Yesterday, I drove down to Waseca and spent a couple hours going through Waseca City Council minutes after being helped by the professional and cordial staff.
One of the things that jumped out at me was the wording of the resolution Parry offered on November 1, 2005 about the future of Maplewood Park:
It was moved by Parry, seconded by Johnson, to direct City Staff to develop RFPs for the sale for residential or commercial development, Maplewood Park. [emphasis added]
I wrote about the Maplewood Park issue on Tuesday, but this clarification from the public record was enlightening. No wonder the town was put into an uproar over the resolution, which came in open discussion. As one council member responded:
Councilmember Zwach stated this is the reason the Maplewood Task Force was developed, and Councilmember Parry’s motion is out of the blue. She stated the Council is already throwing out options due to the budget for next year. Councilmember Zwach stated that Maplewood Park is a treasure and it should be left as such, the Council should put this issue to rest and leave the park as it is.
Parry later said that he regretted the word “sale” but thought while he might have chosen his words more carefully, the resolution did spark citizen interest in saving the park. Over 1400 people signed a petition opposing Parry’s idea to sell the park (and it’s worth noting again that before the public outcry, he spoke of having talked with developers about the city property, as the WCN reported).
Good one. This sort of behavior — say something, then excuse himself of responsibility — looks like the hallmark of Parry’s leadership style.
This characteristic was clearly evident in the last few days, when Parry changed his story several times about who wrote and who deleted his offensive tweets before half-heartedly apologizing under fire yesterday afternoon. (The remarkably bad press might have had something to do with that).
Parry’s actions are those of a leader — and the Maplewood Park episode is only one of several incidents that make it easy to conclude why voters decisively kicked him out of city office after one term.
As the Washington Post said of “Tweetgate:”
Here’s part 4,786 in our continuing series entitled: “Why politicians shouldn’t use Twitter.” In Minnesota, a Republican running for an open state Senate seat apparently tweeted back in May that President Obama was a “Power Hungry Arrogant Black Man.” Later, according to a report from Minnesota Public Radio, the same candidate sought to link Democrats to pedophilia. Um, not smart.