Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Indecisive Dan?

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today takes Mayor Dan Coody to task for running away from the hard decisions that must be made on the Fayetteville City Budget for 2009, because he "wants to pass on the hard—and politically dangerous—work of hammering out a budget to the city council." As the editorial points out, "Dan Coody's never been known to stick his neck out. He prefers to play it safe, letting others take the risks when the results of some decision could be politically uncomfortable." In other words, "When he isn’t being high-handed, he’s passing the buck of balancing the budget to the city council. All in all, not an edifying performance on the part of the city’s chief executive."

In this instance the Democrat-Gazette is correct, but Dan is usually quite adept at making lots of decisions on almost every problem facing him. For example:

Just last week, he decided he was for bottled water after he was against it.

He was for road impact fees before he was against them.

He was for a Hillside and Tree Preservation ordinance before he vetoed it.

He was for employee cost-of-living raises before he was against them.

He was against having a staff publicity agent before he was for it.

He was for an increase in property taxes before he was against them.

He was for City Plan 2025 infill development before he was for sprawl west of the city limits.

He was for the smoking ordinance before he was against extending it.

He was for putting the Police Department in the Mexican Original building before he was against it.

He was for regular press conferences to answer citizen questions before he was against them.

He was for stepping down as mayor before he went back on his word to run again.

He decided that the $63 million sewer debacle was the fault of Fred Hanna, then inflation, then Hurricane Katrina, then his consultants, and then the Water and Sewer Committee before he decided it was a work of art and a grand success worth two televised ribbon-cuttings.

Dan Coody can make a decision on any question. Lots of them. That way, he can keep lots of good things going. Or not.

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