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Thoughts from the Bullpen: Getting the scoop on council aspirations

November 24, 2010|By Craig Sherwood

Scattered thoughts from a wandering mind…

One in, one out: We did exclusive, video interviews for Friday night with Councilman Gary Bric and Mayor Anja Reinke, whose terms are now coming up on the City Council, to get their future plans on running for office again. Bric announced that he had just picked up his papers to run again, while Reinke said she will be leaving public office.

When asked for her reason not to return, Reinke stressed that the main reason was just the time involved in being on the council. It is a job that people think is a one-night-a-week gig where you hold a meeting and run city business.


In reality, especially when you rotate to the mayor position, it is a job that takes up to 30 hours a week, when you mix in all of the events, tributes, ribbon cuttings and special closed-session meetings that sometimes take hours. Add to that late Tuesday nights, and it makes for an early Wednesday morning when you have a professional life, as Reinke does being a full-time practicing lawyer.

While she has not said it publicly, I think some of the reason also lies in the negativity that goes along with public office. As a council member, you are bombarded each week by a few people who verbally attack you in oral communications or on blogs, then go on their way. Until you are actually in that position, it is hard to tell how much of a toil it is, especially when they run for council to not just be a politician, but because they really want to serve the city that they live in.

Reinke has left a positive mark, helping to establish the Cultural Arts Commission, which she vows to stay involved with after she leaves office.

Bric's decision to seek re-election came down to two important factors: The No. 1 and most important was his wife Shelly's endorsement to run again. On this Friday night, when most of us were getting ready for bed, Shelly was inside their restaurant helping to serve food while the councilman was out in the rain helping to park cars at the place he owns.

Second, Bric feels strongly about some of the projects and issues that came around during his first term, and he wants to see them through. Police issues came to public light during his tenure as mayor, and he wants to see the entire process through.

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