New Year’s resolutions

It’s that time of year again when we have to endure the endless ramblings of friends, family and co-workers about all the positive changes they’re going to make in their lives in the coming year — not to mention the meaningless folly of people asking what our New Year’s resolutions are.

But I really am trying not to be such a grouch this holiday season. So in the spirit of giving, I thought I would offer our local leaders a few potential resolutions for 2007.

Terry Bellamy: Bop people on the head every time they act less than 14 years old during City Council meetings. I sometimes picture Robin Cape as Wile E. Coyote and Carl Mumpower as the Road Runner. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Try visualizing that sometime.

Jan Davis: DO NOT partake of any more studies, commissions or consultant’s reports for the Asheville Civic Center. We get it: The building is crap, and it will cost a lot of money to fix. I know people move in and out of Asheville pretty quickly, but do we really need to keep rehashing this topic every single year?

Brownie Newman: Register as a Republican. This could produce one of the most enjoyable case studies in group reactive psychosis that Western North Carolina might ever see.

Bryan Freeborn: Try to break the record for the most city ordinances violated by a single Council member. You broke the ice in 2006 with the whole bike-ride thing; now go for broke, while protesting for a better world.

Holly Jones: Pursue a career with Air America. You had a very strong showing on Al Franken’s national radio show, and rumor has it that the network could use some help. If you do this, I won’t give out your work phone number over the air — I promise.

Carl Mumpower: Propose changing the seating in the Council chamber from chairs to couches. Then you’ll REALLY be able to work your magic on your colleagues. And once the “socialists” get a taste of kicking back in comfort during the next marathon meeting, they won’t complain.

Robin Cape: Persuade City Council to hire your group as the official house band for Council sessions. It would be just like on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, only much more entertaining. City meetings already have all the ingredients: man on the street, wacky headlines and even animal tricks.

Nathan Ramsey: Come out of the closet. We all know you’re a conservative trying to live in a liberal world; just do what it’s in your nature to do. Attack the proponents of ever-expanding government, increased tax burdens and reduced private-property rights. If you’re going to be the lone vote on issues, why not do it with style? (Call Carl for tips on this.)

David Gantt: Try to smile a little more. People are tired of your constant state of depression and lack of optimism. Oh wait, that was the David Gantt on the other side of the space-time continuum. Let’s try again: Stop handing out so much “I stole this from the law offices of David Gantt” merchandise. It was funny the first hundred times. Try handing out, “I voted for David Gantt because he advertises all year in the Xpress” pens.

Bill Stanley: Just keep kicking. At this point, I don’t know that there’s anything you could do that you haven’t already done. It’s been what, 117 years, since you first took office? Well done.

David Young: Fewer committees, more travel. What’s the use of being in the travel industry if you’re home more of the time than you are on cruises? Live a little — we won’t hate you … too much.

Carol Weir Peterson: Keep the streak going of being the ONLY major elected official in Buncombe County NOT to have been on Take A Stand! Why mess with a winning formula? At this point, it’s nice knowing there’s at least one local politician out there that I haven’t yet interviewed.

Rep. Bruce Goforth: Buy enough lottery tickets to make up for shortfalls in education funding. I figure it’s the least you can do after voting for something you said you were against. All kidding aside, keep calling me out when you think I’m off my rocker. I enjoy our volleys…

Rep. Charles Thomas: Try to break the speed record for being called a RINO (Republican in Name Only). Wilma Sherrill made a successful political career out of ticking off the conservative base in her district by voting — and getting along publicly — with the other side of the aisle.

Rep. Susan Fisher: No more flip-flops. I realize that one person’s flip-flop is another person’s realization of the right way to go on an issue, but really … I hate looking like a bad guy all the time; give me something consistent to work with here.

Sen. Martin Nesbitt: Return my phone calls. Seriously. And if you can’t do that one, here’s an alternative: See how many more race-team sponsorships you can collect from groups like Blue Cross that can benefit from your votes in the Senate. (Do you think my saying that will hurt my chances for seeing the first resolution come to fruition?)

Rep. Heath Shuler: Rather than debate, challenge your political opponents to a pay-per-view wrestling match. All proceeds could go to help pay the phone bills of WHKP in Hendersonville. (OK, maybe that one was below the belt.)

Democrats: Try taking stands against corruption at the state level. All I’m asking is that you treat Democratic crooks in Raleigh the same way you did tainted Republicans in Washington.

Republicans: Stay away from publishing Web sites. Enough said.

Independents: Realize that not ONE of the people listed in this column is registered the way you and I are. I can’t help but wonder what this region, this state and this nation might look like if people other than Democrats and Republicans were given an equal place at the political table.

As for me, I’m going to have my work cut out for me calling people on this list to make sure we’re still good. Happy New Year everybody, and TAKE A STAND in 2007!

[Matt Mittan hosts Take A Stand! on WWNC-AM, Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. The show’s Web site is]

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