State of the City: Does anyone really care?

February 3, 2013 

State of the Union, State of the State and State of the City addresses are, by design, optimistic. For outgoing Mayor Robert Reichert, it was an opportunity to not only say where the city is going but where it has come from. After all, it was his last State of the City. He will either step down when the new consolidated government takes over next year or run for a elected spot in the new government.

If the events of Thursday’s State of the City address have anything to do with his decision, our guess is that such outbursts caution any and all from seeking an elected position.

While we think our society has progressed past the point of mob rule, think again. If the two dozen or so protesters, waving signs and shouting questions and interrupting the mayor about the death by policeman of Sammie Davis Jr., had their way, they would have stormed the Bastille to deliver their form of justice.

Does the mayor want answers? Of course, but we are a nation of laws. Reichert knows he can’t, as mayor, publicly pass judgment on the chain of events that led to Davis’ death. Nor can he seek political capital by throwing his police department under the bus prematurely.

Do all citizens care about the state of the city? The short answer is “no.” Some really aren’t concerned about the long-term projects the mayor wanted to brag about. Some don’t care about a clean audit or the efforts to finish the Tubman Museum or any future strategies that hopefully will help all to prosper. Some are, however, easily sidetracked, and that was on display Thursday.

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