Wednesday, May 26, 2010
"Reformists" one up Taft with citizen coup, Foster's assumes mayor position!
A standing room only crowd would bear witness as the carefully crafted attempt to neuter our newly elected mayor fell flat. Although Winslow, Anderson, Lukkason and Cowell were eager to amend the Town Code code, Jose Lizzarraga abstained, and Bob Kelley (in failing health) was the only Council Member who voted in opposition to the the obvious conspiracy. One by one, citizens, many of whom never speak at or even attend these meetings, stepped up to the podium to voice their opposition to the evenings agenda.
"Why now?" "What does this mean, I don't understand what you're trying to do?" "Why don't you swear in the new Mayor?" "If you vote for this I can promise you a recall!" were some of the concerns voiced. Taft and company tried to justify the proposals as a necessary reaction to the can of worms opened up by the Steve Bennet swimming pool "emergency", but her argument didn't hold water with the audience.
As the majority voted in favor of the proposed amendments to the Town Code, supporters of Foster remained calm and allowed the Council to show their true colors. They shared a delicious secret...and now that the cat is out of the bag, I will share it with you.
You see dear readers, the Agenda is not official until signed by the "Mayor". A fact that was not lost on our savvy new chief executive officer. I suspect that he may have even winked across the counter at Town Clerk Karen Norris when he picked up the meeting packet earlier that day. She must be relieved that what was surely the worst week at Town Hall is finally over.
With wife Mary seated front row, sore loser Wes Huntley made repeated attempts to silence the crowd. Banging his gavel and ordering the police to remove citizens. After he had motioned to discuss the agenda item to accept the County's election results, Huntley made a pathetic speech, then walked out of the room. As the crowd stood and cheered his departure, leaving Vice Mayor Barbara Cowell to pick up the gavel and call for a vote.
Then finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for; Foster, looking every bit the ex Marine was officially sworn in by doomed magistrate Terry Frausto. (Her recent assumption of dual roles as both magistrate and Town grants administer may violate Article VI, Section 28 of the Arizona Constitution.)
As Ed Foster was seated, someone called out to get rid of Huntley's name placard. A grinning Foster was happy to oblige. Then Foster allowed the people their free expression at "Call to the Public". Many new faces stepped up to the mike to welcome him, and a card was passed around for well wishers to sign before a triumphant Foster closed the meeting.
The informal celebration was at McDonalds, a regular after meeting hang out for incumbents and opposition supporters alike. Stay tuned to see if the "new council" will ever be eating at the same table.