Wit and wisdom or puerile persiflage?
Councilman William Reid, known for his commentary on camera at public meetings, outdid himself Monday.
Reid's four-year term ends on Dec. 31 and he is not running for re-election. He is serving his second year as chairman of the whole, meaning he has the microphone for a large part of the meeting. Maybe it is the prospect of losing the limelight that is leading to the loopiness, but Reid went beyond his previous barnyard allusions and spelled out a four-letter word for excrement Monday. When Council President Bridget Rivers said a point of order had been called, Reid asked, "What's a point of order?"
Returning to the agenda, he said, "This is crazy. I never worked in a place like this."
Earlier, in a discussion of Urban Enterprise Zone funding for improvements on East Second Street, Reid said of Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, "I don't care whether the money is there or not, all he has to do is say, 'Let's do it.' "
He also urged Mapp to "show this is a great America that we live in," adding "all you have to do is say let's get it done."
By way of criticism, he said, "There are a lot of ways not to do something."
Though goading the mayor to flout fiscal rules, he also found fault with the mayor being present, saying it was really a council meeting and the mayor and administrator should be there only by invitation.
"It would make it a little more comfortable for the council," Reid said, even though the City Charter states, "The mayor may attend meetings of council and may take part in discussions of council but shall have no vote."
All in all, it was quite a performance, but maybe not the best example of statesmanship for the young people in the audience. Reid has been counting down the months till he is gone - just three to go.