Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Duluth Set to Fill At-Large Council Seat, God Help Us All

NOTE: Because of this post I am adding a new label, Duluth Needs Help. Unfortunately, I think that I will be using this label more and more.

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Some of you might know (but maybe not care) that due to the retirement of long-time State Representative Mike Jaros there will be a new face representing Central/West Duluth in the Legislatures. This new face is Roger Reinert, a current, soon to be former, Duluth City Councilman.

Since Reinert is vacating his seat, the City Council has to appoint somebody to fill his vacancy until the regular election for the position is held in 2009. The normal way for an open council seat to be filled in Duluth is for the city to solicit applications from community members and have the City Council chose whom they would want to work with.

The open application period ended last week. In total, 35 people applied for the At-Large council seat.

Today, I stumbled on a partial list of the applications for the job. There are about 3 good candidates. Take a look if you want further disappointment in people's ability to make logical arguments.

Rule #1 for a job application is to list accomplishments in your resume. Rule #2 is to write a cover letter that lays out ideas for action. I read about 30 applications and only found a few professional accomplishments and ideas that the candidate would implement. Sadly, most of the ideas were either completely ill-advised (doing away with taxes) or misguided (stopping all bonding projects).

If one looks at the applications, one will notice the citation of nonprofit board experience as a significant reason for consideration. Having been on and worked with boards in Duluth, a person who solely lists board experiences should be automatically excluded. Many of the organizations in Duluth have boards that don't do anything but hold onto the status quo and look inwards. Now, if somebody cited some new innovations that they headed while a board member, that would be a different story. But they didn't, so move on.

I don't know what to think. The candidates with good experience have screwy politics. And the passionate candidates are mostly clueless about creating good policy. I could get behind somebody if they could present ideas, but apparently that's too much to ask for these days.

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