An Ode to Chairman Reid

Tonight the era of Bill Reid as City Councilman comes to an end, and I have a confession to make. I’ll miss Chairman Reid a bit.

No, this is nothing political, or ideological. It has nothing to do with the future of the city. Nothing to do with a desire to see people work together for the common good. It’s not because I expect his First Ward replacement to serve any worse, or any better for that matter.

No disrespect intended for the councilors who have to deal with Reid or put up with his put downs – which I won’t miss one bit – but I find Bill Reid’s presence funny. Not good funny. Funny in that perverse sort of way. Amusing like slip and falls on America’s Funniest Home Videos. Like reality television. Like Mr. Magoo. Like a George Bush speech.

Who will be there to provide that typical, indignant 6-1 “no!” vote for routine items? No one can skip right over ordinances like Mr. Reid, or match him delving into small talk and anecdotes in the midst of serious discussion. Few can compete with his brand of irrelevant questioning towards those who stand before the mic. And who will provide long rants about protecting the taxpayer without understanding their packet? OK, Vera Greaves will, but you get my point.

More progress would be wonderful, but I can’t help but enjoy a little comic relief in its absence.

Enough will be written about the serious business at tonight’s City Council meeting – there’s a forensic audit and PMUA commissioner nomination on the list. I’ll leave that to others today, as I’ve tended to do recently with the Council. Tonight, for me, will also be about witnessing Bill Reid’s last performance.



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