Mr. Chairman

It’s Friday night, we’ve gotten home on the late side and the phone rings. With the kids gone, the phone ringing on a weeknight generally means a political poll or an unwanted sales call.

Nope. It was Pat Jacobson, my esteemed fellow District 8 representative on both the DTC and the RTM.

“I have bad news, Mary Tinti has relocated.” Mary is a long-time member of the RTM and DTC, a brilliant, spirited debater and a wonderful member of the Fairfield community. With passion in her words, she has been a voice of reason through good times and bad. As I got sucked into local politics, I often turned to Mary for advice and even more, the history behind Fairfield’s political playing field. Her presence, friendship, support and point of view will be sorely missed.

With Mary gone, Pat explained, a vacancy has opened up as Assistant Majority Leader and Majority Leader Doug Jones asked Pat to fill the spot. Cool, I think. Pat’s done it before, gives more of her time than any two members of the DTC combined and is easy to work with.

“Of course, that means I have to resign as Chairman of the Finance Committee,” she continues. Ah! I’m not being called with news, I’m being recruited. “I’m calling to see if you’re interested. I’m also calling Megan to see if she’s interested.” Megan is our committee secretary and when committee secretaries were solicited last fall, they were cajoled into taking the post being told it was the “path to power”.

I expressed my interest, since it requires more organizational ability than actual political acumen or financial wizardry. Pat said swell, rung off and I figured that was that.

Mere minutes later, the phone rings again. It’s Megan, who starts with, “Congratulations.”

“But I figured you were secretary and wanted that path to power.”

“I know what they said,” Megan answered. “But I don’t really know all the rules for chairing. And don’t want to know while doing my job.”

So, since a Democrat has to be chair and with the Majority Leader and Assistant Majority Leader on the committee, there were few choices. At our Finance Committee meeting Monday, it took about 30 seconds for it to be formalized.

Frighteningly, I am now Finance chair. This means I need to start brushing up on my Robert’s Rules of Order. Does anyone know what the difference is between the 9th edition and the current 10th edition?

2 comments

  • Wow. Congratulations!

    The book you really want is Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revise in Brief, published by Da Capo, ISBN 0-306-81354-8. Ninety percent of what you need to run a meeting is in there.

  • David Oakes

    10th edition? How could you possibly consider anything but the 1986 edition, illustrated by Will Eisner?

    (And in a just barely more serious vein, we are talking about a text from 1893. “Robert” hasn’t updated in a while…)