If Loyalton were my kingdom and I could simply wave my hand and people would do my bidding, what would I do to improve my kingdom?
Clearly there is a lot to do, but there is also a lot to work with. With my nearly unlimited power, here are the things I would do:
One drunken hobo away from a town fire
If I were King of Loyalton I would realize my people are under terrible burdens. I know that kings of other places tax heavily, and in order to avoid having the King of California send his lawyer knights to lay waste to the city, I would tax them for water and sewer. We have no choice.
As King of Loyalton, I might entertain ideas like laying waste to Highway 70 between Beckwourth and Vinton, but these things would be foolhardy, so I would be honest about the reality of my Loyaltondom. I would cajole my people to make them light of heart. This would lead me to the fifth project I would undertake:
Fix it, tear it down, or deed it to the King.
I would do these things, the reader will notice, as King of Loyalton, not mayor of Loyalton, because mayors live in the real world. In the real world, running a city like Loyalton is gut wrenching, exhausting, nearly thankless work. There are roadblocks at every turn, and not the least of which are some of the grumbling, complaining people of Loyalton itself (not you, it’s those other people, we all know who they are). The mayor can’t put someone in stocks for bitching but not pitching in. The City Council scarcely gets the support a king could command; indeed, the council as people and as a body is burnt out by the effort. The council isn’t even full; how could it be, who wants to lay awake staring into the darkness and thinking about sewage, about lifelong residents who can’t afford to flush. The council chambers fill when people want to complain, but the tide washes out when the tiresome business of paying bills comes up.
If I were King of Loyalton, I’d give some of you a public spanking; the mayor can only be polite.
Since I’m not King of Loyalton, I’ll take a turn as Soothsayer: You folks better fill your council as soon as possible, with people who are motivated. An unsupported council will become a nest of vipers. Support your City Council; drag yourself away from the tube and attend the meetings, educate yourself on the burdens of the office, on the nearly complete lack of authority to do anything except what the law requires. Far from being a king, the mayor of Loyalton is a serf with a hundred masters, from our masters at the state, to the disgruntled and fearful of the city.
I’ll even go farther: if there happens to be a recent graduate of Loyalton High lingering about town, grab them and make them run for the council. The council needs the kind of optimism it’s hard for the experienced to muster. Besides, the young represent whatever future Loyalton has.
If I were a critic of the Prospect I would point out that the Loyalton City Council meetings aren’t covered by this paper. I have a response to that: Jan Buck is the Queen of Loyalton. Our coverage of the meetings didn’t have the depth of experience that hers do. Further, the problems of Loyalton are a study of their own, and we don’t have the time. Why do a poor job when someone at hand is working from experience?
PS My Castle would be Edith Huntley's house.
A legal, well run medical cannabis operation would improve the neighborhood.