#39: West Valley City, UT 7/26/16

Maybe it was the summer heat or the moon in the Seventh House, but the 6:30 p.m. West Valley City council meeting felt more like an 8 a.m. college seminar: sleepy. The hypnotic monotone of Mayor Ron Bigelow certainly didn’t help.

“We turn to Councilmember Steve Vincent for our opening ceremony,” he murmured. “Opening ceremony” eh? Like the Olympics? By all means, bring out the drumline! Commence the light show! Sprint down the aisle with a flaming torch!

“I was trying to find something that I could present for Pioneer Day,” the councilmember teased us. “On my dad’s side of our family, when they came to New York, they didn’t have enough money to come west. So [my grandfather] laid telegraph line across the Plains to get to Utah.” (I’m getting the feeling that calling this an “opening ceremony” was a slight exaggeration.)

“He’d write stories about how they’d lay a few hundred yards of telegraph line and then the next morning they would have to redo it because they’d been torn down by Indians. Anyway, I think we all need to reflect on our pioneer heritage.”

Ah yes, what would an opening ceremony be without a little Indian sabotage?

Mayor Bigelow stared at his notes. “Was there anyone here who wanted to make public comments?” Pause. “Apparently not. A lot of comments, just not public,” he deadpanned.

“To our council, any comments tonight?” Crickets. “Nothing you wanna bring up? Oh-kay.” Imagine if Eeyore chugged a bottle of Nyquil and you’ve got Mayor Bigelow.

“Does the cat who’s got your tongues wish to speak?”

Because everyone was so tight-lipped, the council sailed through the rest of the meeting as fast as the mayor could talk.

“We go to item 8–this is for the purchase of a data backup system. We have a lot of data we have to store. In fact, you can go out and listen to any of our council meetings.”

Well, I’ll be damned. Something I can get behind! Back up those council meetings, baby!

Next item: “We need to do it tonight,” warned the mayor about the “asphalt polymer treatment project.”

“It’s a polymer mastic seal to prevent oxidation of the asphalt oil from the water infiltration and ultraviolet exposure,” he explained in an impressive display of vocabulary. “In other words, so it doesn’t break up from the water and the sun, I guess is the way you would put that.” Actually, the way I would put that is “rubbing some lotion on the road,” but I’m a dummy.

With the road massaged and the data safe and sound, the council adjourned.

Final thoughts: For doing all the heavy lifting, I give 10 out of 10 stars to Councilmember Vincent’s telegraph-laying grandfather. Bravo, sir.