For nearly two years work on behalf of the people has been conducted mostly under the pandemic of virtual Zoom meetings. Let’s keep public officials and people they represent safe from potential spread. No argument. Curiously, now that a new class of elected officials is poised for service, the pomp and circumstance has returned exclusively for photo ops, back-slapping and pleasure-center enjoyment. Let’s wine and dine and Klein. That’s kinda what it’s all about. A purposeful celebration without a purposeful moment.
Roughly 30 elected officials on December 1 will receive the oath of office indoors at the stylish Klein Memorial Auditorium, with presumably friends, relatives, political pals, constituents in observance. For the 20-member City Council this exhibition represents a first-time, in-person gathering since the legislative body went Zoom, a point noted by retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez who knows all about oath recruitment for such events under normal circumstances.
But these are not normal times, unless it becomes convenient for ego currency.
From Judge Lopez:
“Vanity: Definitely my Favorite Sin” says Al Pacino in his portrayal of Satan in the last line of The Devil’s Advocate.
The latest news brought to us by Only in Bridgeport regarding the Inaugural Ceremonies of Bridgeport’s Municipal Office Holders, clearly establishes, without a doubt, that the sin of Vanity is running rampant in our City.
Is it possible that those Bridgeport residents elected to the position of City Council, Board of Education and City Sheriffs think so highly of themselves and their accomplishments that they will really parade themselves in all their glory at the Klein Memorial, a 1400 seat auditorium?
Can it be, that the Legislative Branch of our Municipal Government, the very distinguished City Council, will actually come out of almost two years of Zoom Meetings and let themselves be seen in a public gathering?
And then, in typical ‘hide from the public and keep things secret mentality’ retreat to Zoom meetings.
Can’t be, can it?
Well, maybe these elite office holders of municipal positions just need to remind the rest of us lowly residents and taxpayers of just how serious, important and regal they are by virtue of winning an election that will allow them to become public servants.
Not just anybody can do that; it takes a certain kind of politician to do this.
As most of us experience the highest rate of inflation since 1990, along with a supply chain shortage bewildering everyone struggling with financial setbacks, our City Council is opening up a huge Auditorium for their coronation. Think of the cost involved with arranging for personnel for parking and for police protection as well as for heating and other amenities including lighting, and all of the other props necessary to put on such a production.
Why would you ask such a question of folks so convinced that they are worth spending other people’s money?
Amazing that in response to Lennie’s article referring to this distinguished group of ‘winners’ as Preening peacocks, a Board of Education member publicly stated:
“And Preen, I shall; this is my selfish moment before giving hundreds of unpaid hours … to the City.”
Spoken like a true public servant!
Can’t help but remember the Hans Christian Anderson fable, The Emperor’s New Clothes, the story about the vain and self-satisfied king, who was enamored of his glorified self-importance. So enchanted was he with himself, that he was successfully convinced by a couple of charlatans to believe that a non-existent set of new clothes specially made for him by them, was so special that only highfalutin people, such as himself would be able to see them. And, as we know, believing he was so grand, he pompously paraded himself in front of his subjects, without clothes.
On a more serious note, let us remind these elected officials that they have presided over the federal convictions of the Chief of Police, the Personnel Director, a City Attorney’s Office advised by the Freedom of Information Commission to take classes on the proper scope of the Freedom of Information Act, the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars on criminal defense attorneys for city employees, without a legal obligation to do so and a multitude of acts of malfeasance of public duty.
While I am tempted to set forth examples of the breach of the public trust, I think the point has been made. Suffice it to say that we have all witnessed many acts of hubris by our elected officials.
Perhaps, these officials may take a moment from their splendor and glory and consider the advice of President Eisenhower, the Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during the Second World War and a twice-elected President of the United States. Despite a life dedicated to public service he put everything into perspective when he said, “Take your job seriously, not yourself!”
Would that our venerable Bridgeport elected officials show similar humility!