Meme Implosion 12010
With Judge Sise’s ruling against the Council, it’s time to review the various talking points and memes along the way which we now know to be rubbish:
Meme 1: Corporation Counsel does not protect the interests of the Council or taxpayers. Or its variant: Corporation Counsel is solely beholden to the interests of the mayor.
Fact: Corporation Counsel issued an opinion advising the Common Council that it did not have authority to contract. Common Council dismissed this advice in favor of outside counsel thereby incurring costs for attorneys and more importantly, negatively impacting the operations of the golf course. Ultimately, the Common Council should shoulder the full responsibility for this debacle and now should be pointedly asked, “Why did you seek outside counsel when you were issued a sound legal opinion?” Why are you wasting taxpayer dollars in litigation?
Meme 2: The Common Council can exert their will regardless of principle or authority given their victory in the last election.
Fact: While this meme is treasured by the local editors and pundits, its underlying assumption — executive authority in the charter must yield to legislative authority — is nonsensical. And Judge Sise’s ruling emphatically clarifies this point. The fact that this meme even gets editorial and political traction is an embarrassment.
Meme 3: The Common Council is “Protecting Taxpayers”.
Fact: Anything but
Meme 4: The Common Council is the voice of the people.
Fact: The only voices the Common Council cares about are anonymous (wholly disputed claim of $5000 in damage at Shuttleworth Park), rumor-based ( Spring Fling finances are misappropriated — wholly disputed) or the typical partisan talking points which have no basis in reality.
Meme 5: The Common Council will bring some serious governance and policy making — you know, running things like a business — to righting the sinking ship that is Amsterdam.