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Thursday, September 08, 2005


Governance under Scrutiny

~ Mayoral debate, Sept 7 ~

A stirring debate, marred only by the lack of fisticuffs and my disappointment that the William K. Peddy henchman looks less like the Nordic rottweiler of imagination than a cross between Ross Perot and a French assistant bank manager.

Even as I approached City Hall, there was the patrician William K. profile beaming genially on the electorate as we curtsied and genuflected our way past and into the rapidly filling hall.

A perfect note was struck by news of absent candidate Michael Berry preferring the slopes of Tuscany to the sight of slavering Bainbridge voters baying for blood.

This left:

  • Darlene Kordonowy - current mayor running for re-election.

  • William K. Peddy whose website I had huge difficulty finding 'til I glimpsed the Islander's page 6 ¼-page advert. It's www.willpeddyformayor.com, mnemonicable by Will Pedal For Money.

    Speaking of the Islander, go grab yourself the Sept 10-16 edition and savor the coverage and references in this truly bumper edition:

    • Dispatches from the front by the always reliable Steven Gardner (whom I thought I glimpsed craning to catch the pearls of wisdom from the City Hall *door*way, poor dear.
    • Editorial endorsement for Kordonowy to stay at the helm another term.
    • Lively letters from Robert Smith and Bob Burkholder on Ølsenian oddities and campaign tactics respectively
    • Guest columnist blowing her judicial trumpet *and* wisely providing a croney photo - far from flattering or representative but perfect for the job in hand of reassuring cynics like me.
    • The culprit William K. advertisement, complete with illiterate reference him wanting "a city government ... That help (sic) citizens and businesses find solutions, etc".
      • Knick-knack Peddy Whack: I've just spotted that patronising "(Will)" as in William (Will) K. Peddy. Whenever someone tells me how or when to abbreviate his name, I ditch any thought of such familiarity. To hell with William K's faux friendly, everyone's-chum smarm: there's something flakey and bogus - and, in the case of flaunting one's "will", positively boastful - about a man who needs to actually tell people how and when to abbreviate his name. A bit like canned laughter.

    • Jon Quitslund's always sage reflections, this time on non-partisanship.
    • Ever-readable Police Blotter noting Signage Theft, which can't be right because I distinctly told the officer in words of one syllable that my hurling the offensive items far into the undergrowth qualified as "Aesthetic Clearance", as per RCW 4.12.090. (I even quoted the relevant para but it was clearly thought not exciting enough and promoted to theft. While remaining a firm admirer of the fluent style of the column, this now leaves me deeply suspicious of the actual fidelity and categorization of its reports.
    • And a puerile, scurrilous sheet of bright yellow and purporting to be some sort of newsletter of the Bainbridge citizenry. Clearly nothing of the sort but an illiterate and vicious smear of William K by suggesting his involvement in free publicity for the engine repair shop of James Ølsen's errant cousin, Ross "Roscoe". I had been sceptical of Bob Burkholder's warning that "mayoral politics have taken an ugly turn" but I now see exactly what he means.
    • Finally - giving the lie to my theory that the Review gets the good stuff and the Islander gets the nutters - a triumphantly loony letter from Knick-Knack's campaign manager that considerably boosts my admiration of editor Crist and his "petty, smarmy, ever-clever Review". By t'heck, accolades like that aren't earned lightly.

    Gosh, that's a lot of space given over to William K. I almost forgot to name the 3rd speaker:

  • Nezam Tooloee

    Next up, a distractingly attractive brunette speaking knowledgeably about life on the Bench but far too fanciable for the High Court judgeship she courts. My notes read: "Not crone-like enough. Shove her in a wig and gown and crime rate will soar, thanks to every red-blooded man in town vying to be hauled before her stern gavel."

    audienceFinally the debate proper began, the audience beside themselves with pent-up excitement (see photo) as each candidate gave their 3-minute talk followed by questions.

    Darlene Kordonowy: Perhaps it comes with being the incumbent but a pleading expression flitted now and then across Ms Kordonowy's delicate features as if testing audience reaction before proceeding with the next sentence.

    I wonder if her heart is really *into* another term? She seems to lack that gimlet-eyed killer stare of the kamikaze, which is what is needed when one aspires to the snake pit. As I recall, she has been roundly abused in her time so my guess is that she'll go thru the motions of a good fight but be mightily relieved when the count favors the numerate Nezam T.

    debate_1William K. Peddy - As the words flow from that tanned and noble visage, I gasp aloud. How can one possibly dislike or lampoon a gent whose every mannerism and delivery remind one of "Dobbin", the faithful carthorse?

    I listen for any encouraging hint of cunning or malice in those lugubrious vowels, but nothing. Only the rumbling monotone reducing his words to a lullaby drone.

    I feel myself growing sleepy and pinch myself to keep from sliding into my neighbor's lap.

    My notes on William K. read: "Palpably honest old duffer. Slow of tongue, spurning any artifice of the orator." Except that now I've woken up to the "Will" ploy, I see that he is nothing *but* artifice.

    Speaking of my neighbor's lap, I was keen not to topple thereupon because it actually belonged to the wife of the next candidate to speak, and I needed to stay alert so as to be able to mutter loudly under my breath, "Balderdash!", "Stuff and nonsense!" and "Come, sir - you jest!"

    I'd no idea what Mr. Tooloee was going to say but I felt it my duty to accustom *Mrs* Mayor-to-be to the jibes and cat-calls soon to become part of her life once hubby has swept to power, showered by colorful ticker-tape of shredded William K. posters.

    debate_3Nezam Tooloee has all the gifts of the gab that I fall for and which have made me such an excellent lieutenant to charismatic captains of industry.

    • Clear-eyed posture, leaning slightly towards the audience as if saying, "Let me at the problem."
    • An excellent chin (which seems to be de rigueuer  these days from the boudoir to the boardroom). He uses it well, prefacing each opening remark with a confident jut and that bright-eyed bird-of-prey look that must have unsettled a few tardy traders in his time.
    • Speaking of crisp jowels, I don't mean for the faithful Ølsen to go bounding down to Safeway for a crate of Botox, but - ahem - his Master's artificially faded gunfighter look, complete with "distressed" pouches and bags-under-eyes, seems *not* to be this season's look for the pol of promise. But enough looksist nonsense ....
    • I wrote so fawningly about Nezam in a previous post that I felt duty-bound to heckle and jeer and give Madame practice with the haughty profile. Alas, her hubby's diction was too crisp to fault. Besides, he bandied clever techie terms like 'streaming' and 'Mercury' and got in plugs for his website including using it to reply to an eezie-peezie question about revenue source.
    In the same round of questioning, William K. achieved a palpable hit: the question was did he feel coy about accepting donations from folks he deals with in his Code Enforcer role? The reply was a succinct No, he does not. Excellent response and perfect for those droopy William K. bloodhound looks.

    Back to NT (and I wish the other two had impressed me more, at least to save me sounding such a Tooloee hack) and his statesmanlike trick of pointing out where he and Darlene differed or agreed, studiously omitting any reference to Dobbin - as if he and D were the only game in town. Which they are, but still very sneaky and effective.

    Housing: If William K. hadn't couched his thoughts on this crucial subject in such a snooze-makingly dull timbre, I might have picked up some of the good points he made (as he did in the CAO chat). But it fell on deaf ears, so distracted was I by his lack-lustre diction and general presentation.

    Likewise, Darlene's defensive nervy-fawn performance made *me* nervous and protective, glaring round the room as if to silence any further idiot questions such as about her lack of decisiveness. Oh, but speaking of which, what a *gift* of a question for Tooloee to pounce on. By Jove! Talk about the Assyrian coming down like the wolf on the fold ... how did it go?

  • First his silky toned reminder of their friendship
  • Then a genial reference to his familiarity with her style
  • ... then swish! The razor flashed and there was darling Darlene's scalp in pride of place in the Tooloee tepee.

    Great stuff. Long live politics.

    Principles of Governance: With great solemnity and sage nodding, each candidate tried not to giggle as they tackled this tired and over-done question. I kept willing Nezam to exit from his Closet of Correctitude and come out firmly in favor of good old Dictatorship - but the wiley cove was too canny to fall for such an obvious vote-snaring ploy.

    He has all the makings of the governmental gubernator we need at this time.

    Finally, I did like his inclusion of 'Transparency' as a core ingredient and look forward to it being the watchword of his reign.

    Some useful links:

  • Steve Gardner on BI pols
  • Vote Washington
  • Washington Voter
  • Voters Reference Guide
  • Bainbridge Voter
  • WC Voters
  • BI Chamber of Commerce
  • The disgraced Peddy's site

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