommending approval.”

Folks, I’ve seen this a dozen times. This’ll be over faster than you can say “Dallas Cowbo–

“I got a question,” slowly rumbled Councilman Ruben Plata. “What about the lighting on the parking lot? I was there two weeks ago and I didn’t see no lights.”

One camera is usually sufficient.

The employee hunted quickly for an answer. “He put some on the building…”

“On the parking lot?” Plata repeated unsatisfied. “Don’t we require it?”

Mayor Norberto Salinas jumped in. Well, not so much “jumped” as barely lifted his head while speaking sternly. “We’re supposed to have lighting in the parking lot,” he growled.

“Yes, sir,” the man responded nervously.

“You need to find out who developed the place. They need to come back and install those lightings.”

“Yes, sir. We’ll definitely do that. Yes, sir, mayor.” The nervousness was dialed up to 11. Look, I think we can all agree that there needs to be lighting, so let’s just move–

“Why do you bring it to us?” roared Councilman Plata angrily. “To me, this is a project that is not complete! I mean, you don’t have the lights.”

“I understand.”

You melted him with your questions!

Hey, can we let this die? Anybody? Mr. City Manager?

“Before this building was constructed, one of the requirements should have been lighting in the parking lot,” the city manager piled onto the clearly beleaguered employee.

“Yes, sir.”

“And NOT part of a conditional use permit.”

“Yes, sir. I understand.”

After all that time lambasting the unlucky fellow, city council approved the alcohol permit unanimously. Cold comfort indeed.

Final thoughts: I give 10 out of 10 Advil to the guy who had to stand there and take the council’s wrath. A true patriot.

#60: Spokane, WA 10/17/16

I can’t believe I am saying this.

This week’s Spokane city council meeting was b

Oh, god, I almost hurled. Okay, let’s try it again: the Spokane city council meeting was bo

Sorry. Bor

BORING. There, I did it.

Mind you, I never find council meetings boring. But for the love of Pete, just check out what was on the docket.

“The Friends of the Library has been a treasured supporter of the Spokane Public Library since 1973, and the Spokane Public Library is deeply grateful for their support,” read librarianly Council Member Karen Stratton.

Council Member Karen Stratton was runner up in the Librarian Lookalike Contest.

Terrific. Council Member Mike Fagan, you chaired the Public Safety Committee today?

“You bet. There was a wonderful article in The Spokesman regarding how the fire department is looking to include not only men but women and minorities,” he said.

Again, terrific. Is anything WRONG in this city? You, sir! Public commenter in the bad-to-the-bone leather jacket! Have you got something stuck in your craw?

“I started on a project that–I didn’t know what I was doing–to build my garage in [my wife’s] garden,” he led in while gripping the podium. “TOTAL compliments to your inspectors and the Planning Department! They’ve been wonderful in helping me–not knowing what I’m doing.”

“Did I mention I don’t know what I’m doing?”

Well, that about does it, folks. We’ve got five minutes left–all for a basic emergency ordinance to refinance some park bonds.

“This is just your basic refinance of some park bonds,” explained Council President Ben Stuckart, “so we can pay them off and it’ll get us a lower interest rate. We have one person signed up for public testimony.”

A blonde-haired woman with a long skirt and sandals breezed up to the podium. I wonder which city department she’ll compliment this time.

“I’m not a whole lot familiar with bonds, but it seems to me it’s a lot like payday loans. It’s for like, you know, rich politicians in the city,” she grumbled, waving her arms in the general direction of the council members. “It’s hypocritical that you guys–the council doesn’t have any regulations like that and–

Council President Stuckart bristled at this suggestion. “No. This is part of the park bond that the citizens voted over 70 percent for,” he interjected during her criticisms. “I’ll let you have more time, but it’s NOT something we’re just doing without a vote of the citizens.”

Note to public commenters: stop. wearing. black.

The woman, unfazed, parried to a different line of attack. “But it’s not an emergency. It should be just like the poor man. If you can’t go out and borrow five different payday loans or whatever, why do you get to call a park bond an emergency?”

“You want me to describe it to you?” Stuckart again interjected. This time, she blazed ahead.

“REAL emergency is creating homeless people! Tearing down neighborhoods and not letting them get a payday loan! That’s my comment.”

As she walked away, President Stuckart could not resist one more retort. “It’s called an EMERGENCY ordinance because it requires five votes instead of four,” he called.

But she was already gone.

Final thoughts: I have to admit, the meeting turned out to be electrifying after all. I’m suddenly interested in bonds and payday loans! 10 out of 10 stars to both.

Interview #16: Homer, AK Mayor Beth Wythe (with podcast)

This podcast interview is available on iTunesStitcherPlayer FM and right here:

Beth Wythe has been mayor and city council member in Homer for eight years–and yesterday was actually her last day at city hall. I wanted to get her parting thoughts on everything from breaking tie votes to silencing talkative people…to salmon. Yes, salmon.

Q: Fill in the blank for me: if Homer city council meetings were an animal, they would be a ________.

A: [Laughs] I have to think about that because they can be anything.

Q: What is the hardest part about being in charge of a council meeting?

A: I don’t have a difficulty with it. I do have council members that really want their opinion to be the dominating opinion. And then you have other council members that are a little more withdrawn. And you want to draw them out.

Q: So if someone is monopolizing the discussion, how do you gently nudge them to give the other people some space to get in?

A: The rule of order is that you get to have your say and you get to have one response. You can’t just go back and forth. I will just say, “excuse me, this [other] person would like to have something to say.”

Q: When you were just a council member, were you more talkative or less talkative?

A: I just don’t like to argue in public. Even as the mayor I don’t try to make my opinion the stronger one.

Q: The mayor does not have a vote at city council meetings–

A: Only in the case of a tie.

Q: Right, which doesn’t happen often?

Homer, AK Mayor Beth Wythe

A: More frequently than you might think. Where that can be frustrating for the community is that I’m a very conservative person. And so when it comes to me deciding, it’s, like, always going to fall on the conservative side of the table. It’s better for the community if there is good consensus with the council.

Q: So you prefer not casting a vote if it means everyone else is on the same page?

A: Right.

Q: That’s very self-sacrificing of you.

A: I think it’s not about me. When it becomes about “I need to have a vote” and “I need to have my voice heard”–when it becomes about the mayor, I think the mayor’s not doing their job.

Q: Does anyone get prone to hyperbole and threaten to walk out?

A: Right now, we don’t have anyone on the council that does not function in a professional capacity. It’s not like you have housewives–which wouldn’t be a bad thing–but it’s not like you have housewives or people that are not accustomed to conducting a business meeting.

Q: Mmhmm.

A: I’m still thinking about the animal thing. And I haven’t come up with one!

Q: Let’s try to come up with one together.

A: Think of something mellow. It’s not like the yippie dog that needs all the attention. We’re not that.

Q: Cats are fairly mellow. But they’re also sleepy and lazy and they can scratch you.

A: Yeah…

Q: Goldfish are mellow.

A: We are a fishing society. Maybe we’re salmon. There are lots of varieties and they’re highly valued. I’m going with salmon!

#57: Gadsden, AL 10/4/16

Despite the best efforts of one joker, the Gadsden city council managed to get a thing or two done on Tuesday.

I knew there would be trouble in the chamber when Council President Deverick Williams had his questioning about a run-down property interrupted.

“Brian, there was some discussion about whether or not this was rehab-able. Is there something we’re not seeing with the pictures?”

The city’s chief building officer started to respond. “We looked at all of them and, based on the tax appraisal–”

All of a sudden a newscaster’s distant voice crackled through the room.


Council Member Ben Reed leapt forward–or, more accurately, took his sweet time in reaching–to silence his cell phone.

Well, I hope you brought enough to share with the rest of the council, mister.

President Williams froze. Then he turned back to the city employee. “I may need you to repeat that last part.”

The room broke down in laughter. “Sorry, it sounded like my voice changed there,” the man quipped in reply.

From here, the meeting segued nicely into a series of civic announcements.

“People think that First Friday ends in October, but let me stress to you: tell all your friends and your neighbors, we go until December,” the director of Downtown Gadsden pleaded to anyone within earshot. “We got the tractors this First Friday! Kings of Swing will be at Fourth and Broad. They’re always a big crowd favorite.”

But life in Gadsden isn’t all fun and games. Exhibit A: Mayor Sherman Guyton’s full-frontal attack on childhood lackadaisy:

“When kids get home, if they get past seven, eight years old and they can’t read and understand what they read, they start going downhill. They need to do a lot of homework and study when they get home. If they’re settin’ around the house, make ’em go to work.”

“Homework? UGH, DAD, I HATE YOU.”

Then, at the end of the dais, it was Council Member Reed’s turn to speak. He brought up–what else–his outburst from earlier.

“I’m gonna apologize to the council and to the mayor for my phone going off,” he slowly drawled to chuckles. “But I’m gonna tell y’all–this is a fact–I put it on vibrate. I put it on mute. FYI, when you touch the Weather Channel, that baby’s comin’ on.” Yeah, likely story.

President Williams attempted to divert the council to a more serious matter. “October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Wear as much pink as you got. Some of us got more pink in our closet than others–” he said casually, glancing at Council Member Billy Billingsley.

Council Member Reed, the white-haired class clown, immediately pounced. “I wanna know about the pink clothes in Billy’s closet!”

“What color underwear ya got on? Twenty bucks says it’s as pink as a baby’s tush.”

After the snickers subsided, the council president patiently responded, “I didn’t say a word. I just looked that way.”

“Oh-kay,” Reed winked at the crowd.

Final thoughts: I give 10 out of 10 stars to Council Member Billy Billingsley. So what if the man has pink clothes? City councils could use more liberated males!