View from the Cheap Seats: Yogi was right

I was talking to a friend recently and wondered out loud what his plans were after the mayoral election. “I’m moving to Parma,” he said with great conviction. PARMA??!!?? I’ll admit I was disappointed too, but PARMA? The conversation did make me wonder, though. What did my friends think the next step was after the election? So I took a poll. Remember, this was a very unscientific poll. I didn’t hire a consultant, I just called friends.

The first call I made was to a neighbor who’d been particularly focused on a change in administration. He wasn’t home, and his answering machine informed me he’d moved to Iceland. I started down my list, calling friends who’d been involved in the issues. One said he planned to drink heavily for the next four years. One vowed to wear nothing but black till the next election. Another said she was planning to have the number 78 tattooed on her body. “Seventy eight?” I inquired, confused.  “The number of votes [Sutherland] won by,” my friend explained patiently as if tutoring a particularly stupid pupil. I didn’t inquire where the tattoo was intended to go. You just don’t ask that sort of question of a lady of 81. Several friends made comments I can’t repeat. One just screamed incoherently and hung up. Two were actually in tears. I found the whole thing pretty depressing.

Finally I talked to one particularly intelligent, calm, logical friend. “Why’re you so depressed?” my wife said. “It’s not over, you know. There are over 400 votes left to count.” This astonished me. How come so many?

“Last time I checked there were 125 absentee votes not counted yet, 138 provisional ballots that have to be counted and 138 under votes (where the machine didn’t record any vote for mayor) for total of 410 votes that could go either way,” she explained. “If Jim Scott were to win 60% of the outstanding votes, he’d win the election by one vote – and that’s all it takes.  We should know something by November 24th." That changed my outlook.

Even if Debbie Sutherland does ends up winning, she should be terribly embarrassed. After all, she’s been in office 9 years and the best she can do is to win by a handful of votes – maybe one percentage point or less? According to a Nov. 11 article in the West Life newspaper, she “…couldn’t pinpoint exact areas where voters might have had an issue with her administration.” REALLY? You mean not the budget? You mean not the legal violations in the executive sessions? It boggles the mind doesn’t it? Astonishing! Talk about disconnected!

But I digress… Where do we go from here? Well I guess we’ll have to wait till the 24th to figure that out. It depends on who the next mayor is. As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” And it ain’t over yet – not by a long shot.

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Volume 1, Issue 7, Posted 1:20 PM, 11.13.2009