An unusual levity infected the Onamia City Council last week. It was almost a case of the giggles.
The running theme? Cookies.
Clerk Kathy McCullum had to promise to bring cookies to get the council to approve her vacation.
When someone asked for the qualifications for planning commission members, zoning administrator Mickey Carter said “cookies.”
At the end of the meeting, council member Shane Pederson made a motion that cookies should be provided at all city council meetings.
I think he was just seeing what would happen.
Bill Hill seconded, and Jerome Kryzer voted in favor. Mayor Bob Mickus voted no, and Hill abstained. The motion carried.
Does a motion passed in jest actually go into effect? Onamia residents should come to the October meeting to find out. There just might be cookies.
Not all city council, county board and school board meetings are fun. Sometimes being a smalltown newspaper man is painfully boring. As a result, sometimes we drop the ball and let our readers down.
That happened a month ago when I left the Onamia City Council meeting a few minutes early.
It had been an hour and a half of zoning, water meters, truck lights, culverts and other scintillating topics of conversation.
That night I had a stronger-than-usual desire to get home to family and a good book. Rob and I are salaried employees, so if you see us out on an evening or weekend, it’s basically unpaid overtime.
I’m not complaining. I have a good job and fair pay for this region — which is more than a lot of people can say these days.
But sometimes a two-hour school board or city council meeting feels like torture, so we’ve been known to cut out early if there’s nothing exciting on the agenda. I tell myself that if I had the gavel, that meeting would be over in 45 minutes.
It’s a good thing I don’t have the gavel. Public servants are there because they enjoy doing the people’s business. They’re like big kids in a sandbox. They love talking trucks, ditches, gravel and pipe. I try to get excited about it, but sometimes I fail.
At the August Onamia City Council meeting, as I got up to leave, one of the council members said, “Hey, you can’t go yet!”
I’ve heard that before, and it’s usually a joke, but in this case, I missed something: Council member Shawn Willis resigned because he’ll be spending the summer (our winter) in Antarctica.
No one bothered to call and tell me what I missed, and I didn’t bother to call them, so it didn’t make it in the story. I’m sorry I missed it, and I’ll try not to do it again.
I’ve been the editor of the Messenger for more than three years now, which makes this the longest I’ve held a full-time job. Despite the occasional boredom, the inevitable failures, the complaints, and the bad news stories I have to cover, I’m glad to be here and glad our loyal readers, my boss and my coworkers have put up with me — even when I drop the ball or go off on one of my rants or just be my (know-it-all granola-eating tree-hugging button-pushing) self.
I may just last another three years.
Especially if there’s cookies.
Brett Larson is the editor of the Messenger.