Nobody asked me, but…

Published 2:59 pm Thursday, May 22, 2008

Nobody asked me, but … maybe there should be a “None of the above” box on all election ballots. Local, state and national.

That two-party dictatorship has outlasted its usefulness atop the ballots. Maybe, “None of the Above” would send a message that wouldn’t go ignored.

Nobody asked me, but … you have to wonder where would we be today if the Capt. Curt Rude mistake would have been handled internally at the Austin Police Department.

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Nobody asked me, but … how about naming Sandy Forstner and Candace Raskin grand marshals of the 2008 Spamtown Freedom Fest Independence Day parade. The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce’s executive director and the lame duck Austin Public Schools superintendent would add a little pizzazz to the parade.

Nobody asked me, but … Sen. Norm Coleman is not thrilled by the things former Gov. Jesse Ventura is saying about him.

After an MPR interview Thursday, the senator called the Herald to talk about the Farm Bill’s passage.

Because Jesse’s comments were still fresh on my mind, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask him about Ventura’s suggestions he might run for the U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota held by Coleman or — Are you ready for this? — the Presidency.

Referring to Ventura’s one term as governor, Coleman said, “We saw that movie once already and I don’t have any desire to see the sequel.”

I thought it was a dynamite line, Norm.

Nobody asked me, but … I thought that “exclusive” interview in the Austin Daily Herald with the Austin school superintendent was a little, shall we say, curious.

I’m confused: What is a dream job? Being a school superintendent or teaching for mega bucks less on a college faculty?

I’ve noticed the sun keeps coming up after all of these announcements.

I believe there are highly qualified administrators, building principals, teachers and support staff that will deliver a quality education to Austin students no matter who’s on the throne.

Nobody asked me, but … it’s hard to tell who’s at fault in the ongoing melodrama over the Mower County Jail and Justice Center: City or county sources.

I still don’t believe they can build the size of jail and justice center for $32 million.

When you add the city’s costs to acquire the property and clear it for building and the county’s costs — jail, justice center, Robbins block geothermal, law enforcement center remodeling and moving the health and human services offices back downtown — the actual total costs will be far beyond the $32 million with debt service costs beyond that figure for any bond they float.

Nobody asked me, but … do we really need a dog park? I don’t think so.

Nobody asked me, but … people still don’t believe Daryl W. Franklin’s abrupt retirement after the departure of Lowell Franzen was completely … innocent.

“Hog wash?” observers say; particularly after Franklin’s name resurfaced last week at the Red Rock Township Board’s meeting on a hog confinement feedlot issue.

The petitioner, Jerry Risius, once again claimed Mr. Franklin told him the site near Brownsdale was the “ideal site” for a 1,875 hog finishing barn.

And because, like Mr. Franzen, it involved mega hog producer Holden Farms Inc., Northfield, soon enough both names were mentioned in the same sentence.

Nobody asked me, but … there’s a man out there who cares more about Austin and all of Mower County than anybody I know.

Throughout the last two years of intense jail and justice center debate, he has doggedly called me, sent me written documents and visited me with ideas about the historic project.

He has always been a downtown solution proponent, but not on two blocks of city property.

Actually, he favored expanding the existing facilities and never once believed the arguments or tales that it couldn’t be expanded upwards.

He will be madder than a wet duck when I say I wish county officials would have formally invited former Austin City Council Member and Mower County Commissioner Bob Shaw to share his opinions and listened.

He’s a shy guy who told me never to mention his name.

Sorry, Bob.

Nobody asked me, but … people don’t read this column for the serious stuff. They read it for a good laugh. Sometimes that is the serious stuff, but today it’s a joke:

A pastor’s wife was expecting a baby, so he stood before the congregation and asked for a pay raise. After much discussion, they passed a rule that whenever the preacher’s family expanded, so would his paycheck. After six children, this started to get expensive and the congregation decided to hold another meeting to discuss the preacher’s expanding salary. A great deal of yelling and inner bickering ensued as to how much the clergyman’s additional children were costing the church, and how much more it could potentially cost. After listening to them for about an hour, the pastor rose from his chair and spoke, “Children are a gift from God, and we will take as many gifts as He gives us.”

Silence fell on the congregation.

In the back pew, a little old lady struggled to stand, and finally said in her frail voice, “Rain is also a gift from God, but when we get too much of it, we wear rubbers.”