Test of leadership in progress
As of the writing of this column, September 22, 2015, there are, as always, many rumors floating about. It is as if we are on a yellow brick road of Alice in Wonderland. But can that be in this day of our need for serious leadership? What and who will be on the road to our city’s future?
On the one hand we see a city economically flourishing — downtown east, the Nicollet Mall, three new stadiums, great shopping malls — all signs of prosperity pointing to a great future.
On the other hand, we see corners of our city that are not economically flourishing, especially North and South Minneapolis. When will the city’s leaderships deal with action on real plans for the corners left behind?
Not all who walk our Minneapolis wonderland roads like each other, and yet good relationships are key. So some act as children rather than as adults, cutting off workable relationships, sacrificing their duties such that the people of our Minneapolis wonderland pay the price, a price that includes:
- breakdowns in public safety
- cartel mayhem, intrigue and conspiracies pitting gangs against each other
- continued decline in education
- continued decline in economic development and jobs
- continued failure to solve the housing problems
- other threats to our stability, safety, and survival
Many today feel as if we are riding out the control roller coaster of Minneapolis City Hall politics, which includes treachery and betrayal, pettiness and meanness, and even pillow talk and other whisperings that drive the wrong agenda for the wrong reasons for the wrong people.
The city is for citizens, not selfie-taking office holders. We have leaders, Black as well as White, in turmoil, seeking quick fixes that wind up sabotaging the long term due to their failure of nerve.
At this writing, before September 24, the date when the decision had to be made to determine if there would be a new chief of police in Sherwood Forest, we hope to be able to look back and see no negatives of any kind in any way, shape, or fashion that sets up destroying and rupturing our city’s public safety.
May we look back and, in the tradition of Robin Hood, see merry men and merry women celebrate stability that comes from keeping our police chief and not creating needless disruption in public safety? In hindsight will we see that the mayor introduced a new chief that destabilized the police department, or that she reappointed our current chief and kept stability?
As in the old True Detective magazine, we are attempting to solve the mysteries of leadership failures. It has been stunning to see and analyze the intrigue and treachery of city government. Will it play out like a “road not taken” novel, or like a true crime story, or be driven by the narrative of the old fashioned dirty politics riddle, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest of them all?”
You would think that politicians would not be driven by the children’s game of “Mirror, Mirror,” but sometimes politicians, whether mayors, city council members, other elected officials, or their various appointees, are driven by their own personal perceptions of their sadly false self-perceived greatness and behavior.
Leaders don’t always take action we can be proud of. No wonder they have difficulty explaining to citizens why they are acting like children and not adults. In these challenging times, Minneapolis cannot survive such leadership, nor can these leaders get re-elected.
Let’s pray for our leaders and us.