Well, the day is drawing nigh where I'll no longer be able to actively pursue the ruination of our fair city. At least not from the inside. To celebrate this the City staff put together a retirement party for Mr. Randolph and myself. It was a brief if poignant affair. The City Manager, Mr. Pate, was running the show along with the Mayor. It was one of those events that you dread to attend but once it is underway it is a lot of fun. The City Clerk's office really outdid themselves and the department heads for the City were very generous. Thanks to all of the staff. There really isn't much that I could do without their help. I believe all of the Council members, except Mr. Aveni were in attendance as were Senator Colgan, Del. Miller, Mayor Waldron, Mayor Weber and many of the School Board members. Thanks to those guys for taking the time to attend.
I was struck by how often people asked the following:
1. Will you miss it? This really requires a nuanced answer but I most often just blurt out "no". Truth is, I miss crafting legislation and getting things done. I wanted for the Council to pursue big picture strategy planning and then craft legislation to make it happen. It's necessary for us to thrive. We did some of that early in my tenure but little since. Certainly the economy had a hand in some of that but it shouldn't have stopped strategic planning. What I won't miss is the drain of mental energy necessary to deal with people who really aren't interested or are more interested in playing politics. There's far too much of that recently.
2. Will you run for Mayor / Council / Whatever in a year or two? First off, I'm gratified that people believe I can do good things for the City. That's cool. However, the current answer is no. Could that change? Sure. But it isn't as though those jobs will go unfilled if I don't seek them. I can also tell you that if I ever decide to run for office in the future it will be a well considered move and not a rash declaration. Sitting through a raft of personal attacks and then getting your ass kicked in a convention will do that to you.
What I will miss least is politics and being a "politician." I'm not sure I ever was a politician and, in the current political environment, being a politician is akin to being a liar, thief, cheat and a scumbag. I'm not those things. The overwhelming majority of local government electeds are just guys who got involved. Dealing with personal attacks and single-agenda crap isn't what most signed up for. I know it isn't what I signed up for and when I ran into that, it took a lot of mental energy to deal with. Too many nights laying awake in bed. There was much more of this as things moved along. The Council spent more and more time on agenda items that really had very little to do with City business and more to do with political agendas. That got pretty frustrating. In the final analysis, most local government guys aren't politicians. The ones that are politicians move up the ladder. That isn't bad, it just is.
I'm humbled that the staff thought enough of me to put on the event and that many of my neighbors attended. I'm humbled to have served and possibly contributed to the success of our City. Continue to watch this space, I'll continue to blog and I'm going to be involved in some pretty interesting things. The real momentum in Manassas is currently with the Schools. If the Council spent the past few years winding our collective watches, the schools have assembled a unified board, a great executive and are thinking long-term big picture. Things are starting to happen and that's maybe a place where I can help make more stuff happen.
Thanks to my family for putting up with all of this and supporting me. It takes alot.