Latest in a series of posts on city government
Gadfly is usually a happy man.
He worked fifty years at a job he loved. He lives in a beautiful town. He lives in a solvent town. His Visa balance is heading in the right direction. His weight is heading in the right direction. His wife has a few good days. All his daughters-in-law are strong, all his sons are good looking, and all their children are above average. He can still go 8 for 10 from the foul line. He wasn’t last in the D&L Half-Marathon. His backyard blooms thanks to a good neighbor gardener. His Gadfly followers would not fit in the two Banko Alehouse Cinemas. He was once compared to Jimmy Stewart. His high school yearbook speaks of “his keen sense of humor.”
Gadfly is usually a happy man.
But late in the Monday, January 6 meeting he was wearing a poo-poo face when, taking advantage of someone he knows with a soft gavel, he shuffled to the Town Hall podium to address the Council.
He hasn’t mastered the art of the video-selfie yet, and you really can’t tell from the birds-eye view on the City video (minute 2:22:50). . .
but Gadfly was not a happy man.
You can hear his poo-poo face in his words.
I guess I’d like to say that the way I think of you all is as family. So what I will say is not against any individual. I think of you all as family, I try to write on Gadfly about you all as family. I used a line from the Mayor’s Op-Ed as a headline on Gadfly this week that Bethlehem will continue to be the jewel of the Lehigh Valley. I’m disappointed tonight. I think Bethlehem had a chance to do something bold. And didn’t. And I’m not sure why. It doesn’t seem like the kind of choice that would have bothered lots of other places. So I’m disappointed in my family tonight.
This comment was after the election for president and vice president, when re-elected President Waldron — who, as a water-cooler chatterer in the previous post said, admirably “remained composed” as the Negron supporters flooded the podium (there’s that damn verb phrase again) — was patiently taking a bit of a beating on his meeting-management style. Earning every bit of the extra $500 stipend the presidency brings. Combat pay.
There were two energy waves pulsing through the meeting that night: total adoration of Councilwoman Negron, some aggravation at Councilman Waldron.
Gadfly has written about Councilman Waldron’s management style/philosophy, he will do so again in a post or two, and frankly he did not personally see it as a factor so grave as to disqualify him from the presidency.
And Gadfly does think of his elected officials as family, as corny as it sounds. He may not always agree with them, but they are his family. He is not your typical gadfly. He does not wear a hard crustacean shell like Gadfly #1. He was accused in Gad-school of secretly loving the enemy.
On the night of January 6 Gadfly felt like a Native American on the western plains with his ear to the ground, hearing the onward rumbling of the buffalo that meant the renewal of his tribal life.
On the night of January 6 he felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up, alert to something coming like one of those animals with instinctive early warning apparatus who sense the storm, the tsunami, the earthquake before anything is visible.
On the night of January 6 he felt like the 4AM bird who chirps about dawn in the still dark night.
In short, on the night of January 6 Gadfly felt History coiling up to make a Moment.
A candidate to be the first Latina City Council president was worthy and willing
But History passed on by. Without being hailed at the Head Table. Maybe never to return.
But you don’t ever give up on your family.
And disappointment is not terminal.