There has been little love lost between Mayor Bob Coble (who today becomes former Mayor Bob Coble) and Kevin Fisher since Kevin ran against him several years ago.
So it is that there is some sharp criticism of Bob in Kevin’s column about his departure from office. Sharp, but not out of bounds. In fact, much of it is written with the same crusty, edgy sort of good will that went into his column about me when I left the paper. I enjoyed his column about me, but then, I’m in the political criticism business. (Also, I was a couple of sheets to the wind from free beer when I read it, at Goatfeathers on the night that I left the paper.) I can enjoy a column for being well-done, even if it isn’t exactly hagiographic. In fact, I’d probably object if ol’ Kevin started to put a halo on me.
Bob responds in a way that makes me smile because of the irony of it. Part of Kevin’s criticism of him is that Mayor Bob was TOO nice. Oh yeah, says Bob?, and responds by giving him some sharp elbows in this letter to the editor:
Kevin Fisher writes in his latest op ed piece that, “everybody likes Mayor Bob. I know I do. And he knows I do. Moreover, I dare say he likes me.” – Kevin Fisher City Watch (Sept. 5, 2007). I do like Kevin. Moreover, I admire Kevin for his political courage. If I had gotten the number of votes he received in the last two City elections after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money, I would have been too embarrassed to keep writing those columns in The Free Times. But Kevin, despite the humiliation and complete rejection by the voters, soldiers on with “Joe Azar” like determination. He is one tough hombre.
I’m gonna miss this repartee between these two wacky kids…
Don’t you find it so characteristic of Bob that he holds popularity in such high esteem. Here Kevin Fisher is trying to call out the city leadership on their poor performance and all Bob has to say is, “so what, at least people like me better than they like you and that’s all that really matters.” Honestly, I am glad to see that type of “leadership” head out the door, though I don’t see much different on the horizon.
I know, Brad, I can’t allow a little fun to be had by the outgoing mayor. But the reality is Bob’s remarks sum up his entire outlook on life pretty succinctly and explains why city finances weren’t a big deal to him as long as he could win elections.
I say Game Set Match–Mayor Bob!
Kevin way over-stated his case, as I commented on the Free Times website. The financial reporting was rubbish, but the city worked and works very well, thank you very much–this was no Chicago under Jane Byrne with unplowed streets and garbage rotting in the streets…..
Is there a link to ex-Mayor Bob’s rebuttal letter?
Joshua, I haven’t looked, but that’s because I assumed he was sending it to me at the same time he was sending it to me. But I could be wrong. (Holler at me if I am; I’m buried in work and appointments today and can’t go hunt right now.) I expect to see it next week.
But what I ran was the whole thing.
Got it, I was hoping there was more! I didn’t realize that was the full extent of the email. Brevity is the soul of wit…
Thanks for setting such a low standard to compare Columbia to. I guess the mediocrity of the government has reached its goal of lowering the citizens’ expectations, at least from your perspective. Nevertheless, I believe in honor and integrity amongst public sector leaders and I suspect I always will, despite the inevitable disappointment that will result.
Hey–It’s a pretty darn great city! Sure, there were financial reporting issues, but Columbia runs just great, thanks to the many hard-working, caring people; there are thriving neighborhoods….Not a low standard, at all–and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to improve it–but even without my efforts, it’s a place I chose to return to, despite a severely limited tolerance for heat!
Agreed. I am addressing the mayor’s performance as a leader of city government but you are looking at a bigger picture. Just a difference in perspective…