For the city’s sake, it’s time to clean up the zoo of government |

For the city’s sake, it’s time to clean up the zoo of government

John DiMambro
Nevada Appeal Publisher

Animal Farm revisited. All that’s missing is the big barn and the farm animals. George Orwell’s setting for his fairytale of political discourse and hierarchical revolt disguising personal gain has found a contemporary home in Carson City Hall – our own version of Manor Farm as depicted by Orwell. In his novel, though, animals acted like people.

I am not picking sides as to who in City Hall is right or wrong in the recent battle of opinion versus fact between Mayor Marv Teixeira and City Manager Linda Ritter. Not yet anyway. When the time is right. And don’t kid yourself. There are other players. The game of politics is not fun unless it becomes a party of many. That’s why politics are divided by “parties.” The party to which I make reference started off as an office party. But the party needed more players, so it campaigned for more participants. Then, the game leaders still weren’t satisfied, so even more players were sought – this time outside of the office. In order to be a player, you have to take a side. And to take a side means you must be a believer in the cause. Right? Wrong! Some of the additional players are just screening their rear ends for fear of getting them burned while playing their game in the sun too long.

People are people. We are as predictable as the nature of animals being studied under the conditioning processes once identified by Ivan Pavlov. People are a more interesting study (and I pass along my gesture of respect to zoologists).

Right now, Carson City Hall is a terrarium with an audience of more than 57,000 residents. It’s like a free zoo that allows you to get past the front gate, but you pay big to experience the animals on exhibit. But the spectators, who in this case are the residents of Carson City, are getting quite upset with the show. We are the ones who are feeding the animals with city taxes, but they are now pushing aside the food dishes we have offered and eating their own brand of feed, and the zoo keepers are having a hell of a time cleaning up the mess. What kind of feed? Well, let’s put a quarter in the animal feed machine and see what comes out. What’s this? Hmm, we have a handful of retaliation, a little bit of hatred, three or four pellets of anger, and two big kernels of possible gender-related combat.

And after a belly-busting feeding of smut, the animals will defecate on each other and go off by themselves to rest in the shade, hiding from their combative enemies. They are just there to look back at those who are looking, while swatting away the annoyance of flies with their tails, snorting, and then laying their heads down for another snooze until feeding time again. Their productivity is less than zero. And the air that surrounds them stinks. It’s a smell that turns the stomach like a wind-twisted hammock. The only characteristic difference between animals and people caught on exhibit in a caged environment of incompatibility and speciesism is animals have no pretense. They are uninhibited in conveying to their audience and their antagonists what they may expect from any intrusion of irritation or annoyance. People generally don’t communicate with such unquestionable rawness and purity.

Carson City Hall has become a sun-fried muddied field of inescapable intense heat and slop-house stench. Just ask anyone in the community, and they will tell you the same. As mentioned earlier in this column, I am not going to get into my own opinions of what is going on between Mayor Marv Teixeira and City Manager Linda Ritter, and the other players. What I will comment on is that regardless of who is right or wrong, the situation may be unfixable in its current status. Let me put it this way: I wouldn’t be able to effectively work in that environment. Who could? You can put in work time. But that’s just a tiny bit different than being productive and giving the city what we expect and pay for in city taxes. Try to find a Wal-Mart store or auto dealer who can make up the difference of that thinly camouflaged lost tax void.

Employees at City Hall can tell me all they want about their core of unity and brotherhood of man, but let’s take down the veil of pretension and expose this sore-covered naked body for what it is. No one can effectively continue to work when most of your time is spent (in contrast to invested) on covering your butt.

You can walk like you did before. You talk the same. But your optimum creative and productive functions become motion-sensored only, robotic, and worthless.

Carson City Hall, you are beginning to make me wonder. That’s not a good thing to enter the mind of someone who was one of your biggest supporters.

Clean it up before the voters start buying their own detergents and cleaning utensils.

• John DiMambro is publisher of the Nevada Appeal. Write to him at