Out with blue, in with green

Don’t let that swinging door hit you where the good lord split you, Mr. Paul “Party-Pooper” Zerby.

John Hoff

Former City Council member Paul “Party Pooper” Zerby, Ward 2, needs to figure out how to make a graceful exit.

Technically, Council member Zerby isn’t a “former” City Council member Zerby quite yet, and damn it anyhow. The next month or so is a strange time on the political calendar, as elections have taken place but the old crowd hangs around like intoxicated partyers who lack rides home but aren’t very popular.

Paul Zerby, who at least had enough intelligence to avoid running for another term and get his electoral butt kicked, now suddenly doesn’t have enough sense to keep from making a public ass of himself. I mean, of course, Paul Zerby proposed the ordinance to slap hefty fines and “scarlet letter” yard signs on “unruly” party houses for 18 months.

Why, you ask? Are the police having a difficult time finding and busting parties? You’d think the robbers who knock off local businesses and victimize pedestrians were hiding behind kegs, judging by the ordinance up for consideration Dec. 14, an idea by Zerby to give the police more bat accessories on their legal bat belts. Na na na na na na na na.

On the one hand, this could be viewed in a positive light as a pathetic, desperate, 11th hour, last muddy, watery ditch effort to pay back political supporters. But from another point of view, the proposed ordinance just looks like one final vindictive slap at students for rejecting Zerby’s anointed DFL successor in favor of Green Party candidate Cam Gordon by, it would appear, a 3-1 ratio. And this despite student IDs without home addresses. Imagine how many students would find a way to vote if that little glitch were fixed?

GET THEE BEHIND ME, PAUL ZERBY! You see the door, Paul Zerby? Yup, it’s a door, isn’t it? Don’t let that swinging door hit you where the good Lord split you. OUT, OUT, DAMNED ZERBY! Out with the old, in with Cam Gordon and the Green Party.

Now as for Cam Gordon, we really shouldn’t build up our hopes to impossible levels. As the only Green on the upcoming City Council, Cam Gordon is up against Alamo-style odds. I suspect Cam “He Put The Party In Green Party” Gordon probably won’t have a neighborhood office until he gets his first City Council paycheck, and even then some of the furniture might be scrounged from the side of the street. Having said that, in the spirit of the upcoming holidays, here’s a wish list of stuff I want to see under my Green Party Christmas Tree. Oops, I mean “Holiday Tree.” It’s the Green Party, so we’re diverse and inclusive, after all.

> A little cash is always nice. In this case, nickels and dimes would be fine, along with parking meters that will accept them. In fact, just give me some plastic ” better, more advanced plastic-lovin’ parking meters like in San Francisco. What a happy parking utopia awaits us. Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

> Something yummy to eat. Could city government play a role in getting local businesses into University Dining Service facilities instead of Aramark, the Grinch Who Stole Lunch?

> Something pretty. How about fixing up the Cedar-Riverside light rail station? Painting a nice mural on the ugly and degrading brick wall near the station would be good for starters. Clearly we have no shortage of kids who like to paint on walls.

> A moment to remember family history. Sorry to put a serious downer on a quirky column, but a couple of years ago fellow students perished in a fire in the crummy housing so common to neighborhoods around the University. There should be some kind of plaque or marker near the spot, so we don’t forget that some paid the ultimate price for neglect of housing issues.

> A bike! Oh, joy, it’s my stolen bike brought back for a holiday reunion, my red Magna 21-speed. Why, it’s a miracle on 4th Street! Thank you, Cam Gordon. Or, if that’s not possible, how about laying the groundwork for Operation Bike Sting Spring, an all out assault on bike thieves the minute warm weather returns?

If he wanted to, Paul Zerby could advance these issues in the precious bit of time he has left in office as a hollowed out and embittered lame duck who probably wouldn’t have gotten the DFL endorsement if he had, in fact, run for his own seat. Many of these issues have been raised not only in this column, but some are supported by recent editorials in the Daily. These are the kinds of things students want, or at least few would oppose.

In the weeks he has left, Paul Zerby could polish his scuffed historical reputation or, if that’s too difficult, Zerby could at least shut his big yap and avoid becoming the living, long remembered embodiment of why most student-voters overwhelmingly rejected the DFL and embraced the Green Party in Ward 2.

John Hoff welcomes comments at [email protected]
Hoff has mailed paperwork to join the local Green Party and has been a Green Party member in the past.