03/24/2011: "Letters On "Sleeping Councilman""
To the Editor:
Kudos to the editor on his deftly executed “gotcha” piece. Who can argue against elected officials always giving their full attention to all public presentations no matter how arcane, obtuse or interminable. The irony is I really am interested. As a town councilmember for six years and now in my fifth year as a county councilmember fighting drowsiness has been a continual personal challenge. I knew it was a problem for me but up until this “big story” no one has ever made it an issue. Now I know, so thank you.
I’ve received some very nice emails offering suggestions like standing up when feeling drowsy, which is good. One I especially liked on the KING-5 comments was:
“BigDave55 said on March 23, 2011 at 8:51 PM
Sounds more like a sleeping disorder and as many show denial when having a medical issue, get tested dummy! sleep apnea possibly?”
So I’ve made an appointment to start the process to get tested.
The recent articles and subsequent comments in the paper about our council member leads me to ask "doth thou sleep too much??" While a much more exhaustive list could be compiled, here are some examples of vocations where it is okay to sleep on the job: mattress tester, sleep research patient, self employed children's book author. Here are some examples of jobs where it is not acceptable: commercial airline pilot, taxi driver, heavy equipment operation, county council member.
Mr. Rosenfeld, you have demonstrated through action (or inaction) and word that you are truly not listening. This recent news article is humorous proof positive. This is an embarrassment to our County and form of government. Your response to this article was filled with excuses, however, not once did you ever apologize. Instead you have blamed power point and asked for community suggestions on how to stay awake. Since you apparently slept through some power point sessions, let me fill you in on what has been going on. You have been passing unsustainable budgets and the County is not in a good position financially. Your County auditor has presented several power point shows that informed us the solid waste problem is coming to a head an she will soon stop writing checks to cover the SJC PW bills.
You have been elected to do a job and you are not doing it. Our County, as well as our country are in crisis. You are an elected leader. The citizens of this county (or at least 1/2 the ones in your district) have put their trust in you to be active in the process and work towards achieving solutions. In this regard, you have failed your constituents.
You honestly want suggestions from the population on how to fix your problem??
I realize the jokes and humorous suggestions will be forth coming from all angles. You may even try to laugh this off and make jokes of it. If that were to happen, then you would clearly be missing the point.
So on that note, i will leave with my suggestions how to "fix" this problem of yours that you have ever so humbly reached out to the community for help.
1) Shock collar (we could have a fund raiser to see who controls the button and put the money towards the budget problem, not unlike a dunk tank at the carnival)
2) Get caffeine put in the kool-aid you drink
3) Resign and seek one of the jobs listed above in the "acceptable to sleep at work" column
4) Put forth a diligent effort on solving the problems you have been elected to solve. You will be amazed at the energy you gain from that alone.
5) Put a thumb tack under your big toe and press on it when you are dozing. (this also is effective in beating a polygraph)
6) Pass a resolution authorizing "nap time" as essential to council business.
7) Form a sub committee to study the problem. Bring in some "experts" and using the best available science, come up with a list of solutions. Then take about a year and decide to implement none of those. (If you choose this route, be sure the consultants are expensive)
San Juan Island
So far as I know, Howie Rosenfeld and I have never agreed about anything. But I’m writing to defend Howie’s habit of dozing off at County Council meetings. How anyone could stay awake through all those endless, and increasingly incomprehensible, discussions about the Growth Management Act or the Critical Area Ordinance is beyond me. Taking short naps while some lawyer blathers on about this or that regulation suggests to me that Howie has what human-resource experts would call “superb time-management skills.”
Besides, Howie may not be the worst offender on our County Council. Lovell Pratt’s technophobic opposition to improved cell phone coverage -- she seems to fear that another cell phone tower or two would make us all grow second heads -- has brought us to the point where those Libyan rebels in Benghazi now have better coverage than we do. Looks to me like Lovell has slept through the entire information revolution.
San Juan Island