Kick council’s butt; let them eat chicken | Intermediate Eater

By John Owen | May 22, 2014

I can visualize Mayor Earling waving goodbye to his wife as he leaves for the office. “Busy day?” she is liable to ask.

“Yeah,” he might reply. “I’ve got to kick some butt on the City Council.”

And I can guess how you might react, if you were a fly on the wall.

Chances are you might comment, “It’s about time.” Well, isn’t it?

You might equate the mayor to the head coach of a football team. And how would the coach react if his players had begun to form cliques and were constantly second-guessing the game plan?

Right. The coach would kick some butt. He would kick butt AND take names. You probably know the names. Individually they are well educated and well motivated. But turn them loose on a football field, or in council chambers, and they start running around and acting like their hair is on fire.

The appointment of Jim Reid, described as a team-building consultant, was recently announced as a doctor with a cure. For starters, I would assume he promised not to set his hair on fire. But almost immediately a few council members seemed to sniff smoke.

Which just proved my point. Somebody needs to kick some butt and take some names in the City Council.

According to a dictionary of slang, the term “Kick butt and take names” originated in elementary schools. When the teacher had to leave the room, he or she would bring some reliable student up to the front of the room to keep order. Specifically they were assigned the task of writing down the names of misbehaving classmates.

“Kick butt and take names!”

OK, on his behalf I admit that the mayor does not have all the authority of a head football coach. But if he isn’t in charge, who is?

Nobody? Then the inmates are running the funny farm.

My solution, short of kicking butt and taking names, would be to invite all the council members to a picnic. Pass around the wine bottles once or twice... more if you detect somebody with their hair on fire.

Serve with potato salad and this chicken dish.


Kick Butt Chicken


1 fryer chicken

6 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon tabasco

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 chicken bouillon cube


Cut up the chicken. Moosh together all the other ingredients and let sit 10 minutes.

Use the sauce to paint the chicken pieces. Place chicken in a buttered oven dish. Place in a 375 oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Turn the chicken, brush again with sauce and return to the oven for about 45 minutes, basting frequently.

Take the chicken to the picnic warm or cooled. Double or triple the recipe if the full council shows up with knives and forks poised.


Comments (2)
Posted by: Ken Reidy | May 23, 2014 12:10

Mr. Owen, I was stunned when I noticed and read your article in this week’s Beacon.  Is it your belief that Mayor Earling has not played a role related to the current challenges at City Hall?  Do you believe that the Mayor is above any “butt kicking” and that he does not participate in the game of forming cliques and interfering with the City Council’s ability to employ its Legislative Authority to enact the City’s laws and policies?

Following is what our City Code requires Mayor Earling to do:

The mayor shall be the chief executive and administrative officer of the city, in charge of all departments and employees, with authority to designate assistants and department heads. The mayor shall see that all laws and ordinances are faithfully enforced and that law and order is maintained in the city, and shall have general supervision of the administration of city government and all city interest.

I certainly hope you are in the great minority if you think Mayor Earling has supervisory/coaching responsibilities over the City Council.  I believe that he does not and for good reason.

Under the “separation of powers doctrine” the Mayor and City Council are supposed to exercise certain defined powers, free from unreasonable interference by the others.

I hope the result of Jim Reid’s efforts is a commitment by Mayor, staff and Council to a focus on public service and the provision of good government.  I hope all understand their roles better at the completion of the consultant’s work.

Posted by: Tere Ryder | May 23, 2014 19:02

The City of Edmonds IS a MAYOR/COUNCIL government. YES! there is a SEPARATION OF POWERS.......AND!  EACH! has specific powers EQUALLY for the governing and administration of our city. You can easily find a copy of the Washington State City Council and Mayor HANDBOOKS. .....speaking of education.

We have LAWS and the Mayor of Edmonds is NOT the "coach" of the City Council. And, I would like to add that this isn't a GAME or  SPORT. .....and your references to "kick butt and take names" and references to a football  game is obscene, particularily considering we just had another Edmonds ELDERLY resident DIE on our streets, with many questions regarding this by the CITIZENS that ELECTED our OFFICIALS.   You've been watching too much t.v. and perhaps you are confused....seeing football players at the White House..........

**** The "plan" for the City of Edmonds is WHAT the CITIZENS of Edmonds decide and the LAW.  The Mayor and his Staff/Council work for US, the CITIZENS, not the other way around. Yes, the focus is supposed to be PUBLIC SERVICE........"SERVICE" being a key word here and following LAW, and thank the citizens of this  great city that we DO have some EDUCATED people on our City Council!

If you wish to comment, please login.