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.
Last Tuesday I thought I'd mosey on over to City Hall. There was a public hearing to be held on the proposed designation as a Historic District that section of Wauwatosa Avenue from Warren Avenue to Watson Avenue.
I figured since that was my old neighborhood and since someone roped me into being on the Board over at the Wauwatosa Historical Society I might as well register a comment in favor of this proposed action.
My reasoning? Wauwatosa hasn't been making many architectural treasures lately.
So I'm sitting there in the Council Chamber before the start of the meeting engaging in some idle chit-chat with people I know when I hear a voice.
I look-up and it's the Mayor. She is staring right at me.
Silently I mouth - Who? Me?
Are you sure? Me?
The Mayor beckons to me and she's not giving me the come-hither look either. I am getting the serious stink eye treatment.
I'm thinking - Now you've done it Tom. Why does this feel like you are being called to the principal's office? You've probably made some trouble and you are going to get an earful. But what have you done? You've been on your best behavior lately. I've seen this look before. Ohhhh man - you are in for it now.
I approach the dais and lean upon it. Mostly so I can confine the dressing-down I see coming to a really small space. And to support myself. I am feeling weak in the knees. The City Attorney is sitting right there next to the Mayor.
My mind is racing - You know it's gonna be bad when a lawyer is hanging around.
With that the Mayor launches into an explanation about how she read a comment I posted about her on someone else's blog. And while she's busy and doesn't ordinarily read blogs she read this one blog posting about a vote she made for the WCD and how I posted a reply and I had it all wrong and she wanted me to know that as a matter of fact she suggested all sorts of other alternatives but she couldn't recall the name of the blog or give me the specifics of those alternatives.
I'm thinking - WCD? Did the Mayor mean WEDC? What alternatives is she talking about? This is like trying to sip from a fire hose. What the heck did you post, Tom? And where? Cripes - the Mayor is kinda steamed at you.
There was more.
I was told that I should do my homework and come around to more meetings.
I'm thinking - Careful with the pencil, Mayor. That looks sharp.
The City Attorney's eyes were really big by now too.
In the end all I could do was helplessly stammer something about it all working out and how I was going to vow to come to more meetings. And since the Mayor tells me she never reads my blog and I still had no clue as to what the lecture was about I mumbled some practical advice about never grabbing a woodchuck. They're dangerous rodents you know.
Hey. It was Groundhog Day. I had woodchucks on my mind.
Thoroughly chastened I stumbled back to my seat.
I'm racking my brain. What the heck kind of remark did you make? And where?
Then it dawns on me.
Yikes! I made a couple of comments last December over at this other guy's blog. And the Mayor read it!
I'm sitting there all forlorn-like with my morose thoughts to myself.
Geez Tom - the Mayor tells you all the time she doesn't read your blog because she's so busy. But she found the time to read this other guy's blog. Maybe she reads even other people's blogs too? She has time for them. But not for you.
You are nothing but chopped liver dude.
In retrospect I'm not so sure I was overtly provocative in my commentary at this other guy's website. People who know me also know that I am capable of much more trouble. I was just trying to be inquiring. And polite.
All of that aside - I still think the Mayor and I have a good thing going. Think about it. How many times have any of the rest of you had such a semi-private audience? I will tell you for a fact that our Mayor goes out of her way to ask me every time we meet if I have any questions for her. Once in awhile she tells me I get more face-time than most ordinary folks. It doesn't get much better.
On top of all of that I never got poked by that sharp pencil.
So here's the deal. I resolve to attend more meetings. I'll also strive to do my homework. I intend to write about City Hall stuff from time-to-time. And be polite and straight-up about it. If I slip-up or you disagree with anything I post you can comment.
I'll try to be on my best behavior. Scout's honor.
I have one favor to ask of my 56 readers. (One more on Saturday - yesss!)
Would one of you pass this along to the Mayor for me? She's not a reader but maybe one day I can lure her over to the dark side.
Mention that she should tell those certain members of the Council that for a spell the natives had been getting restless. I had people call, email or tell me to my face that they were unhappy with a Council of all those appointees talking about a big pay raise for our Mayors.
It was starting to appear - you know - sort of unseemly.