Granderson: City council members’ recording isn’t just offensive. It’s also illuminating
As a former city council member, I often found myself defending or condemning politicians. But there was one council member I defended when I felt he was being overly critical or was wrong on one particular issue or another.
I’ll never forget his name because it was an “R” instead of a “C,” like the last three council members – Richard Conlin, Jim Whelan and David Marshall. I called him Richard for short. In reality, he was referred to as the “Radical.”
I’ve gotten used to it. I’ll say it and it takes me back to the days when I spent most of my time in City Hall watching what was happening – and hearing what was being said, and even reading from the newspapers.
I was a council member for 12 years. I loved what I was doing. I loved the people I represented and served with. I loved seeing progress – in the physical and economic development of my community. I loved working with Council and staff, and helping to shape policy.
But I never hated it.
And never have.
When I was running for City Council, I’d ask the voters to elect me to represent the people of Madison, but I’d also ask them to elect me to serve with Richard Conlin and Jim Whelan and David Marshall.
When I was campaigning – and when I got elected – I was proud to serve with Richard Conlin and Jim Whelan and David Marshall. To be able to work with them, and to support them. To see the positive impact that they had on neighborhoods, on schools, on parks, on transportation.
In fact, I found myself telling them and other elected officials during my campaigns that I didn’t just serve with Richard Conlin and Jim Whelan and David Marshall, but that I served with them in that way.
I said that it would be nice if elected officials were a little more thoughtful and that they would ask more difficult questions during board meetings and committee meetings. I said that I liked the way they did things, but that it might be more helpful if they did it a little bit differently.
And that’s what I told my fellow