It's strange how little catalyst is required to change the dynamics of a situation. I don't know if the city council has been reading my blog or not, or if the missing members generated an atmosphere more condusive to personal interaction, but last night was the first time since this all began that I felt my presence was acknowledged by them. Mark Loch actually looked at me. Bill Hill (whom I've known for thirty years) glanced in my direction and said, "Hi" when he arrived. Even Jerome Kryzer made eye contact during the meeting. A step. A small one, granted, but a step no less.
This month's meeting was short - both in time and in numbers. Only three out of the five members were present. The Zoning Guy was on vacation and the Fire Chief didn't show up. The remaining members voted to give Larry authority to sign the extension on the purchase agreement for the Grosslein/Bye property when he got back. No surprise there.
In past meetings, immediately following adjournment, the mayor, council, clerk, et al., generally prominades out of the room, leaving us angry and frustrated in their wake. However, last night, they dawdled. Seizing the opportunity, I approached them. And guess what? They were approachable. After five months of being ignored, they spoke with me. As you would expect, it wasn't an entirely rosy conversation, but at least it was an attempt at communication. I felt they were listening to me. Perhaps the absence of the mayor and Bob Mickus made the difference. I don't know. But I'd like to take this opportunity to again thank the remaining council members for speaking to me, if they're reading this.
I feel a little guilty for venting my frustrations by using terms such as 'scumbags', 'rats' and 'assholes'. But I won't delete my posts or take back my words. Those were my feelings at the time, and they were valid. But I could express myself with a little more eloquence, perhaps. (Nah. Probably not.) And now? Well, I do want to reiterate the importance of behaving like mature adults who can hold a civil discussion. It doesn't change my desperate situation with Nexus, but talking helps one cope with the imposed distress. It humanizes the people on both sides. Nothing is worse than being ignored and unlistened to in situations such as ours. (Stonewalling is a strategy D'Angelo adheres to... but it isn't a productive one. It just fuels the fire. You'd think he'd know that.)
As to what was said between us, well, there is too much to write about here, at least all at once. After speaking with the three council members, I do have some new concerns. I'll share the most amazing one with you now. It was when an angry Jerome Kryzer confronted me about the Mille Lacs Academy "boys".... He stood up, indignant and shouted,
"THEY ARE NOT SEX OFFENDERS!"
A stunned silence filled the room. Everyone stared at him. Uncomfortable murmuring... "Uh... yes they are, Jerome." The Mille Lacs Academy is a sexual treatment center for adolescent sex offenders. Each inmate has been adjudicated through the court system and placed at MLA because they were convicted of sexual crimes which caused harm to others. We are in the fifth month of our battle, but Jerome has been dealing with Nexus for far longer.
How could he not know? Mille Lacs Academy = Sex Offenders R Us.
That he has contributed to the placing of these sex offenders in our neighborhood.... without knowing what they are, what they have done, and what they are capable of doing.... That's shocking. Oh, he's heard me speak in front of the council before, and heard the term "sex offender" often enough, but what could he have been thinking? That we were just being mean to these "poor, troubled boys"? Has the councilman been in some state of denial? Didn't he even do enough homework to know what this is all about? It is as bizarre as if he had shouted:
MCDONALD'S DOES NOT SELL HAMBURGERS!
I'm sure I'll have much more to talk about this meeting. I have some issues with Bill Hill I must address. But for now, dear readers, I must move on to the business of stopping Nexus. It is tedious but necessary work. I have a neighborhood to save.