Saturday, October 20, 2007

Never Cut A Tyrant Slack

In the event we're stuck with Wayne until a new mayor and city council are elected in a few short years, (yes, Ed, we ALL know you are running for Mayor) it behooves us to understand the Tyrant That Would Be Wayne. The following is taken from Archetype Tyrant, "Sixth Sense" by Stuart Wilde:

If you don't have a Ph.D. in psychology and lots of time to spare, stay away from tyrants. If you have to deal with tyrants, remember this: Even though they're desperately unhappy, they become arrogant and dogmatic through the exercise of their tyranny. You will rarely get a tyrant to see reason. They live in their own rabid empire. Tyrants like and expect abuse. "Plank on head" is the only language they understand. Don't negotiate, don't accommodate, and don't try to please them. The more you try to do for them, the more it affirms their power of manipulation. It's sad to say, but you should never cut the suckers any slack. It's bound to backfire.


Anonymous said...

The Council must remember that 5,000 votes are from City Employees. If they vote to keep him they can be assured those votes are gone. Those of us who have lived in this situation of outsiders and humiliation can only hope that the Council votes to do the right thing – not create a new contract with Cauthen. If not remember that 5,000 votes, at a minimum will be against you. We all have spouses, family, friends and other that we will talk to. So if reelection or a higher position is in your thought, think about what you are doing to those of us who serve KCMO and have the right to go to the election booths.

Anonymous said...

While perhaps this goes without saying, this current sordid problem rests squarely at the feet of Mayor Funkhouser. He prides himself on not being a politician, but perhaps he will prove to be one after all. The then City Auditor had inside knowledge of WC’s shortcomings as a City Manager having worked with him for over three years. When he decided to run for mayor, although he has attempted to distance himself from comments attributed to him, he firmly indicated he was going to hire another city manager. We all remember the Mayor saying he would help WC find another job. What’s more frustrating is that WC knew this. He actively campaigned to get Alvin Brooks elected and raised quite a bit of dough from his Denver connections in support of this effort. Assuming that political donors attempt to cover all bases, care to guess how much WC had his Denver pipeline contribute to Mayor Funkhouser’s campaign? Try $0. After Funkhouser was elected, WC stepped up his job search full speed firmly believing Mayor Funkhouser would carry out one of his campaign platforms. However, a funny thing happened on Mayor Funkhouser’s elevator ride to the 29th floor. All of a sudden, the Mayor deemed WC a good city manager and he was not intent on removing him. In the meantime, WC was reinventing himself as a team player and even got LT to start coming to work (in exchange for a promotion). Do we remember the flip-flopping John Kerry did in the last presidential election which in no small part led to a George W. Bush victory? Maybe, just maybe, we’re seeing something up close and personal in Kansas City politics.

It is also a disturbing site to witness Mayor Funkhouser’s inability to lead this Council. He succeeded in his second attempt to terminate WC’s contract to prevent the automatic roll over year. We continue to see Terry Riley’s outright public disrespect for the Mayor. As a council committee chairman, his continued insolence toward the Mayor should result in his chairmanship being stripped as well as being moved (as in demoted) to a lesser council committee. As part of the debate on WC’s contract, it was appalling to hear the number of council members who indicated they thought WC was doing either a good or excellent job. How would they know? They have 5 ½ months experience with WC and if they had to quantify a good job by WC, they couldn’t do it. I appreciate those council members more who merely said they supported WC. The reasons for “support” could be one or more of many.

The black council members are deeply disturbing. I suspect they support WC because he, too, is black. But if you believe WC is an oppressive manager (and he is) then the message from the minority council members must be it is OK for us to support this one guy, even though he is oppressive to the masses. Examples abound. Why would this acceptable?

During his campaign, Mayor Funkhouser sought the support of city employees. Among other things he underscored two important themes in courting the city employee vote: 1) He did not believe city employees should be subjected to a leader who leads by fear and intimidation (remember the flyer handed out on the west side of City Hall?) and 2) He would do what he could to make sure city employees were paid fairly. If he doesn’t address these issues, then you simply remember this at the next election.

With that said, while this blog is a wonderful means to share information, perhaps it won't really get the Council’s attention until some type of specific work action is taken. For example, if Police don’t like a proposed policy, they might slow down writing traffic tickets which in turn, affects revenue. This usually gets elected officials’ attention. I realize organized protest on the City Hall side might be a little more difficult, but if the city council isn’t taking employees' concerns seriously, the alternative of having WC here in Kansas City another multiple year term is unacceptable. Kansas City, Missouri employees deserve better.

Anonymous said...

I do remember a quote in the venerable Star from Funkhouser saying he would help get WC another job....this was way long ago-Jan. 2007 or so, so the Star may have lost the quote....

But the venerable Star is sitting on the fence on this one. In 2003-Collins must go-look outside-Cauthen hired. Larry Brown, darling of Star for a time-CM from 1993-1997 but major fall in June of 1997-preceded in leadership by insider Dave Olsen preceded by outsider AJ Wilson-do we detect a pattern?

As former city hall employee who left a)w/o disgrace and b) saddened by the state of things, I am very diheartened by the spirit of my friends who remain.

It may be a new day at City Hall but it looks pretty much the same to me.

PS-no one in city government should draw the salaries that I have seen posted unless they do snow removal too......

Anonymous said...

There is so much to agree with and respond to in 5:35, but the main point I want to raise high on the radar screen is a glaring paradox between the 'standing on principle' stubbornness of The Funk re. Frances Semler and his conspicuous absence on his campaign platform promise of accountability for WC. His integrity was one of the primary reasons I voted for him.

Why the willingness to stick to his guns to a fault and lose much needed support from the council before he's even out of the gates, business and community leaders on one issue, and equal willingness to cut and run on his promise to me, and all of us to rid our city, which he has intimate knowledge of, of a tyrannical spendthrift within 90 days in office?

There is a reason. Funkhouser doesn't do anything without thinking through it - we may not agree with him - but there's a reason he's completely reversed himself and is now willing to accept graft, thievery, pornography, abuse of power, abuse of city HR policy, abuse of city expense accounts on his watch. I don't understand what it is. This isn't the Mark Funkhouser I know.

What's good for the goose said...

Well 1:00 am, maybe he just isn't as smart as we thought he was. Or maybe he and his little tribe have fallen in love with having their butts kissed. It happens. He was on the "outside" for years. On the inside it looks different to him. But the city deserves better. And if the mayor or council actually think the sales tax was approved directly because of them, let's disabuse them of that thought. It passed because a lot of work needs to be done in this city, in spite of the poor "leadership" we are plagued with. So many neighborhood associations can tell you about promises they have been made that never happened. Hold their feet to the fire. Oh, yeah, 5:35 pm, a slow down or the blue flu might be a good idea, but it won't work unless a lot of hallians do it at the same time. Keep reading, maybe a day will be posted by some courageous soul. Get your doctor's slip that day.