Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Quarter-Truth about Howard Gentry

If the Nashville Scene story on Howard Gentry and the Urban Plunge was an untruth, this Tennessean reporter's blog post is only a quarter-truth. I've observed the Metro Council for a long time now (although, in full disclosure, not for Howard Gentry's entire 6 years), and I saw nothing extraordinary or remarkable about the way Mr. Gentry cracked the whip on disorder last night.

Indeed, Mr. Gentry has cracked the whip in the past when appropriate. And a lot of the Metro Council's control problems, in my opinion, are self-inflicted: either they do not know or they do not adhere to parliamentary procedure. Even the more savvy parliamentarian former members like Ludye Wallace were reined to order by Mr. Gentry at times.

Could Mr. Gentry have exercised a little more control of speakers in the past? Absolutely, but what chairperson could not? Could Mr. Gentry have been a bit more diplomatic in his control? Sure, but the highest virtue of herding cats is not necessarily diplomacy. To suggest that Howard Gentry saved his shepherd staff for his last Council meeting is misleading and unfair.


1 comment:

  1. I think giving Council Members 5 minutes to speak every time they want to be heard is ridiculous. If the public only gets 3 minutes, then I think Council members who are not sponsors should only get 3 (or less) as well.
    The time issue is relevant, because I think everyone gets punchy as they feel the time being wasted upon pontification, repetition, and non sequiturs and the rules become harder to adhere to as a result.

    My two cents.