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Published on November 1st, 2011 | by Todd Smekens

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Personal Foul on Mayor McShurley!

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Fall is for football, so we have a metaphor for you!

What does a “political football” look like, and how much does one cost?

Based on the latest reports from City Hall, a “political football” looks like a Mayor Sharon McShurley proposed bonus check to all city employees days before her reelection bid against Dennis Tyler, and the total price tag is about $330,000. That’s a nice football.

However, compared to the near $3,000,000 spent on the “political football” called the Tuhey Park, it may seem like a drop in the bucket (no pun intended). Speaking of Tuhey, our Mayor probably still has nightmares of the August 2010 City Council meeting when a fellow republican, Andy Dale, proclaimed his disappointment with the “poor leadership” of Mayor McShurley. In a letter written by Mr. Dale (see Unison Group Letter), his group emphatically stated that the “mayor only met one time with the group over a one year period”, and “she refused to participate with the group.” The same letter written by Mr. Dale was shared with County Commissioner’s, and they also took notice of the Mayor’s poor leadership. It quickly became clear that while Unison Group moved the ball down the field to score, the Mayor intercepted a pass and never looked back. One of the most bizarre plays ever saw.

Therefore, as the Mayor prepares for next weeks City Council meeting, and yet another game of “political football”, citizens can only watch to see what defensive play will emerge. Will her leadership be challenged by someone from her own party again, or will the opposition come from the other team. Who will challenge her leadership this go around?

One thing is for certain, the game is expensive, and actually demonstrates a disconnect with the struggles occurring within our community. The play seems insensitive to all our neighbors now stuck in survival mode.

Playing games with taxpayer money during tough economic times is not a sign of leadership, it is simply playing games with money that is not yours, and its poor gamesmanship. In one last football analogy, we’re going to blow the whistle, and toss a yellow flag –  15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

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About the Author

Journalist, entrepreneur, publisher, DSA member, and ethical leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy cycling, yoga, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter. Wellness advocate who practices servant style leadership.


8 Responses to Personal Foul on Mayor McShurley!

  1. Tom Reeve says:

    Todd,
    While you are entitled to voice your opinion and there is much I agree with, or if not can at least see the reasoning behind your logic; but I find these sentences, “Will her leadership be challenged by someone from her own party again, or will the opposition come from the other team. Who will challenge her leadership this go around?” to be of the same quality that Bert and Ernie produce every week. Pure speculation for sensationalism.

    • Todd Smekens says:

      Have you read the attached letter written by Andy Dale?

    • Todd Smekens says:

      My question is Bert n Ernie had access to Andy’s letter and never interviewed those involved to get at the story of failed leadership. Why not?

      In fact, all staff reporters and columnists went the other way with their spin. Why?

      When a candidate makes leadership an issue, then leadership, or lack thereof, should be discussed.

  2. Tom Reeve says:

    I am not arguing with the stance on whether or not it should be discussed, all I am saying is that your sensational style of writing innuendos and rhetorical questions to evoke a emotional response from the readers is taken from the play book of B & E. I feel that it is a slippery slope when an author falls prey to incorporating yellow journalism into their reporting.

    • Todd Smekens says:

      Point well taken Tom, and the metaphor was used to coincide with the sensational nature initiated by our Mayor, only days before the election. If we thought her intent was authentic, versus hype, we would never have used metaphorical style, and would have chosen to treat her proposal more seriously. Your suggestions are duly noted.

  3. Tom Reeve says:

    No problem and thank you. I have been enjoying your experiment in citizen journalism. I hope that it succeeds. I would like to write a few things about MDCB/beautification if you are willing.

    • Todd Smekens says:

      Absolutely! That’s what this is all about. News and information is occurring all the time, and we sit back and wait on Gannett to shape it, and release it. That model is being replaced. Send us what you can, and if there is video involved, even better!

  4. Brad King says:

    I don’t necessarily agree with Tom’s description of those specific questions as “sensationalism”, but I don’t think they were really needed either. It was reported today that Sam Marshall (the other team as it was referred) is questioning this bonus and supposed surplus. It was – in my mind – a no-brainer that this bonus would be questioned, and not by Republicans during an election season but by Democrats. What should have been done by TSP and MV is to confirm or deny the existence of the surplus.

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