Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Why pick on Joel? Is there a point?

I received this comment from someone -
You may not agree with Joel but he works at many community events and donates to many community organizations.
I think he is the worst performing city council member and I'm publicly challenging him to do better. He can easily do better, by doing better. I don't care if he volunteers or gives money, I want him to be a better city council member.

There is a theory that you should limit your giving and volunteering to only one charity, when you work at many, you are doing it to make you feel better about yourself (taken from that "More Sex is Safer Sex" book I have written about before). Clearly, Joel's greatest impact would be to spend all of his volunteer hours working on city business (as Brad does). Pickup up trash or stumping for Sheila time, would be far better used by Joel figuring out how to make Carbondale better. In his time in office, Joel has proposed nothing to make the city better.

I have talked to Joel, he doesn't have a clue about what a city government does or should do. The guy needs a training class or to read up on why the citizens of cities agree to pay taxes and what they expect in return. The stuff he says is amazing! Not that this is unusual for people who work in non-profits and universities their whole careers, they think that money just grows on trees and the world owes them something.

Joel consistently votes based on his personal feelings about other people, instead of on what is better for the city. Now when you are in Junior High School this is OK, but it isn't OK for grown men who have promised to serve the city.

Once Joel starts to behave like an adult, I will go and pick on the next worst city council member and ask for improvement. I don't care if he is a good guy or a nice guy or a smart guy. I care that he goes and performs at a high level for the city and he isn't doing it. I hope that taking a stick to Joel will motivate him to perform much better then he as been.

This is the power of this nasty blog. Pointing out what is clearly wrong and at least discussing it. Out in the real world, people actually analyze performance and give feedback. It isn't nasty, it is what is normal.


Anonymous said...

I think the entire council is a group of lead by the leash puppies who are in it for their own egos and/or for their personal agendas.
If an item is not on their agenda then they just vote the way Brad Cole tells them to and he knows it.
The sooner they start taking their job seriously the better. Frankly, I cannot tell who is worse.
Peter did you get an invitation to the invitational city council meeting last night? You were a big supporter I can't image you were not there.

Kyle Raccio said...

I see Joel almost on a daily basis. Sometimes he is on campus and sometimes riding his motorcycle on the streets. When we talk he is very interested in my concerns, suggestions for the city. What I see from him is genuine care.

I disagree with this characterization because he is a politician who knows he is beholden to the voters before the companies, and as everyone who reads this knows, those are my favorite people.

Peter in Carbondale said...

So you see him everyday and he really panders to you. Great. Now, tell us what he has done while on the city council? What? Nothing?

Come on Kyle, use your head.

Scott said...

Since when was "pandering" - or, more appropriately - listening to voters a bad thing in democracy? You've made this point on a number of occassions, Peter, but you've never clarified why its a bad thing. As a political scientist, I'd be interested in hearing why listening to voters is such a bad thing.

And, please, try to avoid platitudes about the need for leadership. ;)

Peter in Carbondale said...

From Anonymous in the first position. I did get a letter to go last night, I did give Brad a campaign contribution, but I didn't go. I was home reading stories to the boys.

As I wrote in some other comment today, the question is if you are voting for the right things or not. You can't just vote against everything, most items before the city council are reasonable and should be voted for. Joel is over the line, he votes against everything.

As far as lap dogs, I think it is more a matter of who puts in the hours. Not doing the work, makes you a lap dog.

Peter in Carbondale said...

Hi Scott,

If a politician listens and does nothing, does it matter if they listen? I call Joel's listening to Kyle pandering, because Joel never takes any productive action because of it. You could argue that someday in the future, Joel will start to function on the city council. But, we haven't seen that yet. I'm hoping that he is reading this and gets a chip on his shoulder because of it. I have hope for him, but he clearly needs a kick in the tush.

This is pretty standard stuff for an Illinois politician. I would have thought a political science professor wouldn't need it explained? ;) As Paul Simon wrote, we are in a Culture of Pandering. Joel is just playing the accepted game.

I have to admit, if you are really a PoliSci prof. and didn't know this already, it is disappointing.

Thanks for writing in.

dave said...

I know Joel Fritzler, you know. . . . And you are no Joel Fritzler. ;-)

Scott said...

Well, Peter, I for one have watched a number of the council meetings and agree with many of Joel's votes. Right at the top of the list of work he's done I agree with is the fight against the CVS move (which I'm sure Kyle also opposed). Just because you don't think Joel is doing something does not in fact mean he's not doing things consistent with what other people want.

But thanks for explaining your answer.

Peter in Carbondale said...

You agree with many votes? Kind of like agreeing with many of Walter Wendler's decisions isn't it? There are lots of votes, some good and some bad. What percentage do they have to get right to make you happy?

What happens if they get votes 60% right, never prepare, never say anything on the record and never propose anything? Is that good enough?

Scott said...

You agree with many votes? Kind of like agreeing with many of Walter Wendler's decisions isn't it?


Not at all, Peter. Just because you and I don't see eye to eye on what a good vote doesn't mean that there is something wrong with my point of view or that its comparable to a Chancellor who made horrible political mistakes.

What happens if they get votes 60% right, never prepare, never say anything on the record and never propose anything? Is that good enough?

You're offering conjecture here, Peter, and not facts. Joel in fact speaks "on the record" frequently and is also prepared in my opinion. As far as never "proposing anything," I'm not sure why you've come up with this standard as a way of evaluating a council member. If they were all constantly proposing thing, they would quite likely be incapable of fullfilling other legislative functions (e.g., oversight). Fair enough it that's what you want, but I don't think that we need over politicize city business and over legislate.