Review attacks Council with sharp sarcasm

Sarcastic comments on CouncilMy BHS classmate Joe Von Kanel has worked for CNN most of his career, both in Atlanta (its headquarters) and in Washington (the center of the known universe.)

He writes for many of the big names you see on the tube, such as Wolf Blitzer. He told me during one of his visits a few years ago that he writes the script for personalities all along the political spectrum, so he has learned to be “snarky” from both directions.

Snarky is a word that dates to 1906, so it wouldn’t apply to the article I’ll discuss here, and a combination of “sarcastic” and “nasty.” So for this 1905 article, we’ll have to make due with simply “sarcastic.” But with this kind of heritage, it’s easy to see why Joe is good with “snarky!”

Giving the Council its due

After a torrential rain on Aug. 19 took Bisbee’s subway to its limit, tearing it up and plugging it with rocks, timbers and other debris, the City Council took no action to fix it or to create the wherewithall to maintain it in the future.

When the Council finally met to decide what to do about the subway, and other pressing issues, on Aug. 24, no action was taking. In its following morning’s edition, the Bisbee Daily Review excoriated the body for being lackadaisical. And it does so with a profusion of sarcasm.

The first item the council discussed was the question of the sewerage system. “It is quite probably, from the indecision displayed during the discussion that was indulged that the system will be installed some time during the next century.”

The city engineer was asked for plans and estimates for a sewer, and “likewise have him hunt up some out-of-the-way place to dump the sewage in.”

The city body ignored two proposals for that work from engineers. The Council could have accepted either of those propositions, one was for $200 and the other for $500, to move the matter ahead, the Review said.

Take care of itself

The big issue affecting the community was the subway, and the issue was whether the city government could accept the responsibility for maintenance. The city attorney told the council that there were limits on what it could do, since the subway wasn’t in the public domain. “. . . [T]he subway will now either have to take care of itself or have a committee of property holders appointed to nurse it.”

This was the Council’s reaction even though “the experience of last Saturday night is still fresh in mind,” the paper said.

The body did deal with a few small matters, not all of which earned a sarcastic comment. But some did. For example, “the street lighting committee was instructed to call upon the electric light company and ask as a special favor that they turn on a few of the street lamps once in a while so that the councilmen could find their way to the city hall without breaking their necks.”

Toward the end of the meeting, the Council fired one of its members, E.G. Ord, “for playing hookey over 30 days without the consent of the Council, and Mayor [John] Tayor was instructed to hunt up some other man without a vocation to fill his place.” [Don’t know what that’s all about!]

“Any one desiring the job can hunt up Mayor Taylor during the week,” the Review concluded its screed, “and if he has any knowledge of the sewer business he will probably be greeted joyfully.”

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