“They couldn’t pay me enough to be a Commish!” Cuffs said. “What’s your problem?” I asked, moving toward his booth at the North Street Hotel. “You burn your toast this morning?” Ignoring my wit, Cuff said, “I just don’t know how these Commishes keep all this government operating stuff straight?” He seemed to be asking no one in particular, and anyone who might overhear and bother to answer.
“I guess sometimes they don’t,” I said. “They’re only human. But the difference is, they’ve got everybody and their brothers, sisters and dead uncles—who think they have all the answers—taking potshots at every little thing they do. Even you do it sometimes.”
Appearing not to hear my last critical comment, Cuffs waved his hand and then rattled off a list of issues that recently had caught his attention: recording workshops and meetings, appropriating slots money, forming a budget advisers group, dealing with sprinklers, addressing old SPCA problems, new zoning stuff, pending water and sewer stuff, ongoing permit and license stuff, delicate personnel stuff, answering constituents’ special request stuff—and whatever other unexpected, hot-button, can’t-be-ignored, public safety emergency stuff that might pop up around the corner.
“It’s like trying to dig outta a bottomless pit,” Cuffs said, shaking his head. It almost seemed as if Cuffs thought he actually was one of the five Commishes dealing with it all.
“When you look at it that way,” I said, “you can understand Commish Dunn’s comment last week about stopping this runaway committee boulder that’s getting bigger as it rolls downhill.”
“Yeah,” said Cuffs. “I’m just trying to keep up with developments on a few issues, and I feel like I’m chasing a tail that I don’t have—but I can’t stop myself. The more you get into an issue, you find out it’s one step forward and three steps back.” “Makes you wonder why anyone would want to spend lots of time and money, trying to get elected to such a thankless job,” I said.
Nodding his head, Cuffs said, “Take this thing,” pointing to a recent Whig article. “It seems to be the source of outright rage on that Someone Noticed blog. But I can’t understand what all the fuss is about. ’Cause it’s a real good idea.”
Cuffs showed me the story about Commish Broomell’s campaign to broadcast videos of workshops and meetings. This would allow interested County residents to keep an eye on the issues—not just those same hangers-on that show up and hover over the Commishes . . . .