Column: McRady continues to be firebrand

Friday, June 17, 2011

I should thank Councilman Ronald McRady for making public the specifics about City Treasurer Connie Edde's pending retirement and part-time service to continue for a couple of years, or less.

What the heck: Thanks Ronald. However, there are other opinions.

One perspective is that it was how McRady asked questions that drove the woman to tears when he dissected Edde's contract to be a consultant for the next city treasurer. And he said he didn't have to apologize because it was just business. That's the style over substance position.

If he'd spoken differently, his point might have been persuasive and other councilmen would have voted to stop the contract.

Another perspective is that a poorly worded contract was approved and, to some extent, the end justifies the means. However, even McRady points out that the contract was going to be approved anyway. There's a block of three councilmen who vote together.

There are so few things that we can point to and say, "That's perfect." Nobody's perfect. We all have our talents and shortcomings. We rise and fall with them.

If we don't find a way to do better, we may only take comfort in the famous Pogo cartoon statement: "We have met the enemy and he is us."

It did seem as though a woman was bullied and that caused her to cry.

Tears, however, shouldn't distract us from an attempt to control spending. Still, it may be penny wise and pound foolish to take on another charter-based city official with little if any institutional memory available without a safety net, and that was the intention of the agreement between City Hall and a soon-to-be retired treasurer.

Edde has served the city with integrity and there's no evidence to suspect that she's going to gouge Lewisburg as a consultant. McRady acknowledges that.

His state government background was in the Department of Corrections where the largest number of people involved are criminals and the best way to deal with the management of people and money is with strict adherence to rules.

And so there was a clash at City Hall.

There's another point made by McRady that indicates that he is probably less concerned about Edde.

"The credibility of the City Council is zero and I'm trying to make things better," he said Wednesday.

The point he made appeals to suspicious people. It's the feeling behind: "You can't fight City Hall." Reporting salary dollar amounts can inflame jealousy in others. The amounts are public and are a relevant part of the news.

Still, I'm reminded of the late Sen. Joe McCarthy. His rants about Communists in the U.S. State Department are famous.

Decades later, someone in the middle of it said McCarthy was just a bump in the road.

Good public servants will survive and they vastly out-number those who take liberties with the public's trust.

I'm not comparing Ronald McRady to Joe McCarthy. The relevant part is that good will triumph and perhaps both sides were trying to do so.

These views are the author's and not necessarily reflective of the Tribune's views.ꧮ