Life in a small village

So I’m starting off 2023 in a quandary. A friend and I were headed to lunch a couple of days ago. We went to one of the most popular places in town but the wait was up to 45 minutes so we left. As we walked passed the restaurant, the restaurant owner came running after us. “Oh good,” I thought, “He’s going to get us a table, slip us in somewhere.”

No such luck. He says, “Do you want to meet the new commissioner?”

We lost a City of Miami commissioner (a city council person) for our district in the City of Miami, because the elected guy ran for another office in November, and he had to give up his seat, so now they have to replace that seat for the remaining 10 months.

I didn’t want to “meet the new commissioner,” but I followed in hopes of getting an open table.

The restaurant owner brings us to this guy sitting at an empty table. Here we go, I thought, a meeting. Not lunch. I actually knew the “new commissioner,” and I’ve known him for many years. We were just speaking the week before about a village issue. The restaurant owner asked me to sit down. I asked, “Can I order then? If I sit down can I order lunch?” He didn’t answer, so I asked a few more times and finally he said yes, half heartedly.

The restaurant owner didn’t know we knew each other and his reason for bringing us over to the table was so that we, or I, could be talked into speaking up for the “new commissioner” at the city commission meeting next week – so that the commission appoints him to the seat, rather than have an election, which is what most of the residents in the district/village want – a free and fair election. Not an appointment.

What bothers me after I thought about it all later, was that the restaurant owner didn’t know the “new commissioner” and I knew each other. So why did he grab me to speak up at a meeting for a stranger in his eyes? Why doesn’t he speak up for the guy if he is so interested in him getting the seat? Probably because he worries about getting involved in politics because it would hurt his business. But I should get involved?

When the “new commissioner’s” food arrived I could tell he didn’t want us at the table. He wasn’t rude, but when I sked him if we were going to talk politics the whole time he said, “Yes, probably,” which meant to me, “Get out now while you can.” So we didn’t stay at the table to eat, we walked down the block to another restaurant but now I am supposed to speak for this guy at next week’s commission meeting. He has already texted me a number of times regarding this. My goal now is to get out of it, especially since most of my neighbors want an election and not me to speak up for this guy’s appointment.

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