Compare and Contrast: Seth McKeel and David Greene

Seth McKeel
mckeelAfter including Seth McKeel in my Friday night callout of local conservative politicos concerning their spiritual leader El Rushbo, I’m going to praise him today. You may know this already, but McKeel has begun to write over at Metro I4 News. He’s focusing on questions of regionalism. I’ve already asked him a couple of specific questions, which he praised but didn’t answer. Hopefully that will change. (My enormous ego is susceptible to flattery, but not that susceptible.) But McKeel’s willingness to publicly subject his thoughts to smart-alecks like me deserves kudos. Not enough politicians are willing to do it.

Which brings us to the looming departure of David Greene. You all know my take on him. Not necessarily worth rehashing. But I wanted to note something from one of Merissa Green’s stories.

Another change after the election was the growth in attendance at the twice-per-month commission meetings, which Greene said made him uncomfortable.

greene_profile“I just had a feeling of discomfort at City Commission meetings,” Greene said. “(The audience) seemed to have an expectant attitude like they expected something to happen. I haven’t felt comfortable (since the September election) in my role as city manager even though I was reassured in my abilities in individual conversation with the commissioners.”

The top official of a government chosen by the public, from the public, for the benefit of the public, and whom the public pays more than $170,000 per year, can’t stand public meetings that some members of the public bother to attend. This is bewildering to me. Hell, I stutter and insult people on a regular basis, and I’m not afraid of the public. I don’t get it. Isn’t interaction with the public – your boss – pretty high on the job description bullet-point list for any government job, most especially city manager? Psychologically, Greene seems to be in the wrong line of work. If you really want to serve the public honorably, in a way that doesn’t require much interaction with humans, go work as a garbage collector. Important, valuable work. And you don’t really have to worry about conflict or the messiness of democracy.

And finally, there seems to much hue and cry from the politico/business establishment over there about how irreplaceable David Greene is. Let me just remind you of the great quote from Charles deGaulle: “The graveyards are full of indispensable men.” The sun will come up the day after the Greene era ends.

Creative Commons License front photo credit: vanhookc

10 thoughts on “Compare and Contrast: Seth McKeel and David Greene

  1. “The top official of a government chosen by the public, from the public”
    Billy, when did the “public” chose David Greene?

  2. “The top official of a government chosen by the public, from the public”
    Billy, when did the “public” chose David Greene?

  3. David: At the risk of sounding, well, Billyish, at what point did I write the public “chose David Greene?” I wrote that he is the top official of a government chosen, etc, etc. Government is the object in that sentence, not David Greene.

    But not reading what I actually wrote aside, is it your position that appointed government officials – police chiefs, planning directors, city managers, etc. – need not concern themselves with public interaction? If so, remind me never to vote for you for anything.

  4. David: At the risk of sounding, well, Billyish, at what point did I write the public “chose David Greene?” I wrote that he is the top official of a government chosen, etc, etc. Government is the object in that sentence, not David Greene.

    But not reading what I actually wrote aside, is it your position that appointed government officials – police chiefs, planning directors, city managers, etc. – need not concern themselves with public interaction? If so, remind me never to vote for you for anything.

  5. Upon further review of the entire sentence, I may owe David (Brandt, not Green) at least a qualified apology.

    “The top official of a government chosen by the public, from the public, for the benefit of the public, and whom the public pays more than $170,000 per year, can’t stand public meetings that some members of the public bother to attend.”

    There’s a lot going on in that sentence, and I have an extraneous “and” that I think complicates it and I can see where he might have gotten confused. I think a close reading would still make it clear what I was saying, but I could have been clearer. Nonetheless, the larger point about interaction for important officials remains.

  6. Upon further review of the entire sentence, I may owe David (Brandt, not Green) at least a qualified apology.

    “The top official of a government chosen by the public, from the public, for the benefit of the public, and whom the public pays more than $170,000 per year, can’t stand public meetings that some members of the public bother to attend.”

    There’s a lot going on in that sentence, and I have an extraneous “and” that I think complicates it and I can see where he might have gotten confused. I think a close reading would still make it clear what I was saying, but I could have been clearer. Nonetheless, the larger point about interaction for important officials remains.

  7. I really think the issue is not the attendance at public meetings but the fact that you have two commissioners who ran on a platform of replacing the City Manager, and when they got in office, realized that it was not just going to happen. The second point is that they make comments to the press and to their supporters that they don’t or won’t make at a public meeting. It is possible to deal with large crowds and to disagree with fellow commissioners and still be civil about it. Believe me, I’ve been there. One way to do it is to have the courage be up front and honest with your opinions in every situation, regardless of who you are talking to. Maybe even your campaign supporters.

  8. I really think the issue is not the attendance at public meetings but the fact that you have two commissioners who ran on a platform of replacing the City Manager, and when they got in office, realized that it was not just going to happen. The second point is that they make comments to the press and to their supporters that they don’t or won’t make at a public meeting. It is possible to deal with large crowds and to disagree with fellow commissioners and still be civil about it. Believe me, I’ve been there. One way to do it is to have the courage be up front and honest with your opinions in every situation, regardless of who you are talking to. Maybe even your campaign supporters.

  9. Billy, the statement “The top official of a government chosen by the public, from the public” was the point that I interpreted you mean ““The top official of a government chosen by the public from the public” Yes, I did think the subject noun in that sentence was was “top official”, not “government”. (I remember some diagramming from school). Thanks for you explanation.
    I agree that the appointed employees are as accountable to the public as much as the elected official that gave them the their job. Their job description should include an required public interaction, negotiated between them at time of hire. We should protect open pubic debates, with transparency, weather it is from an elected government official or an appointed government official.

  10. Billy, the statement “The top official of a government chosen by the public, from the public” was the point that I interpreted you mean ““The top official of a government chosen by the public from the public” Yes, I did think the subject noun in that sentence was was “top official”, not “government”. (I remember some diagramming from school). Thanks for you explanation.
    I agree that the appointed employees are as accountable to the public as much as the elected official that gave them the their job. Their job description should include an required public interaction, negotiated between them at time of hire. We should protect open pubic debates, with transparency, weather it is from an elected government official or an appointed government official.

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