We’ve got it. No question. Undeniable. The best television show on cable TV is filmed live right here at City Hall in DeKalb.
Saturday Night Live couldn’t hold a candle to Live From City Hall Every Other Monday Night on Cable 14. Last night’s episode was hilarious if not for the fact that the City of DeKalb could be facing a $2 million deficit in its FY10 operating budget.
My choice for Best Supporting Actor would hands down go to Tom Teresinski (2nd Ward) for his outstanding work in the role of straight man to the comedic gadfly, Bertrand Simpson (1st). Teresinski’s expression never changes as the alderman to his right goes from one awful routine to one that is worse.
Take this example. (paraphrasing)
“Popular Mechanics says that electricity generated wirelessly is just around the corner,” said Simpson, on the discussion regarding whether or not to spend additional monies on wiring for tree lights along Locust and Lincoln Highway. “But having said that I support the expenditure.”
While certainly not as exciting as the NFC championship game between the Vikings and the Saints the DeKalb City Council has its own version of Brett Favre.
It’s Dave Baker, gunslinging QB, sure to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
After declaring his motive for voting against the Locust/Lincoln Street project was to put it off for a year (to buy DeKalb businesses some time to recover) Baker ends up with the deciding vote on the measure.
Clerk, call the roll please.
“Alderman Keller? ‘No.'”
“Alderman Simpson? ‘Yes.'”
“Alderman Teresinski? ‘Yes.'”
“Alderman Verbic? ‘No.'”
“Alderman Gallagher? ‘No.'”
“Alderman Naylor? ‘Yes.'”
“Alderman Baker? ‘No, but I just want to make sure the new member on the council knows how she is voting.'”
Victory for Baker? Reprieve for DeKalb businesses here at last? Not so fast. At least not as fast as Baker made a motion to reconsider.
Had the original vote stood the project would have been delayed a year. INTERCEPTION!
Cable 14 is priceless and not only for its entertainment value. It has brought on a new transparency to DeKalb government never before witnessed, live on TV.
Baker’s motion to reconsider was seconded by Ron Naylor, who asked Baker to make the motion to reconsider. Naylor couldn’t make such a motion that would be against the rules. So in full transparency the audience watched the rules get bent.
And then, while the motion to reconsider was being discussed, there’s City Clerk Steve Kapitan in plain view having a private conversation with Brent Keller who then made a complicated split question motion that saved the day or at least made it some $60,000 better for Hitchcock Designs.
You can’t touch this.
Full disclosure: I applied for the 3rd vacancy created by Victor Wogen’s resignation. Obviously, I was not selected. Nor was I interviewed. Some might suggest that I have sour grapes. I would argue that if I did not criticize city business that would be sour grapes. Besides, this was just too easy. Too. Easy.
PS: A warm welcome to Pam Verbic who I thank for her vote, and it was contrary to Mayor Povlsen’s position, on the Lincoln/Locust project. It was not a vote against the project. It was a vote based on answers to her questions and it was a vote this 3rd ward constituent appreciated.