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EDITOR: “Not Thinking a Thing is Wrong Gives it a Superficial Appearance of Being Right” – Thomas Paine

I had been in the office for a short time when VAL LYNDER, DEFENDER OF ALL THAT IS TRUE, appeared before my desk. “Well,” she said.

“Well what?” I replied. I had a feeling this visit was not going to be as sedate as her last one,

“I was visiting a friend in Hawaiian Gardens and he said things are in a turmoil at city hall.”

“In  what way?” I asked.

“According to my friend, the city administrator is running such a tight ship you need permission to leave your desk and get a drink of water.”

“Isn’t that a bit of an exaggeration? I asked.

VAL LYNDER looked at me. Her purple poker dotted umbrella held tightly in her hand. “Maybe slightly,” she said, “but what good is it to have people hired to run the various departments when at any minute they can expect a call to appear in his office. It’s like being in school and being called to the principal’s office.”

“Well,” I said, “I know he runs a tight ship but it can’t be as bad as you say. Most city department heads should have a free reign to run their departments.  That’s why they’re hired. If they mess up they ultimately have to answer to the city administration and city council.”

“All I know is my friend told me, and he is usually right-on-the-dime.” VAL LYNDER paused a moment. “Isn’t his contract up this July?” she asked.

“Whose contract? I asked.

The city administrator’s,” she replied tartly.

“I believe so,” I replied.” This time I continued before she could respond. “Maybe he’s just trying to get his house in order.”

“You get better results when you use soft gloves as opposed to an iron fist,” she answered.  She paused a moment. “Well I’ll give him the benefit of doubt, but according to my friend he’s walking on a dangerous path.” Saying that she became quiet. I knew she had something else on her mind.

“Do you think it’s going to snow,” I asked.

“Don’t be silly,” she snapped back. “It only snows in the mountains.” Taking advantage of the pause in conversation I cleared the center of my desk. “Tell me,” she finally said, “do you think the turmoil in city hall is related to the turmoil that goes on at the city council meetings?

“No I don’t. The city council is supposed to be in charge with the city manager and the various department heads responsible to it. If the council members are to busy fighting each other and not paying attention to the city employees, yes there is a problem.”

VAL LYNDER looked at me. Just as quickly she changed the subject. “I have a bone to pick,” she stated.

“With me,” I asked.

“No. with our Friend from Fruitcake, Florida.”

What did he do to upset you, “I asked.

“I can’t tell you. But the next time you see him, you tell him I’m very upset.

Saying that she arose from her chair and before I could say anything, brought down her umbrella on my desk.

“VAL LYNDER,” I said. “I wish you wouldn’t do that.”

She didn’t answer me, She just turned and walked out of the office.

“I sat in my chair for a few moments, trying to figure out what my Friend From Fruitcake, Florida did to upset her. I decided I’d find out soon enough

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