Why stir a roux with one hand when you can do it with seven? If two heads aren’t better than one, then seven sure are. How many people does it take to pick a new police chief? One or seven? If you chose one, then you just don’t understand City Council logic. Mayor Cantrell may not understand it either. But she’ll be given a lesson soon enough. If not we will see the council check Mayor Cantrell again.
Surely you’ve heard. Shaun Ferguson fell on his sword. You remember him. He used to go by NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson, or chief in colloquial terms. But not anymore. He bowed out of his position last week, leaving mayor Cantrell in a pickle. Appoint his successor now while she still has the power or wait until the Council has a say in the new year. Giving the Council a say is what the majority of voters decided.
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Cantrell’s inner gangsta must be seething. Voters overwhelmingly elected to weaken the mayor’s powers. And with her political emasculation set to take place officially on January 1st, Cantrell has one last chance to stick it to the Council. And this is it. However that would also mean sticking it to voters. What to do, what to do? Unlike Cersei Lannister, she is not in a position to choose violence. Neither time nor the people are on her side. And that pesky recall effort is now direct mailing signature cards to voters.
So, when word leaked early last week that Cantrell was going to appoint a new police chief before year’s end and deny the Council its hearing, Council President Helena Moreno clutched her pearls, aghast. “How are we supposed to take this unprecedented opportunity to grandstand and solidify ourselves as future mayoral candidates if the present mayor won’t play ball,” she must’ve wondered. J.P.Morell was all indignation and finger wagging. Even Eugene Green, one Cantrell’s knights on the Council, was like, “Um ma’am the voters have spoken.”
Council To Check Mayor Cantrell Again
Almost every time Cantrell has stepped to the Council she’s been sent back to her chambers with an “L”. Joe Giarrusso took a leg from under her during the Public Works fiasco. J.P. Morrell led the P.R. regarding the first class flights. And after going another round with Moreno, Cantrell finds herself on bended knee, conceding once again. Her concession this time is an invitation to the council to take part in the process of replacing the chief. Presumably before the year is out.
The Council is going to take one look at that invitation and return it straight to sender. There will be note attached that says that’s what the confirmation hearings are for. The best Cantrell can hope for now is a compromise. She can appoint a temporary replacement while a local and national search takes place. Circumventing the Council at this point will likely just result in more recall signatures.
Future and former mayors must be shaking their heads in judgment. If this were Game of Thrones, they’d say, Teedy you have not done a good job of protecting the Realm. The Realm being the mayoral powers. The ones the City Charter grants.
In a term and a half, Cantrell has done what no mayor has done before her. She has weakened the brand. Previous mayors enjoyed numerous ways to reward their supporters with spoils. A nice appointment to one of the city’s departments, for example or supporting a non-profit through the Wisner Fund. Not anymore though. That’ll be a huge part of the legacy of Cantrell.
This could’ve been avoided if she had heeded a simple mathematical fact that’s obvious and undeniable. When it comes to flexing political power, seven is always greater than one. So the be prepared for Council To Check Mayor Cantrell Again