On November 16, 2009 the Tipp City Council had its first regularly-scheduled meeting after the election.  All 3 newly-elected members of City, Council, (Katelyn Black, Brian Budding, and Joe Gibson) were present for the meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers.  Council President, Pat Hale,  re-elected for a second term was, of course, presiding over the meeting, and all 6 other members were present.

After City’s business was taken care of, in the final “council comments” portion of the meeting none of the Council Members took the time to publicly congratulate or even acknowledge the election of the three new members of City Council.  This election proved to be unique if not history-making.  First, Katelyn Black made history with her election, resulting in the youngest person in history to be elected to the Council.  This was certainly worth noting.  Gibson’s election was noteworthy in that he was not only the highest vote-getter of 2009, but his showing bested the highest vote-getter in 2007, 2005, 2003 and even 2001.  No mention of this from anyone.  Even Brian Budding’s election was noteworthy.  A relative unknown, Budding is new to Tipp City, and with no political experience or “insider knowledge” (both Gibson and Black are on the Planning Board, and the Zoning Appeals Board respectively) yet he was able to best a previous Mayor and long-time council member to be elected his first time running.

All or any of these stories are news-making to say the least, if not worthy of recognition by the sitting council.  With the Dayton Daily News deciding not to cover any points north of Vandalia any longer, it is pretty much expected from that bastion of literary mediocrity.  But Council Members should have at least acknowledged the situation and made some mention of it one way or another.  Each member had the opportunity at the conclusion of the meeting to say a few words about any topic.  While the Winter’s Gathering and the local D.A.R.E. program garnered much-deserved commentary, many felt that something should have been said about this election.  In prior post-election Council Meetings many comments, remarks and words of congratulations were made by sitting Council Members, almost to the point of gushing over the results.  Nothing whatsoever was said at this meeting. Nothing.

So what does this mean?  Was it an intended snub on the part of the current Council?  Are the lame-ducks sitting on this session of Council so into themselves that they have no desire whatsoever to even note the happenings around them, as newsworthy (and even historical ) as they are?  Are they so eager to simply finish their terms and get out that they can’t even bring themselves to acknowledge another human being’s existence?  Are they so angered that this “bunch of outsiders” got in that they want nothing to do with them?  Or is it shame?  Perhaps they don’t want to acknowledge that they are handing off to them a city that is in a tenuous financial situation, spending more money than they should each year and a budget process that’s desperately in need of revision?  Odds are that they were simply too busy with the City’s business to even remember that this had all happened a week before.  In all fairness that’s probably it.   The Meeting agenda that night was a lengthy one, with a whopping 7 to 8 items to be addressed, and the proceedings themselves concluded around 8:30.  That’s probably what it was.

Either way, it would go a long way in the eyes of the citizens  to see that there is a cordial, respectful, even civil transition going on and this would have been a good opportunity to get something like this started.  The Citizens want to see open government, with mature, civil interactions of its members with honest, respectful debate.  There are a few more meetings with the current Council before their terms expire in January.  Perhaps this can still happen. Meetings are at 7:30 p.m. every first and third Monday of the month, and are televised on KIT-TV, Channel 5 throughout the week afterwards.  Copies of the City Council Meetings are available on DVD from KIT-TV as well.