Ruehlig won’t seek council seat
I’m putting my money where my mouth is and, on principle, not applying for appointment to Wade Harper’s vacant City Council position. This is despite some flattering encouragement for throwing my hat in the ring as some suggest that after a series of anticipated deadlocks the Council might possibly default to a non-partisan centrist who prides himself on being a harmonizer and a dialogue stirrer. Others, though, believe that this Council has political debts to pay and will inevitably pick a true blue union/party loyalist.
My bottom line, though, centers not on the risk to reward of a probable futile fight but on a moral dilemma. In my humble opinion, the third top vote getter clearly deserves the spot. In fact I hope that they enshrine this as a city ordinance for future precedent. I’d champion the same fairness rule regardless of who of us five Council contenders had placed third.
Facts are, we know who committed to running, an exhausting exercise, and we clearly heard the voters ranking. It was relatively close, no landslide, and though I applaud Ms.Wilson for a smart and tireless race had Mr. Davis, and not her, been first on the random ballot or had two men, not three, run against two women the results could well have been reversed.
Citizens of good will are all hoping that this Council gets off to an enlightened start, rising above partisan politics, resisting pressure to pay back chits and to stacking the deck 4 to 1. Fair is fair and this group of leaders, coming off a wave of history setting, can aspire to lofty heights and transcend pettiness.
Inspired leadership is, of course, Solomon-like and inclusive, not isolating the occasional “loyal opposition”. Why stifle healthy debate and lord over as, anyway, the voting majority already exists?
Truth be told, it would be therapeutic for the city at large to balance a Council now having three liberal-minded public employees with someone from the private sector more middle of the road. Gary Agopian, unarguably versed with budgets and property value determiners, should not stand alone. To my humble reckoning, if Jim Davis gets spurned this Council can still benefit by at least choosing an alternate counterweight from the business community.