Pearls and Oysters

Here we are , 2013.
Yet, in many ways, it feels sooo 1913. I know, exaggeration , but that’s how it seems to me.
Everything just seems a rehash of not only last year, but the year before , the decade before and the century before. Snow removal, really?
Let’s face it: how can a city in upstate NY face every winter as if it’s the very first winter ever? Really?
So that leaves me with the following options:
1) Discuss snow removal policy and operations
2) Dissect the politics swirling around snow removal (and marvel at my pathetic puns)
3) Critique the current and proposed approaches to snow removal
4) Comment on the state of the city’s culture and attitudes given (1),(2) and (3) and what it tells us about ourselves
5) Forget the whole thing and do something useful with my time
If you look at this issue , like most issues in our fair city, you see that time is irrelevant– 2013, 2012, 1998, 1964, 1946 — time simply does not matter to the constant bemoaning and griping. The culture of Amsterdam so relies upon something, anything, to irritate itself; like an oyster intentionally seeking a grain of sand to irritate itself. Regrettably, we don’t make pearls , preferring instead to let the irritation linger. For us, that irritation is the pearl.
If it’s not snow removal, it’s fire hydrants. Or EBT cards. Or DSS. Or, the sky is blue and the sun is shining and surely something is awry with that.  And if tomorrow it is grey and cloudy, then that is no better and yet another problem. Why can’t it be sunny like yesterday when we were just as unhappy as today? And on it goes.
I guess the point in all this is simply that I’m going to look for ways to find the real pearls , and failing that, just eat the oyster.
I’m going to remind myself that, it is, indeed, 2013.

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6 Responses

  1. robert purtell says:

    Hey did I tell you I was recently in NYC, actually Time square, they now have neon signs that say “pick up your free limo ride voucher to Montgomery County” “Home of the best welfare system available” “no need to work come and visit and stay for life.”.
    Snow removal optional!

  2. Pearl:
    Tonight, the Council is being asked to appoint Manfred Phemister as Controller for the City of Amsterdam.
    Per the Charter, this appointment must be made within 30 days of a vacancy. The replacement must be 18 years old, a city resident, and a democrat. The Charter is crystal clear on this matter.
    If any one alderman does not agree with the Charter as it exists, then they should move to change it legislatively with a quorum of the whole, but to ignore the Charter is to mock the law that dictates our form of governance in the City of Amsterdam. Per the Charter, an appointment must be made.
    We cannot pick and choose the parts of the Charter we wish to follow.
    Mr. Phemister has met the qualifications of the Charter and is willing to take on responsibility for the Department of Finance. We should be grateful to him for offering his service in an age when the public realm is avoided because of political gamesmanship.
    It is my hope that the Council appoints Mr. Phemister so that the department is adequately managed and we can get on with the duties with which we are charged.

    • diane says:

      This was copied from the mayor’s personal blog or sent to you personally and therefore not released to the public. However, once again the mayor is trying to usurp authority from the council. The charter clearly states that this is a council appointment meaning that the mayor should not be putting forth a resolution with the name of a personal friend. It should have been up to the council and will be for them to choose their own candidate to be voted on for this position. While he may have been “qualified”, the council has had numerous discussions indicating that they must hire someone that has the necessary governmental accounting and he clearly did not meet those criteria, which all agree is so necessary with today’s complex accounting requirements. The Phemister’s are certainly fine people and have been very positive about the city since they moved here, including their unwavering support for the mayor.

      • flippinamsterdam says:

        I’d like to unspin a few things:
        — Mr Phemister actually campaigned for the controller’s position against Mr Wierzbicki so to cast Mr Phemister as solely appointed as a “personal friend” of the mayor as the only basis for his nomination strikes me as , let’s say, less than forthcoming.
        — Speaking of “personal friends”, I eagerly await the wholly objective, rigorous approach to whom the council members will qualify and select as a controller. Surely , no political “friendship” or agenda will come into play. Surely this cannot happen or ever have happened in Amsterdam. Blasphemy!
        — How is the mayor usurping authority when the Council, as they demonstrated, can merely deny the appointment. If that is usurping, then definitionally usurping needs a revision in the Oxford Dictionary.
        –Suddenly the political party, Republican, that puts forth a primary candidate with zero accounting experience finds themselves aflutter on issues of experience and qualifications and the existing charter’s lack of qualifications for the position. Really?! At least this is consistent with the national Republican party for their utter disregard for governance of issues related to economics and fiscal policy but to me, it’s surreal and somewhat hilarious.
        As an FYI, this was posted as a comment by the Mayor — I did not copy it or acquire it. My comments are currently not moderated as I forgot to enable moderation so comments immediately post.

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