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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • That's What I Think: Entertaining night at council meeting

  • After the three-hour Rolla City Council meeting Monday night, I approached the altar at the front of the chambers and thanked Mayor Lou Magdits for providing some fantastic entertainment on his first night as mayor.
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  • After the three-hour Rolla City Council meeting Monday night, I approached the altar at the front of the chambers and thanked Mayor Lou Magdits for providing some fantastic entertainment on his first night as mayor.
    There was a lot of business discussed and acted upon throughout the night, so the length of the meeting was not due to any lack of control by the new mayor. There was just a lot of stuff talked about.
    The least productive but most entertaining came at the end of the meeting when the microphone was opened to the public.
    Bob Stewart, who hates fluorine in the water supply, approached the mic for his three-minute tirade. City Counselor Lance Thurman attempted to explain to Stewart that the city had received a letter from attorney Carrie Gerischer noting that she was now representing Stewart, who has threatened to “go to law” against the city because no action has been taken to stop fluoridation.
    There was a back-and-forth between Thurman and Stewart with Thurman trying to explain that the city could no longer hear from Stewart on the issue because he was apparently starting an action against the city and Stewart trying to get in his anti-fluoridation message.
    Stewart also had some negative things to say about attorneys and about Gerischer and, I think, he fired her on the spot.
    I say that because new Councilman Matthew Miller seemed to interpret Stewart’s remarks as such, for Miller said it was his opinion the council could hear Stewart if he said that Gerischer was no longer his attorney, which apparently is what Stewart had said.
    I am not sure what was said, for I was laughing too loudly.
    Fortunately, Stewart’s time ran out and he had to sit out.
    Then came another fellow whose name I did not get. City Clerk Carol Daniels also didn’t get it, but at the Tuesday night workshop she told me she had asked around and she was going to put in the minutes that his name was George Pound or maybe George Pounds. Again, I am not sure.
    Mr. Pound/Pounds described himself as a new resident of Rolla, having bought a house here on Jan. 17. He was quite angry, and I’m not sure about what. I think he was put out by the price of McDonald’s coffee in Rolla and the price of gasoline in St. Louis. I am not sure what he wanted the council to do about that. He did not spell out the action.
    He opened his remarks by alluding to outgoing Councilman Steven Leonard’s parting remarks in which Leonard said he saw some “black clouds on the horizon” for Rolla, but added that he believed the council and the community would meet all challenges.
    Page 2 of 2 - Pound/Pounds said the black clouds are already here, for he had recently paid $3.55 per gallon for gasoline in St. Louis. Moreover, he said that the McDonald’s coffee for which he had been paying $1.07 per cup had recently jumped in price to $1.38.
    “That’s what is going on,” he declared.
    He said that a lot of people in Rolla are hurting, and he added that he had been warned not to buy a house in Rolla.
    “You’re not living where I’m living,” he told the council. The price of milk, bread, peanut butter and jelly are rising. “Every dime counts,” he said.
    Well, I work two jobs, so I can sympathize with Mr. Pound/Pounds. I am just not clear what he wanted the council to do, but his delivery of the problem was entertaining.
    REACTION OVERWHELMING: Boy, howdy, the public reaction to last week’s column was widespread. Lots of folks, all of the non-Christians and a significant number of Christians, did not like my declaration that my reading of the scriptures leads me to believe that the Lord God Above wants us to worship Him and has demanded our worship for millenia. I encouraged folks to go to church on Easter Sunday to worship the Great God Almighty.
    That was the wrong thing to say. I got sarcastic email, there were Facebook comments and I even heard that some preachers said I got it wrong. One Facebook writer indicated that she believed the newspaper had no business letting any religious views in. I don’t know if she saw it as a First Amendment issue, somehow a crumbling of the wall of separation between church and state, or what, but we have two pastors who weekly write columns and we have two church pages every Friday.
    Usually there are complaints about the liberal, godless news media. In this case, there were complaints about a self-righteous conservative writer. I thought I made it pretty clear that I know I am not a righteous person, at least not of my own accord. Oh, well, a feller just can’t win.
    I’ll be in church somewhere Sunday, but I will not encourage you to go to church or worship the Great God Almighty.
    I am rapidly becoming a Calvinist, so do whatever you feel you are called to do.

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