In a letter released to the public dated August 4, 2014, Mayor Richard Notte announced that he is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, and will not be discharging his duties as mayor in the immediate future.
Mayor Pro-Tem Michael Taylor will take over for Mayor Notte until such time that he can resume his duties.
First and foremost, I would like to extend my sympathy and best wishes to Mayor Notte for a complete and speedy recovery. As many readers here know, the Mayor and I have not seen eye to eye on a number of subjects in the past, but as time has gone on I have grown in my respect for the man and can appreciate where he is coming from on the issues we disagree upon. Pancreatic cancer is a scourge that even the worst political opponents hopefully would never wish upon each other. I hope that his doctors are inspired, his treatment is precise, and he, his friends and relatives remain strong throughout this ordeal. Godspeed, Mr. Mayor.
Since the mayor will not be returning for the foreseeable future there will be a considerably different dynamic on City Council. With only six votes, a deadlock becomes possible on any contentious issue, and a spirit of cooperation will be the only thing keeping that from happening. Although the council has been considerably less acrimonious since the last election, I hope that all of the counselors continue to work harmoniously to keep the city operating efficiently. Now more than ever it is important they do so.
Of special note is the fact that the non-command officers on the police force are still operating without a contract. I will be discussing this in more detail in the upcoming weeks, but suffice it to say that it is high time this gets resolved. With six members on council instead of the usual seven, I worry about this becoming a divisive issue that creates a problem. Here’s hoping it doesn’t.
Finally, a note of explanation regarding this blog and my less-frequent appearances at City Council meetings: for the first several years of this blog I was fortunate to have employment where I worked from home full time. That situation changed this past May, and the nature of my employment itself changed in December, 2012. With a commute to work and a more demanding job, I have not had as much time to devote to city politics, although it has not been for the lack of wanting to do so. Although my participation in the city’s political process will continue to be more sporadic than I would like, my interest remains strong and I will continue on with these writings as much as possible. Thanks to my readers for their patience and understanding.