The Grand Puppet Play was masterfully performed by the Grand Puppeteer, the City Manager, on Tuesday at City Council.
Once upon a time, a tale of feats was told that any hard-working city manager would ordinarily perform. But in Lagunaland, ordinary feats were magically transformed into exceptional dragon slaying feats by a majority of the council puppets that shouted “King Pietig!” and then gave gold coins to the King to curry favor. One council puppet spilled his magic dust, and all could see the black magic, so the mayor puppet and Grand Puppeteer quickly devised another tale to lavish gold coins on the King, Plan B. “As no dragons were really slain” they said, “instead we grant the King not one but two rounds of gold coins, in the hopes that maybe a dragon may be slain someday.” The puppet council then fleeced the pockets of Lagunalanders to pay the King.
The dragons were fierce: homeless dragons, big developer dragons, vacant storefront dragons, traffic, parking and visitor problems dragons, no-bid dragons, dysfunctional/low morale city employee dragons, the feared undergrounding dragon who lost his fire but swallowed whole thousands of taxpayer gold coins, and the three-headed DRB, PC and historicity dragon which has plagued Lagunalanders, seizing years off their lives and pocketbooks.
Sir Steve intoned: “Not one dragon has been slain, the King’s work is good but ordinary, and he is already handsomely paid and doesn’t merit more gold coins.” But the Grand Puppeteer has played many puppets over many years. Pulling hard on the strings, he made sure Plan B would pay those gold coins, and made note to banish the two questioning council puppets to the dungeon, where transparency, fiscal responsibility and good governance issues die.
The audience gasped, “Tis not right!”, but, alas, they knew how the tale would end. The King will get the gold coins without slaying a single dragon. The Grand Puppeteer holds the strings of agendas and staff reports, replacing principles with politics. You must pay the King to play.
Meanwhile dragons lurk, and the gold coin-stuffed mattress grows bigger in the castle bought by Lagunalanders. Many more gold coins will be paid, in eternity, for the good but non-dragon slaying King.
On a 3-2 vote (Dicterow and Iseman voting no), the City Manager got automatic pay raises for 2019 and 2020, plus 7.25 percent COLA over three years, with no requirement to slay a single dragon. The end.
Jennifer Zeiter, Laguna Beach