Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Remember That Thing I Said About Temperament? Cortney Niland Is An Example

City Rep Cortney Niland is a textbook example of why temperament is important for an elected official. Essentially she told the people of El Paso and her colleagues that she doesn't care about the rules.

I don't know if its a sense of entitlement because of her wealth or because of her position, but her actions at the last city council meeting warrant action against her from her colleagues.

First, let me state very clearly that I think elected officials should have access to their devices during meetings. We live in an information age and our elected officials owe it to us to give us that latest and most accurate information available. That shouldn't even be a question.

If you got a question about whether or not a rep is communicating inappropriately during a meeting, then do an open records request. The ones with any amount of trustworthiness well gladly hand over their records. Hell, they may even take the extra step of retrieving anything that may have been deleted in the interest of transparency.

The nefarious ones will read and delete. And you'll know who they are when they turn over records that are severely redacted or say that don't have any records.

Also, she's a parent. If you aren't a parent then you basically have no understanding of how important it is to have a phone near you so that you can communicate with your child to coordinate rides, give them a quick pep talk before a math test, or be available in the case of an emergency.

You know, like all of you who use your cell phone during the course of your work day to communicate with your kids.

And besides, its not staff that is paid by taxpayer dollars responsibility to coordinate pick up and drop off of your kids or any other responsibility of a parent.

But where I disagree with Niland is in her apparent disregard for the democratic process. In the democratic process you have votes. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But the system is predicated on the fact that the will of the majority of the body is followed. When you suddenly decide, because you don't like the scoreboard at the end of the game, that you don't want to abide by those rules, the whole system breaks down.

In fact, why even serve as a member of city council if you aren't willing to abide by the outcomes of the votes? It shows a blatant disregard and disrespect for the democratic process which we cherish as a country.

Its undignified, unbecoming of an elected official, and decidedly un-American.

City Rep Cortney Niland's inability to control her temper and her demeanor on council has now become something that her colleagues and this community can not afford to overlook any further.

There are plenty of avenues in place when you don't like where a vote is going. There are plenty of maneuvers should could have, and should have, attempted prior to losing the vote. She chose not to. But you should never put an item on the agenda you aren't prepared to lose.

When you lose the vote you act like a dignified adult and go on doing the work the people of your district elected you to do, but you don't get to act like a spoiled entitled little brat who is upset that she didn't get her way. Thats not our process.

There should be no desire to make excuses for her behavior either. She knows exactly what she's doing. That is why she kept asking the city attorney what the consequences would be if she chose to ignore the rule. Once she found out that there is essentially nothing that can be done about her flagrantly ignoring a rule set forth by the body, she acted with impunity. So it wasn't a question of whether or not ignoring the rule was the right thing to do, it was whether or not she would get any punishment out of breaking the rule.

And that tells you a lot about Niland's character not only as an elected official, but as a person. There was a time that the whole "Honey Badger" thing as was considered cool because well, Honey Badger don't give a fuck.

That's all well and good when you're talking about advocating for a bold agenda. But when it comes down to the posture of Honey Badger Don't Give a Fuck when it comes to the rules of council and the outcome of votes, that is an entirely different story.

Her actions - and its been a series of them since she's been on council - demonstrate a lack of emotional stability. That is a terrible trait in any decision-maker, but downright dangerous in someone who is supposed to make decisions for the masses.

Elected leadership cannot pick and choose what rules they want to follow. The sad truth is she's likely been circumventing this rule for awhile now anyway. If you pay close attention to any of the video from council meetings you'll note that she has an apple watch. She can send and receive messages on that device.

So making a big deal about this agenda item and then publicly declaring that she doesn't care about the outcome of the vote and is going to do it anyway is a blatant disregard for the democratic process. You would think someone who only won by a razor thin margin would be a little concerned about giving someone a reason to recall her, but basically giving a big "fuck you" to council and the public is certainly something that might encourage someone to start a recall against her.

Many would say that her emotional instability has been a problem for a long time.

My response would be, "if the shoe fits".

Its time for Honey Badger to start giving a fuck.

Now that I think about it, where the hell is Barbara Carrasco on this one? She apparently loves to initiate ethics complaints having to do with cell phone communication. Lets see if she does so on this one...

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