Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.
Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.
Mayor Jill Didier is resigning to take a position with Milwaukee County. As I reflect upon this news I'm feeling a bit wistful. Kind of like someone has deprived the blog of the perfect foil. I'm sure that some of you may find this strange but I already miss the mayor. And she hasn't even left yet. Cripes.
Any of you regular readers know that the mayor and I had a rocky start to our relationship. Yup, she launched her candidacy just about the same time I launched Gas Pains. Sure, I know the mayor claims she is always way too busy to read my blog although I suspect she sneaks a surreptitious peek from time-to-time. I am the first to admit that she has been a real sport over the last three or so years as I've given her a tweak or two on matters over at The Palace. Here's an inside tidbit. Whenever I've had the opportunity to visit in person Madam Mayor might sometimes (but not always) poke me in the eye too. She can dish it as well as take it. To her credit she's been generous of her time in talking about things that interest or concern me. One time she told me that she allowed me more face time than some of the other subjects in the kingdom.
In any event, over the last year or so I think we've actually gotten along just swell and have grown to respect one another. I don't want anybody to get the impression that we kissed and made-up or anything. I'd like to think of it like a harmonious state of mutual respect.
In keeping with that fantastical notion - and in full view of my eighty readers and all of the world wide web - I would like to wish Mayor Didier - Adieu et bonne chance! (Someone needs to tell her I said this).
Speaking of the office of mayor I spied this on the homepage - Several aldermen said there seemed to be an urgency to increase pay to entice Didier to seek re-election.
Did I read that correctly? Sniff, sniff. I don't think that passes the smell test. Do you?
Let's be perfectly clear about this position of mayor. Wisconsin statute defines the role of mayor as that of chief executive. However, Tosa city ordinance conveys these powers to our city administrator who is professionally trained and fairly compensated to run the city. The mayor presides over the Council and wields a tie breaker vote and veto power. The job of mayor is largely ceremonial so whoever serves in that role can make as much or as little of it as they wish. That is why the pay scale is largely ceremonial too. To fit the job.
Am I the only taxpayer that is alarmingly amused that the charge for making the office of mayor a lucrative position has been largely led by the self-described conservative Republicans of our city council? Hmm? They must be social conservatives. Fiscal conservatives would never create a highly compensated post so well-suited to feathering the nest of a professional or career politician.
So who might be the heir apparent? So far newbies John Pokrandt and Jim Moldenhauer and city hall veteran Peter Donegan have thrown their hats into the ring. It will be interesting to see if anyone else jockeys for this position. And curiously, the current compensation package has yielded no shortage of candidates.
Speaking of candidates how about that Herman Cain?
I have a professional acquaintance who I call Teapartyguy. He is always championing the latest candidate financed by the Koch brothers. Last year I needled him relentlessly - suggesting that if Sarah Palin was elected to the office of President it would be the fulfillment of the Mayan prophecy of the apocalypse. He was not amused. Anyway - a couple of months ago I had occasion to chat with Teapartyguy and he was absolutely full of himself. He was utterly gushing with praise and adulation for Herman Cain. The cult-like sycophancy was syrupy and wee bit creepy.
You know, I have a bad feeling about this guy. Anybody that runs a campaign like a sloppy book promotion tour and has such a foaming following is probably going to implode and self-destruct. I'm just say'n ya know.
Teapartyguy was not amused by my prophecy.
See. Wasn't I correct in my assessment? Anybody want to speculate upon why Cain suspended (in lieu of ending) his campaign? Couldn't have had anything to do with matching federal funds - ya think?
What a chump.
Anybody with half a brain knows that the only GOP candidates with half a chance are the two guys playing with a full deck - Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Everyone else is better-suited to the circus sideshow. How the religious right is going to come to grips with a couple of bright, educated, LDS members we'll have to see.
Speaking of being vigilant has everyone gotten their conceal carry permit?
I got mine. I even submitted my application along with a copy of my hunters safety certificate from 1968 only to find out later that my Republican pals in Madison pulled a Rule Change nullifying the training requirement of the legislation. Now that I have the permit a small inconvenience has manifested itself. Almost everywhere I go there are stickers and signs at entryways making it abundantly clear that I and a sidearm are unwelcome.
Carry to the library? Nope.
Tote a pistol to the day job? Nada.
Pack your sidearm in your underwear for a council meeting at The Palace? No way.
Stopping at my favorite emporium over the weekend - Mills Fleet Farm - I was greeted with a refreshing change of pace. They have prominently posted a sign welcoming shoppers and their concealed weapons. Chalk one up for the Mills family. Know your customers.
In closing, I would like to share an update and a pet peeve.
Some of you readers have been asking after Girlfriend. Immediately before the black Lab and I were scheduled to head for South Dakota on our annual ringneck pilgrimage the pooch became seriously ill. An auto-immune disorder resulting in serious joint inflammation, dropped jaw and pharyngeal paralysis. Poor girl couldn't eat or drink on her own. She dropped from 80 to 60 pounds and was a miserable bag of bones. We thought we were going to lose her. In any event, after a month of canine assisted living (spoon feeding by hand and intensive steroid therapy) we think she's turned the corner. Now that she's making progress eating and drinking on her own she's beginning to gain weight and taking to regular exercise. Close call. She's making a slow but tenuous recovery. The blonde Lab continues to be a handful.
Last, but not least, we engaged in a perfectly good Skype session with the kids on Sunday morning. Breakfast with the grandson who is crawling, climbing and generally becoming a handful as well. Following that the Packers went 12 and 0 against the NY Giants. And my son-in-law is still dressing the kid in a New Orleans Saints jersey.
It's not right.