Thursday, June 28, 2007 | In any other state in the nation, if a major issue were facing a city, the press would turn to the mayor and ask, “What are you doing about it?” The populace would hope that the mayor would respond that he/she was meeting with experts to understand the issue, talking to all of the parties involved, listening to all of the potential resolutions, determining the positives and negatives of each, and, perhaps, when necessary, the public might like to hear that the mayor was flying to the state’s or nation’s capitol to get assistance from such higher authorities. This would be the proper response of any mayor.
Why didn’t Jerry Sanders answer the Sunroad questions in this manner. It would have been perfectly appropriate. “Yes, I met with Sunroad.” “Yes. I met with the FAA.” “Yes. I have experts advising me on the risks of the situation. In a strong mayor form of government, it is my job to seek resolutions to problems confronting our city. In that vein, I am speaking with everyone and looking into all of the options in this case. Safety is paramount.” He could have followed it up with: “Of course, I will not put pen to paper without first getting the approval of the City Attorney and Council.”
My only thought as to why this did not happen, is not that the mayor is corrupt, but that he was getting lousy advice from his “advisers.” His actions should have been open. And, if open, his actions should have been welcomed. The problem was and still is that in the current environment, with all of the thoughts of conspiracy, with witch-hunts right and left, any secrecy, any appearance of deception, will turn the public against you. So, though what Mayor Sanders has sought to do may have been exactly what a mayor would otherwise be expected to do, he will be seen by the public as part of the continuing conspiracy.