I should’ve known! Right after threatening to for their surprising fortitude in reducing our proposed property tax levy, they had to disappoint me.
Ah, well! I supposed some love affairs just aren’t meant to last. At least we’ll always have December. When it comes to the City Council and this columnist, in the grammatically stilted eloquence of Ms. Gaga, “You and me could write a bad romance.”
And the road to this rocky relationship breakup started on Jan. 9 when that municipal body inexplicably decided to humor 21-year-old former aldermanic candidate Zac Ploppert by approving a motion to .
The fact that Geneva underage drinking citations dropped by 30 percent in 2011 failed to daunt our intrepid Mr. Ploppert in any way. No! Like any good Republican politician when faced with contradictory facts, he simply disregarded that data and adjusted reality to fit his hypothesis.
Despite a dearth of evidence supporting his claim, Ploppert unilaterally decided that incidents of underage drinking weren’t declining—they were actually on the rise—it was just that these phantom offenders were the masters of avoiding detection. We all know how circumspect drunken teenagers can be.
To send a message to these stealthy Heineken-guzzling high schoolers, Ploppert asked the City Council to raise the underage drinking fine by 150 bucks so the kids that weren’t getting caught wouldn’t have to pay it.
It makes perfect sense to me!
Folks, this is exactly why 21-year-olds should rarely be seen, never heard, and certainly shouldn’t run for alderman. Those of us who’ve managed to make it past 40 cringe at the thought of the things we came up with at that age.
Then again, when you consider Alderman Craig Maladra, who once again flip-flopped to side with the mayor, said this: “I think the measures we take today are largely effective, but in the end, I think increasing the fine sure as heck can’t hurt,” perhaps Mr. Ploppert would fit right in on that City Council dais.
Craig! You know I love you, but seriously, please consider thinking about what you say before you just blurt it out. If something is, indeed, “largely effective” then why are you wasting our time by continuing to address it?
Instead of saying, “Hey! Nice try kid. We appreciate your input, but your facts don’t fit your theory and your conclusion is sorely lacking. Better luck next time!” you’re only encouraging him. I can only imagine what Ploppert will come up with next—an ordinance prohibiting bald men from getting haircuts?
And the kicker is, Ploppert didn’t even bother to show up at the very meeting this farce was foisted upon us.
I could almost forgive the City Council for this massive mental lapse, but then they had to go ahead and immediately compounded it by re-banning synthetic drugs.
That’s right! The state of Illinois’ new statue outlawing marijuana alternatives wasn’t good enough so they wasted yet more time by prohibiting designer drugs a second time. Of course, this begs the question that, if you ban something twice, like multiplying negative numbers, does it actually make it legal?
In an irony so delicious even I couldn’t have conceived it, as that municipal body was considering the synthetic drug vote, Geneva Police Chief Steve Mexin passed out information on a webinar hosted by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America titled, “Synthetic Drugs—The Race to Keep Up, But Always One Step Behind!”
You have to love a group of aldermen so ready and willing to give you that kind of magnificent material. Don’t ever change, guys!
We’ve already covered the and how our legislators and law enforcement can’t keep up with it. You ban one set of chemical analogs and the manufacturers, using Parkinson’s Disease research, simply come up with even more dangerous formula.
The correct answer would be to legalize pot and end this ridiculous self-defeating cycle.
“But Jeff! Big deal. So they voted on some silly things. If it won’t make any difference in the long run, why worry? What’s the harm?”
I’ll tell you what the harm is, dear reader! The harm is it gives us the illusion that we’re actually doing something about a serious problem, when, in reality, we aren’t doing anything. It’s like an ostrich burying its head in the sand to avoid something distasteful only to have the distasteful entity come around and kick it right in the butt.
It also reminds me of Nero fiddling while Rome burned. With the immediate challenge of , , , and property tax revenue falling for the foreseeable future, our City Council is spending its time on fictional underage drinking, pointless synthetic drug bans and .
I always thought, considering the time they put into the job, that $3,600 aldermanic salary was a bit on the cheap side. But after last week’s council meeting, I’m beginning to think they ought to start paying us.