Long live the king!
Michael R. Jennings sent us this great letter to the editor, but there was just one problem – it was too long to print in the paper.
It now becomes an exclusive, web-only Guest View – Ed.
By now many of you ardent readers of this newspaper have been reading and/or hearing about Councilman Michael Plunkett's drive to change the governing structure of Edmonds.
In a nutshell, his proposal seeks to abolish the direct election of our mayor and replace the position with a council-manager form of government.
This newly created position would be hired directly by the council and the role of mayor, which would be chosen from amongst the sitting council members, would become, to some extent, more ceremonial in nature. Warning: Kissing babies may still be required.
I'm thinking, which in itself could be considered dangerous, that we should just cut to the chase and change our overall leadership functions to one of pomp and circumstance, something attention getting.
You know—something simple and basic—like say a King or a Queen.
Now don't laugh—this suggestion should be taken seriously if one only looks outside the normal, run of the mill box of possibilities.
Consider this...is not the city of Edmonds, like most other cities, always striving to find ways to bring in those rich tourists dollars to fill their coffers—as opposed to taxing its own citizens to death?
Well then, what better way to do that than to let it be known that we have the only political body in these whole United States of America that is governed by a King and/or a Queen.
Can you just imagine the national and international attention that this would draw upon once lowly thought of Edmonds?
The paparazzi, tourists and Somali pirates alike would fill City Park or the Edmonds Center for the Arts to be a witness to the coronation ceremonies (monies to be collected at the door, of course).
Think of the endless "Balls" the King and Queen could throw to raise money for charity along with filling the city’s all but depleted bank account.
Let your imaginations run wild and you should be able to see with clarity the unlimited promotional opportunities that some form of "royalty" could bestow on our beautiful city.
Within six months you would no longer see a single “For Lease” sign in front of any of our downtown buildings as demand for “royal” services (trinkets, souvenirs, etc.) would skyrocket. Your fellow Edmondites would be gainfully employed, no longer having to fight off the seagulls for thrown breadcrumbs each afternoon as I drive along Sunset Avenue.
Sorry, but I believe I was starting to get just a little carried away there with my visions of Utopia—now back to our kingly story.
Until Mayor Gary’s current term expires in 2012, we could immediately change his title to King Gary—and that of his ever-so-charming wife to that of Queen Dolly. Queen Dolly’s role would obviously be strictly ceremonial. Unless, of course, she were to have the King marched off to the guillotine for a little quick, involuntary weight-loss program.
Then we would obviously have to relook at possibly changing her roles and responsibilities.
Looking beyond just their roles, however, it would appear that our council members could just as easily be given a new title as well.
They could officially be known as the Knights of the Long Table (the city never was able to afford a very large round table). Oh wait, that title won't set well with lady councilors, will it? I'm not too sure that they would like being called Knightesses.
Possibly they can seek suggestions from the populace at large (as they never have been shy in the past about throwing out their opinions on a given topic—even when they know little to nothing about the given topic at hand. Don’t be offended—I include myself in that bunch as well. We are all, in one degree or another, armchair politicians).
But back to the more important matter of the King and/or Queen positions. Instead of parading his/her royal highnesses around the city in some gas-guzzling vehicle, which is no longer considered cool, we could easily set them up with a carriage meant for their royal positions.
Given the current economy, along with the overthrow of various houses of royalty around the world of late, I'm convinced that a royal carriage could be had for next to nothing.
Or possibly we could just buy a slightly used one from Disneyland; but that is a matter better suited for the king’s purchasing department to worry about. Of course, it goes without saying that said carriage would require some form of locomotion.
Horses, as we know from having watched one too many parades, can not only be a little "messy" but also expensive to maintain. Besides, I don’t think that horses are currently allowed within city limits (jackasses yes, horses not so much).
So, given that this current council is all gung-ho about saving the environment, I would like to propose that we enlist the entire slate of council members to provide the necessary "horsepower" for the royal couple.
Given the number of steep hills throughout Edmonds, we, being a kind and gentler group of citizens, would only ask that they pull the royal carriage in the downtown area, with temperatures neither exceeding 100 degrees nor falling below 32 degrees.
I’m not quite sure whether or not King Gary, assuming he is to be the chosen one, would opt for a designated driver or if he would prefer to be the one up front “prodding” the councilors along with his royal whip (oh pity the councilors closest to the carriage and/or with the biggest derrières).
Anyway, this council-generated form of locomotion would also allow some, if not most, of the councilors the perfect opportunity for blowing off hot air (without actually blowing off hot air).
I predict that this may even result in council meetings being shortened to around an hour if they follow immediately after a carriage ride.
It's the same principle that many of you have used on your own children—wear them out first and fast if you want to take the fight out of them for later parent-to-child conversations. It is amazing how agreeable one can be when they are zapped of their energy.
As one can easily tell from the above discourse on the ‘virtues of royalty,’ the possibilities are endless with the benefits to the city far exceeding anything our past and present councils have been able to dream up.
A current council member has come forth, via the print media, and asked you and me to think outside the box in finding creative solutions to both save and generate income for the city. Well, I’m here to tell my representatives and you, my fellow citizens, that the above suggestions are a sure-fire way to generate both notoriety and wealth for the fine citizens of Edmonds.
But they had better hurry up and institute these changes quickly before the likes of Mountlake Terrace or Mukilteo get wind of these proposals.
Long live the King!
Michael R. Jennings