"You don't bother to call me ahead of time and talk to me about this stuff, and whatever this back door maneuvering you have going on … it's a small town and we'd all like to be going toward the same goal, and I don't see how you can read into anything I've done at the development company as some kind of grab for power. I don't know what it is that you think that I'm not doing well up there, but I guess I just don't appreciate being insulted by you."
– Alderman Roger Jeck, addressing fellow Alderman Mary Edelen at Tuesday's Vermillion City Council meeting.
Poor Roger. He's so maligned. So misunderstood. So … so … er, confused.
Any hope that Vermillion citizens may be harboring about Roger – an innate desire that some citizens had grasped that he actually may have learned something following the debacle during a Jan. 28 special city council meeting where he ended up recusing himself from voting on an issue that he initiated in the first place – sort of just went poof toward the end of Tuesday's city council meeting.
He doesn't get it. He doesn't realize that his past actions while serving on the VCDC board have rendered him useless as a representative of the city to that organization.
It's not just Edelen, or members of the VCDC executive board, including Nikki Peters and Tim Tracy, who have made this clear.
Jeck's own words Tuesday point out the reasons for his dwindling support, despite the praise two aldermen heaped upon him.
"You don't bother to call me ahead of time and talk to me about this stuff, and whatever this back door maneuvering you have going on … it's a small town and we'd all like to be going toward the same goal …"
When Jeck made this statement to Edelen toward the end of Tuesday's city council meeting, he evidently believed she is one heck of a mind reader.
Discussion of Jeck's status on the VCDC board was never included on the meeting's agenda. The mayor allowed Alderman Jere Chapman to add it to Tuesday's proceedings at the last minute.
Edelen (and the public) didn't know it would be part of Tuesday's meeting until right after it began.
Chapman and Jeck, however, saw nothing wrong with leaving Vermillion citizens and fellow aldermen in the dark about this topic until the very last minute.
We know this because, well, here. This is what Jeck said just before his rant quoted above:
"I was content to handle this on my own until Jere mentioned the possibility of this earlier today, and I thought 'why not?' "
This tactic – of keeping controversial items hidden and then springing them on people, I suppose to try to gain some sort of an advantage – has become a Jeck trademark. Chapman and the mayor love to pull this stunt, too.
Chapman was absent from the Jan. 28 special meeting. Had he been in town, he no doubt would have been part of the "secret" that Jeck and the mayor unveiled to members of the VCDC board in attendance.
This covert plan suggested by Jeck, if initiated, called for the city to meddle and muck up the work the VCDC board is already accomplishing. The city council wisely chose to ultimately let the VCDC board control its own destiny.
"I don't know what it is that you think that I'm not doing well …"
- How about an attendance rate at VCDC meetings that at one point was so poor it placed his board membership in jeopardy?
- How about Jeck's attempt in late November when he unsuccessfully tried to convince fellow members of the Vermillion City Council to withhold a routine payment to the VCDC – one that they approved during budget time last fall?
- How about his rogue-like approach in lining up speakers to address the city council about the future of the VCDC – actions that took both its board and Jeck's fellow members of the city council by surprise?
Ironically, Jeck expressed his disappointment with Edelen Tuesday.
He doesn't get it. He doesn't realize how his performance on both the city council and VCDC board fails to meet our expectations.