Daily Bread for 6.22.22: For Whitewater’s Public Institutions, It’s Not Who, It’s What and How

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 87. Sunrise is 5:16 AM and sunset 8:37 PM for 15h 20m 15s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 34.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Tech Park Board meets at 8 AM, and the Park Board meets at 5:30 PM.

On this day in 1944, President Roosevelt signs into law the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill.

Whitewater will be looking for a new city manager and a new police chief. A few remarks:

  1. These are not sudden developments. The city manager previously interviewed for a job in Fort Atkinson; the same consulting firm has now found him a position in Dodge County. The police chief has been on administrative leave for about half a year; the common council had a closed-session agenda item about his employment on May 3rd (‘Consideration of the terms of a Release and Employment Disposition Agreement between the City of Whitewater and the City of Whitewater Police Chief’). None of this is sudden, and consideration of the release pre-dates recent press coverage about the Whitewater Police Department. If residents are surprised, it’s because their local government has not informed them properly.
  2. It’s easy to say ‘we can’t talk under the advice of counsel.’ It’s so easy that it’s become a trope. No one needs a lawyer to say he can’t talk — laypeople can keep quiet on their own (although they sometimes need reminding). The value of good representation comes when clients don’t talk but their lawyers craft careful statements with the news that can be said. It’s only all or nothing for those who don’t see there are informative middle positions.
  3. Whitewater worries about who, but she would do better to think about what and how. Find the right principles, with a leader who knows how to achieve them, and then government will function more smoothly. It’s not the person, it’s the policy.
  4. For public roles: Whitewater does not need a surrogate brother, she needs a city manager. Whitewater does not need a surrogate uncle, she needs a police chief. Whitewater does not need a surrogate sister, she needs a superintendent. Whitewater does not need a surrogate grandparent, she needs a chancellor.
  5. In all cases, government should be responsible and limited, so that private life may flourish most fully.
  6. As it is, in a country with serious debates and conflicts over fundamental rights, as would have been true other times in our past, local government has both (1) a general obligation to run well and also (2) a particular obligation in these times to run well so that it does not add to ideological or economic burdens now gripping residents.

It’s not a personal role, but officials fulfilling their public roles with expressed policies of what and how that the community now needs.

EU candidacy status for Moldova and Ukraine will set example:

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Might have taken notes this time
3 days ago

“It’s not the person, it’s the policy.”

If it weren’t incredibly tacky and somewhat inappropriate, I’d insert hand clapping symbols.