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Thumbs! (7/2/16)

Some people have mood swings. I have Thumbs! swings.

This Thumbs! article is dedicated to Friday’s Danville City Council organizational meeting, so it’s longer than a normal Thumbs! article. I’m good with that.

Yeah, the same old rules if you haven’t figured them out by now. UP! is good. DOWN! is bad.

Let’s bring out the usual Big Board!

  • Thumbs UP! to Danville’s new mayor John Gilstrap and new vice mayor Alonzo Jones. Both Gilstrap & Jones are good people and they have the city’s best interests in mind. I’ve got no doubt that they will do a good job in their positions (even that those positions have very little power of controlling anything). I especially look forward to a new style of presiding over meetings and a hopeful push towards more transparency in making the council work sessions televised and/or recorded. That being said…
  • Thumbs DOWN! to Danville’s new mayor John Gilstrap and new vice mayor Alonzo Jones, along with the Danville Register & Bee. That honeymoon didn’t last very long, did it? They’re all getting the Thumbs DOWN! because of the photo spread that appeared in the newspaper (and their website) right after their election. I suppose I could try to believe that John & Alonzo just ran across the river directly after their election to pose for those photos, but I know that didn’t happen. Yeah, I knew that they were going to be elected to their positions weeks before Friday just like the Register & Bee did.  But posing for a victory photo set before the actual election is sorta cocky to me. I know the old phrase “It ain’t cocky if you back it up”, but this set of photos could easily have been looked at as a “In Your Face” to Sherman Saunders & Gary Miller. Or maybe this was the first sign of a New Attitude to blast apart the past. Who knows?
  • Thumbs UP! to City Clerk Sue DeMasi. She’s got “control of the city” for a few minutes at the start of every biennial term, and she works hard on getting the ceremonial parts of the biennial meeting just perfect. She did it again this time. She told me that she even watched the 2008 meeting on DVD just to remind her how everything went. That’s dedication!
  • Thumbs UP! to City Attorney Clarke Whitfield. I’ve been a witness to a Virginia Lottery drawing and they’ve got nothing on Whitfield’s randomization process. Whitfield walked into the council chambers shaking up the Magic Cup-O-Numbers and kept shaking it up after each member made their pick.
  • Thumbs UP! to Register & Bee photographer Matt Bell. He was able to correctly predict some of the random seat assignment drawing results. Next, we’re hitting him up for tonight’s lottery numbers. Heh.
  • Thumbs UP! to Fred Shanks. He threw everybody for a hilarious loop when he claimed to have number “9” in the drawing when there were only 8 seats available. Everybody looked at each other puzzled until smartass Fred flipped his number over and said “6”. He played his practical joke perfectly.
  • Finally, Thumbs UP! to Sherman Saunders. You could tell that he wasn’t pleased that his 8-year run as mayor was coming to an end, but Saunders handled it very professionally. I’ve published the speech that he made during the around the horn section, and it’s not hard to tell that he wanted to continue on as mayor. Sherman’s speech already had “Mayor Gilstrap” & “Vice Mayor Jones” in it, so he knew what was going to happen. With Saunders already knowing that his run was over, I respect him even more for his demeanor during the meeting.

As I’m finishing this article, I realized that if I do a BreakDown article on what happened Friday, it will pretty much resemble this Thumbs! one. I’ve given you pretty much of what happened and why. Meh. We still may do a BreakDown article on Friday’s meeting anyway, but now you know a little more behind the scenes. Thumbs! articles are just as cool, though. Heh.

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