Hey Democrats--Find Yourself In A Bind? Why You Should Nominate Me For Mayor...Seriously...NOT!!!!! ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hey Democrats--Find Yourself In A Bind? Why You Should Nominate Me For Mayor...Seriously...NOT!!!!!

Hey-Democratic leaders and voters of all stripes...I am available to fill your newly-opened slot, but I won't be taking your marching orders...and if you elect me the first thing I am going to do will be:

To ask every appointed official for their resignation and a letter explaining what they plan to do for the next four years if I decide to keep them on--look out!

Then, it gets better....

I'll review and likely suspend most contracts and place a moratorium on employee contracting

I will work to hire the best city administrator possible--credentialed or not, even if it means returning a substantial portion of my pay to make the difference.

I am going to immediately start working to enact a council-manager form of government by first being nice and then if needed, by browbeating and arm-twisting the city council. Any council member not willing to play will be publicly tickled by my puppy until he or she says "Uncle". If they don't say "Uncle" my ferocious Doberman will be instructed to bite. Every voter who signed the petition will be invited to a huge rally where we will push to get more signatures on the petition. With the bully pulpit of the mayor, we will push and push to make it happen...

Then I am going to create a "Truth Commission" with the Office of the State Prosecutor to investigate the financial and contractual irregularities of the last eight years.

The next thing I'll do will be to move most--but not all city employees parking at the Hillman Garage out to the Knighton Garage. Once I accept the resignation of the transportation director, we'll revise the downtown shuttle systems to make a triangular route between the stadium, Church Circle and West Street. The free downtown area will be properly marketed. Employees walking, taking the bus or riding a bike to work will be afforded one-half administrative leave day with pay each month and be afforded flexible hours when possible. All employees will ride buses for free.  We will consider creating a parking authority to rule over all parking issues and bring them under one roof instead of everywhere and nowhere with nobody in charge.....but, by enacting the policies I hope to enact, parking will gradually fade away as an issue of contention because demand will be drastically reduced.

We will remove all parking from City Dock and turn it into a real "park"  and not a parking lot. Major downtown streets will be made car-free on certain days. Artists, craftspersons and musicians actually living in and paying taxes--and voting in Annapolis will be given priority to perform or sell at this new park.

The Public Information Officer will become just that--and not a press secretary to the mayor. The PIO will report to the city administrator and then eventually to the city manager.

I will set up a regular weekly meeting with the administrator and a top appointee of the Leopold Administration.

I will make office space available for the aldermen and do my best to provide some administrative or clerical support for them.

I will make regular, unannounced visits to all city offices, but mainly to public works and transportation--and I will ride buses as often as possible to ensure they are working properly.

I will walk and bike and take buses around town and be accessible to all citizens in that manner as well as with regular office "gripe" sessions.

I will walk neighborhoods with the police chief and city officials to meet with community leaders--and in public housing as well.

I will appoint a citizen's commission to create an action plan for overhauling public housing. All options will be explored. Meetings will only be held at public housing communities and residents will be properly informed.

I will hold real community conversations on issues such as race, poverty, the income gap and public housing. We will consider privatization, and even consider no longer accepting HUD funds to take over the property and sell it to a public-private partnership. Everything is on the table but it must be overhauled.

My number one budgetary goal will be to reduce departments, high-paid department heads and to make an across-the-board budget reduction in every department.

Every city employee will be gently and respectfully informed that their number one goal is to serve citizens as if they are customers. There will be a special telephone or online service, possibly becoming the office of ombudsman, to advocate on behalf of citizens and hear citizen concerns and complaints. Any city employee found to be unresponsive or disrespectful to citizens will be reprimanded. Any citizen found to be rude and disrespectful to a city employee will have to answer to me. The ombudsman will report directly to City Council and the Mayor.

An interdepartmental working committee, chaired by the city administrator and eventually City Manager will quickly review, revise and present a plan to streamline all permitting processes for City Council to approve. Citizens and business owners will also participate.

The city magazine, news station and other wasteful propaganda tools will be shut down until analyzed to determine their importance--if any. Assets will be sold if needed and the property turned in to other uses.

The Recreation and Parks Dept will set up public meetings to determine how best to utilize and make the news building be productive and revenue producing. It will not be named for Ellen Moyer.

We will seriously review the recommendations of the committee that has been studying the Market House. With no guarantees or promises, my plan would be to have a commission oversee the location, and have the city hire a manager to run the place--not to make money for the city but to run it the best way for everyone.

I will introduce charter amendment legislation to eliminate partisan city elections.

The Department of Economic Affairs will be dismantled.

DNEP, Planning and Zoning and Public Works in particular will be slated for some form of merger and DNEP is likely to be dismantled. Planning and Zoning and DNEP will have to justify their bloated bureaucracies and budgets or face potentially massive layoffs and restructuring. Transportation will be merged with the county or merged into Public Works after it gets a full audit.

We will investigate bringing the maintenance of all city vehicles under the control of one central garage or into a centrally-operated system, another reason to merge Transportation into Public Works.

It will be my priority to advance walking, bicycling and public transit use to reduce parking pressure, congestion, improve our health, clean our air, quiet the downtown and to create citizen-led policy to bring about a long-term reduction of automobile use in the city.

I will meet on a regular basis with the heads of  the Visitors Bureau, Maryland Hall etc. to coordinate the city's ability to assist and support the arts and tourism.

I will meet on a regular basis with the heads of all city-based non-profits  to coordinate the city's ability to assist and support the arts and tourism, promote opportunities for youth and make sure our most challenged citizens are heard.

I will meet regularly with the principals and PTSA leaders of the Annapolis schools to determine how the city can best assist and support the children and families who make up the study body in the schools. To heck with their bloated and infested bureaucracy at Riva Road and union on Main Street. Don't expect anything from them. Our goal will be to focus on how the city can properly help the homes from where the school children originate.

We will study--I said STUDY the idea of merging police and fire and transportation with the county-but that will be done by the administrator/manager from a budget-finance perspective. If there is a proposal to follow through, it will be done with complete public involvement.

I will direct employees to create an innovative storm-water management plan that will be the major environmental focus in addition to reducing automobile use. Trees are darn important but should be handled through fewer city programs and more citizen programs.

I will introduce legislation to ban Segways from sidewalks, explore all options to fix our sidewalks and create a special police unit for walking, bicycling and bus system safety and enforcement.

I will explore reducing health care costs and improving performance for city employees by negotiating reduced fees for preventive care with local, city-based health and medical providers in exchange for tax breaks and guaranteed contracts. This is expected to create greatly reduced chiropractic, vision and eye care as well as bodywork and massage therapies for city employees. We will also seek reduced fees at local gyms. This will lower city employee health care costs and keep employees healthier and more productive.

These are just a few of the many things I will do as your mayor....but please--even if anyone took me seriously, I don't want to be mayor. I am absolutely not qualified to be mayor--unless we had a council-manager form of government. Of course I am not sure most candidates are qualified either. Besides that--in order to get elected, you have to run a beauty and popularity contest--and that would eliminate me for sure....

(That made me feel like the Lion in The Wizard of Oz...you know, if I were king? Or maybe I am more like Dorothy throwing cold water on the witch....and watching her melt into nothing....oh what wickedness....)

Join us every Thursday morning, from 8-9 am for our Sip N' Blogs at ZU Coffee, 934 Bay Ridge Road, Annapolis, Maryland, in the Giant Shopping Center. Sept-24--Jennifer Monteith.
Oct 1--James Conley
Oct 8--Mat Silverman
Stop by on your way to work for your morning latte and meet other local activists. Zu now has a drive-thru window!


Greg Stiverson said...

Paul - When the ADCC nominates you tonight, you can be sure of my vote on November 3. Not because I agree with everything you propose--although I agree with about 99 percent of it--but because you have the courage to state clearly and unequivocally where you stand on the ISSUES.

Yes, you would never win a political beauty contest--or any other kind of beauty contest, I would wager--but you have set a standard for political debate in your faux campaign manifesto that all candidates should emulate.

Not only should other candidates for mayor and aldermen emulate your detailed and articulate exposition of the problems and potential solutions this city faces, but the voters should demand it. We, the voters, should not cast our vote based on race, gender, or political party affiliation but on a candidate's experience, qualifications, and, above all, a specific list of actions he/she would take if given the privilege to serve the citizens of Annapolis.

Paul Foer said...

Greg--Perhaps we are starry-eyed idealists because we believe in ideas, issues, plans, solutions etc., etc but the voters only want beauty. Witness the events of the last few weeks. You are asking a lot of the electorate who does not give a S$#%^@**# and gets what they deserve--but screws the rest of us in the process.
You talk issues and you talk citizen involvement but it seems that more comments have been written in online in the past week than votes were cast on the 15th.
Tonight will not be a pretty site. I don't even want to be there. I'll count on you and other observers to report back... thanks
p.s. So, you don't think I'd win a beauty contest? Harrummph..

Big Daddy Mike said...

I'll hire you when I run for AA County Council...


Paul Foer said...

Big Daddy Thanks for the kind thought...but no thanks....if you want to hire me for something, start paying me for all this writing---please!!!! CP

Anonymous said...

Well, you are not qualified to run because you don't have a DONATE HERE button on your website. Every politician worth his salt has a DONATE HERE button.

Maybe Zina can give you hers. She won't be using it any longer.

But seriously, instead of whining and begging for people to give you money and making them jump through hoops to email you here, write a check there, do this and do that, just put a DONATE HERE button on the darned site and rather than big checks of $50 and $100 you might see many donations of $2, $5, or $10.

And then you can use it to gauge how well you are cut out to be a politician. It is all about raising the money!

Paul Foer said...

Once again I break my own rule--that is a great letter...and I appreciate it, but it does not stop you from sending me a check....can you contact me and help me figure out how to do this "donate here" button? Seriously, I am a writer, not a blog techie....so you think this whole campaign thing is about raising money??? fer real?
Huh,,,and I thought it was about just making a bunch of baloney promises to woo suckers....but money? Damn--I better go out and start getting more money, more money....where should I start? Developers? Land-use lawyers? Bloggers?..What makes you so sure Zina Pierre won't use her donate here button anymore????

Will Small said...

You'll never make it because you take clear positions and all too likely would honor them - every voter knows a good pol has to rub grease all over their jello-like body, squeeze through the word mincer and recongeal at the end of the processing plant ready to do the bidding of their patron donors/ party / propoganda-political machine while making token gestures at your promises

pps you have my vote and Nico and I can campaign with you soon

Paul Foer said...



I'm a regular reader and felt compelled to write you about your above referenced post. Although I don't agree with everything in your platform, I do agree with a huge number of them. I think your ideas relating to decreasing vehicle traffic, specially downtown are phenomenal and hope you will continue to try to influence the policy debate with your blog or possibly even running again for office. Keep up the good work and I'll hopefully meet up with you sometime at one of your Sip N' Blogs.

Roberto L. Veloso

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