Highly educated. Knowledgeable. Sought after for opinion. Experts.
Or as I call them, Career Criminals. Folks for whom reality stopped a long time ago, when they started to believe they were as good as people told them they were. Some of them have rightly come by the accolades, but a good number believe their own hype.
Time will tell if our new president is one of those. But I'm looking more locally - specifically Rupert Cutler.
I had just moved here when he finished out his term on the City Council. I heard little about the man, other than his long resume... repeated endlessly.
From all outward appearances, it did not seem like his credentials benefitted the city much. During his term (2000 - 2006), the greenways got under way - we landed a few more businesses, but no great projects came out of it. And I know, that's as much the fault of the entire Council (and that erected - not elected monument known as Darlene) but beyond the cop-out of "one councilman cannot change anything on his own" a loud councilman certainly can. But we have another Council member who has not run a business, owned a business, or got down with the people in the streets.
Another Career (expert) Criminal, who will do nothing but keep the city in stasis for a while. Appearing to go everywhere, but standing still the whole time.
The other wannabe Career Criminal is Gwen Mason. Gwen, who adopted Nelson Harris' "Clean and Green" campaign as her own when it was apparent that Emperor Harris was not going to win re-election, has yet to shine as a councilwoman. A grantwriter and worker at the Dept. of the Interior, who focused her entire college years on being in the Government, she seems to be a natural for the post. But wait, what's her experience again? What has she done for the City?
Maybe I am asking too much from our Council members - maybe they are supposed to be a passive body rather than a proactive one.
Frankly, I think we have had enough of the whole elected officials who have worked towards becoming elected officials. They go from being people who want to be part of the dynamic system that is American Government, people with ideals, to people who take those same ideals for granted - and become so steeped in policy and procedure they lose focus of why they are doing it in the first place. They studied each inch of it, worked in the menial details of it - and now have become assimilated to it.
And to what end? Even the Roanoke Times admits Fralin was not like the rest. He worked for his constituents, his people - not just his party. He worked in his community to get things done. Anyone seen Mason out there cleaning up Bullit and Jamison when the Neighborhood Group that adopted the corridor is cleaning (and possibly greening) the area?
Has Cutler been down walking around downtown, talking to people and brainstorming ways to make the city better?
Career Criminals, stealing time from a city that needs progress.