Madison Alder Marsha Rummel Excels At Incompetency
Proposing and passing a resolution in an elected governmental body is the equilvent of the rest of us going into the kitchen and scrambling eggs. It is just very difficult to mess up the process. Difficult that is unless you are Madison’s Alderwoman Marsha Rummel.
What has been made known today to the citizens of this city, and more importantly to the voters of the 6th aldermanic district, is how one council member’s desire to play to a narrow faction is more important to her than making sure the broader interests are met. In so doing Rummel has proven again to be the most incompetent member of the council.
This weekend Rummel alerted her council colleagues that she had authored a resolution wishing to make March 6th “Tony Terrell Robinson Day”. She requested their support.
The long sad story of what happened to this 19-year-old need not be repeated again. The seemingly last part to this story, as everyone is well aware, is how the Robinson family has now taken a very serious legal maneuver against the city.
Rummel’s measure did not receive the type of fanfare she hoped for. In fact, there was serious blowback. Some of it came from the council itself.
Ald. Barbara McKinney, a newly elected African-American noted in her response to Rummel that. “I fear that this action by the Council may have an adverse impact that further divides our city. I fully support initiatives that continue to engage us and challenge us as we wrestle with racial disparities and injustices throughout Madison but I don’t think this resolution is the right course of action. “
McKinney also noted, There was also another young man killed in the same neighborhood by police?
It was most plain by that pointed reminder how Rummel is now playing to a Progressive Dane faction that seems more intent on symbols rather than the hard work of addressing concerns that we face in our city.
There was also the honest language from David Ahrens who put it in plain English so Rummel could understand. “I will not support this resolution. We establish commemorative holidays after people that are extraordinary or heroic. The death of Robinson was tragic but that does not make it heroic or exemplary”.
But it was the next part of his response that connects the entire city to the fact Rummel is not serving anyone with serious mindedness.
“This resolution could also have an adverse effect on the city’s position in the family’s lawsuit. Although the resolution does not admit municipal culpability it conspicuously omits mention of Officer Kenny and the fact that city and state investigators absolved him of wrong-doing”.
City Attorney Mike May weighed into this super-sized self-created mess by Rummel and made it even more clear as to why this resolution–though not specifically stated–is a very bad idea.
“We consistently advise city officials and employees not to comment on any matter involving pending litigation where the city is a party,” May writes. “Our office should be consulted on all inquiries. This applies to both employees and elected officials. Statements made publicly may be used against the city in litigation, and may negatively affect the city’s ability to protect its rights.”
The larger problem overall concerning Rummel remains her incompetence as an alder. I know she seeks mileage over this matter and political cover from the Progressive Dane types. But that element is not the majority–far from it when it comes to the rank-and-file in this city.
The fact Marsha could not muster this resolution through the council gives me a stronger sense of the wisdom that is contained among the members. She clearly has no sense of her responsibility to the larger good of the city—but her colleagues understood their role.
Rummel proved no sense at being able to ‘read’ her colleagues prior to sending them the proposed resolution. But her council colleagues were able to spell out concisely why they had no desire to support such a resolution.
These rebukes are, of course, not the first time Rummel has been told no by the council. There is a reason she has tried and always failed at leadership in that body. The ones who know her best are the most wary of her.
There was talk late last fall of some level-headed voters in this aldermanic district setting down with Rummel–in a friendly coffee drinking type of way– and alerting to her to the fact she is over her head and not serving the needs of the district. In other words, please do not run again.
Now this district has not only once again been ill-served but also publically embarrassed by sheer incompetence from our alder. I think the time for a meeting has passed. The time is nigh for candidates who will run next spring to introduce themselves to a voter base much in need of, and highly desirous for, an effective and mature voice serving this district.