Letter: The return of the Illusionist
In September, Mike Maple addressed the City Council about an out-of-control city department (in that case, the infamous Parking Department). The city manager, the mayor and at least one City Council member blamed members of the public who had cheated the system. The mayor said there were no sloppy practices anywhere else in city government (he knows that?). One fall guy was demoted. The Illusionist misdirected attention to the parkers and the department head and vanished.
In October, another infamous city department (in this case, the Water Department) supported its $750,000 hydroelectric pipeline request with a false claim. After prodding from the public, the City Council questioned the veracity of the Water Department. The Illusionist threw the head of the Water Department under the bus and vanished.
In November, the Capital Asset Department proposed the ginormous construction of new city offices, arousing some concerns among residents about how such an out-of-control proposal could make it to the City Council. The Illusionist lurked in the shadows of council chambers, allowing his department head to take any heat.
The “city” announces a reshuffling of responsibilities between assistant city managers. The not-so-subtle message: If there has been a failure of management, it is the assistants who are responsible.
And the Illusionist vanishes again.
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