by Max Brantley
Albert Dentay notes this morning that incoming Mayor Mark Stodola perhaps didn't come up with the perfect sound bite for today's Democrat-Gazette article on the news we posted yesterday of Mary Beth Ringgold's resignation as chair of the Advertising and Promotion Commission.
Mayor-elect Mark Stodola, who said in an article published Saturday that the city agency needs an overhaul, said late Saturday that it was “regrettable” that Ringgold resigned.
He said he has known Ringgold for years and believes she’s “fair and honest.”
“I think the staff has failed the commission in multiple ways over the years,” he said. “She just happens to be the chairman this time out. Private citizens who volunteer their time really depend on the staff to make sure they follow proper procedures. It’s obvious, in my opinion, that the staff totally let them down.”
What do you think?
I think you don't need a staff person to tell a city commissioner that there's an untoward appearance in doing business with the agency the commissioner supervises -- even if you can demonstrate the prices are fair and your business is best qualified for the job. I also think that Mark Stodola is a good politician. Surely he can't be deaf to the deep chord this story has struck with the public . He certainly can read the newspaper. You almost have to conclude that here he decided to stand up for a friend with the knowledge he's certain to catch grief for it. (If not on the D-G editorial page Christmas day, generally given over to "yes, Virginia" and the Bible, then the very next day.)
UPDATE: I am reminded that Stodola's election night party was at Cajun's Wharf. Of course, so was Barbara Graves'.