2/18/17: Laugh, Cry, and Think

Posted on February 5, 2017

ELGL co-founder Kent Wyatt is live bloggin’ the month of February and he starts with Super Bowl 51.

Monday, February 20

Back from Sunriver…after four hours in the car with Michael Jordan and two young kids, it’s time to kick back with a lil’ good ol’ fashion blogging.

Today is not Presidents’ Day, I repeat, today is not Presidents’ Day. Officially, today is known as Washington’s Birthday so chill out with the Presidents’ Day chatter.

The day is also known as the day before Dad Week begins. My lucky kids will be facing me, me, and some more of me as Kirsten heads to Ohio and Michigan.

Here’s what you should know before Day Week begins. Before we begin, let’s celebrate the return of House of Cards on May 30.



Embrace Debate…Twitter attempted to define a city hall selfie yesterday. After much debate, Michael Karlik dropped this nugget of knowledge.

In Portland, Oregon, buildings constructed in the 1960’s are considered historic. In Richmond, Virginia, buildings constructed in the 1860’s are considered historic. I mention this to prepare you for this gem of an article uncovered by Lauren Stott.

Landmark crisis paved way for measures that continue to preserve city’s historic buildings

The law effectively struck down protection for the 29 buildings, districts and sites, which had been given an initial endorsement by the city’s landmarks commission but not the final one by the City Council. They were “pending” landmarks, not permanent landmarks. And because no final vote was required, this legal limbo could drag on interminably. In 1996, Mies’ pathbreaking steel-and-glass apartments at 860-880 N. Lake Shore Drive had been “pending” for 15 years.


What the difference between state and local government workers? State workers need to chill out with their porn usage at work.

Hey state workers, clean out your desks and don’t order porn by mail – Saunders

That’s why every employee should have a desk buddy, someone who – when security comes to unceremoniously separate you from employment – will clean out of your desk or locker.

Michael Jordan, you are guilty. The greatest dog ever has been outed in New York magazine.

Why Your Dog’s Personality Is a Lot Like Yours

The idea that dogs look like their owners really does have some merit: Research has shown that people tend to choose pups that share their physical characteristics, in ways both obvious and subtle. Overweight people are more likely to have plumper dogs, for example, but even something as small as the shape of the eyes can be a factor. We’re drawn, in other words, to pets that remind us of ourselves.

One disagreement — I have never sported icicles like this.

Never trust a man with a bow-tie. We’ve all heard the old adage (or maybe not since I just made it up). We, at ELGL, disagree with this train of thought.


Props to ELGL member and Richfield, WI Administrator Jim Healy for being named to the “40 under 40” list in the Daily News. H/T to Jim for his contributions to ELGL. Here’s our favorite – My Story with Jim Healy, Village of Richfield, WI.


Federal, state, local…the lack of diversity is present on every level of government. This fact has slowly crept into the mainstream media when click bait articles about millennials are not being composed.

Some hope to increase diversity among Va. legislative aides

In the state Senate, 36 of 40 chief legislative assistants to lawmakers are white, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch analysis. In the House, 91 of 100 assistants are white.

That means nearly 91 percent of the General Assembly’s 140 chief legislative assistants are white.

Bonus points to those who remembered that I used to work for the State of Virginia.

Saturday, February 18

Live from Sunriver, OR…It. Is. Saturday.

Get about as oiled as a diesel train / Gonna set this dance alight / `Cause Saturday night’s the night I like / Saturday night’s alright alright alright

The family went skiing yesterday on Mt. Bachelor…some did better than others…but we forgo naming names. Luckily, we’re back in Sunriver where there’s less chance for a yard sale. So, here’s a fun fact, if you ever want to get underneath Kirsten Wyatt’s skin, talk or tweet like a ski bro…you could do so by using “fresh powder”, “sweet runs”, and “partying with bros.” Let’s give this a try, first one to tweet ski bro talk to Kirsten wins an ELGL calendar or #ELGL16 t-shirt.

We’re sending good vibes to ELGL member Elizabeth King.

On to the Elite 8, we take a very short break from #ELGLCityHall Madness to make you laugh, cry and think. Why laugh, cry, and think?


No surprise…a Dook educated NBA basketball player is convinced the world is flat.

I am going to make a bold statement. I do not like raccoons. However, I do like raccoons when they are chilling on a trash truck.

By the time the driver pulled over, the truck had traveled all the way from Rosslyn to Falls Church. Wilkinson said she then called the Falls Church Police Department’s animal control team, who came to retrieve the skittish stowaway and make sure it was out of harm’s way.


Margaret Wise Brown, the author of “Goodnight Moon”, has died. This is not breaking news. She died in 1952. What is breaking news is a semi/sort of sequel to “Goodnight Moon” will be released this month. (If you don’t have kids, I will not be offended if you stop reading this part of the post.)

As the New York Time wrote “a new phase of Goodnight Moon” titled “Good Day, Good Night” has a complicated backstory. What’s different about this book is the positive reviews. Creators of music and books who publish new work from the grave are usually panned by critics.

Bonus reading for us fans of ” Goodnight Moon” – The Surprising Ingenuity Behind “Goodnight Moon

Author Margaret Wise Brown, subject of a new biography, based Goodnight Moon on her own childhood ritual of saying goodnight to the toys and other objects in the nursery she shared with her sister Roberta, a memory that came back to her in a vivid dream as an adult. The text she jotted down upon waking is at once both cozy and unsettling, mimicking and inducing the unmoored feeling that comes with drifting away to sleep. Unlike so many children’s books, with their pat plots and clumsy didactics, it’s also one that parents can stand rereading—and not only for its soporific effect on their sons and daughters.

My Takeaway: When I pass (die), I am going to leave behind a vast catalog of half-written ELGL articles that award-winning ELGL members will feel obligated to complete. You’re welcome.


Let’s rock (softly). Ryan Adams (not the ELGL member who is a director of administrative services) and Alison Krauss are releasing new music. Just for you the reader, I gave a listen to a few tracks from the new album. Spoiler: Most of the songs deal with Ryan’s (yes, I am a first name basis with him. I saw him once in concert) divorce from my former celebrity girlfriend Mandy Moore.

“When You Say Nothing at All” is the song that you might know from Alison (once again, I’ve attended numerous Alison concerts as Kirsten loves her. Alison and ski bro talk – you’re learning a lot today about Kirsten.) She also teamed up with Robert Plant on a critically acclaimed album. The duo attempted to produce a follow up but writer’s block thought otherwise.

After being gone from this post for a few lines, the crafty New York Times returns to educate you on Alison – Alison Krauss: Vintage Country. Modern Self-Awareness.

My Takeaway: The New York Times doesn’t know Alison as well as I do.

Friday, February 17

The #ELGLCityHall Sweet 16 has brought a record number of views to the ELGL website. Huge props to Peoria, IL, Effingham, IL, and Kannapolis, NC who have won the Twitter and Facebook game by posting engaging messages which encouraged their supporters to get out the vote.

Here’s how many people have viewed the various match-ups in the last 24 hours.

10,371: Peoria, IL vs. Kannapolis, NC

4,940: Effingham, IL vs. Redwood City, CA

3,168: Little Chute, WI vs. Glen Ellyn, IL

308: Pasadena, CA vs. Milwaukee, WI

94: Cedar Rapids, IA vs. Bainbridge Island, WA

85: San Francisco, CA vs. Mosier, OR

48: Troy, NY vs. Vancouver, WA

39: College Place, WA vs. Durham, NC



Thursday, February 16

Special coverage continues of #ELGLCityHall madness.

Here’s are the number of votes cast so far today.

5,798: Peoria, IL vs. Kannapolis, NC
2,186: Little Chute, WI vs. Glen Ellyn, IL
1,693: Effingham, IL vs. Redwood City, CA
435: Pasadena, CA vs. Milwaukee, WI
57: Cedar Rapids, IA vs. Bainbridge Island, WA
51: San Francisco, CA vs. Mosier, OR
48: Troy, NY vs. Vancouver, WA
42: College Place, WA vs. Durham, NC

What does Twitter think about the Sweet 16?

Props to Peoria for highlighting the celebrities who have visited their city hall.

Will the Cubs magic rub off on Peoria?


Former Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson rides the bus. Looks comfortable.


Julie Underwood knows how to party. Meet Mercer Island’s new city manager, Julie Underwood

5. What do you like to do in your spare time?

With three boys ages 15, 12 and 6, and a spouse with his own demanding job, we are always busy. I like to sneak in a movie or Netflix, read, mostly non-fiction (I’m a leadership-management nerd), be a foodie and occasionally blog for Engaging Local Government Leaders or League of Women in Government. I also hope to spend time getting to know the special places on the Island that much better.

Wednesday, February 15

We interrupt this column to highlight the most popular #ELGLCityHall matchups.

Number of web views since February 12:

7,453: Peoria, IL vs. Kannapolis, NC

6,255: Little Chute, WI vs. Glen Ellyn, IL

4,190: Effingham, IL vs. Redwood City, CA

2,145: Pasadena, CA vs. Milwaukee, WI

728: Troy, NY vs. Vancouver, WA

463: Cedar Rapids, IA vs. Bainbridge Island, WA

238: San Francisco, CA vs. Mosier, OR

184: College Place, WA vs. Durham, NC

The competition is getting heated. Debate is raging on whether the windmill should count as part of the Little Chute city hall. I think it should since it’s part of the city hall complex.

You make the call.

Now, let’s check in on the Twitter talk about the Sweet 16.


Tuesday, February 14

Have you heard the word its Valentine’s Day…here’s how I am celebrating…Humble brag…my glass of white wine is firmly tucked into a block of cheese koozie.

Begin we begin, shout outs to a couple of ELGL members  – Brandon Bledsoe (LinkedIn) is the new town manager of Bristol, WI.  Michael Montgomery (aka Pizzza Mike) is the new Bartonville, TX Town Administrator. If you’re ever in Denton, Mike is the best tour guide that you’ll find.

Fun Fact: ELGL.org has received more than 10,000 views each of the last two days. The #ELGLCityHall Challenge is captivating the nation.

Enough about my cheese koozie, let’s laugh, cry, and think.



The local government roots of the riding sharing service Lyft are highlighted in my new favorite podcast, How I Built This. John Zimmer, Lyft Founder, details in this 45-minute interview, how Lyft initially addressed the concerns of local government. And, kudos to John’s professor who instilled the notion that our transportation infrastructure was not sustainable.

Countries that use the metric system…

That’s right…Burma, Liberia, and the United States are the three holdouts.


City council meetings have gone mainstream. Ryan Gosling dropped this nugget in this article.

Should we offer a complimentary ELGL membership to Ryan?

Here’s the scene from the Denver City Council meeting on Monday night.

Star Wars was the highlight of the agenda.

“Talk to Your Friends About Zoning”: A PSA Campaign for the NIMBY in Your Life – There’s so much that I love about this article.

And so it’s perfect fodder for a cheeky public-service campaign, “Neighbors for More Neighbors,” launched by Ryan Johnson and John Edwards of Minneapolis. Their posters, in a sendup of the square, hectoring style of PSAs, offer a humorous reminder of those pernicious acts of NIMBYism that surround us.

Pro Tip: Check out the YIMBY store.


We’re laughin’ so hard that we might cry…local government brought their A-game on Valentine’s Day.

Saturday, February 11

Super Bowl talk has ended so we return to our regular programming – Laugh, Cry, and Think. This could be a very short post or extremely lengthy. Its fate depends on how long the wife and kids spend at the worst place in the world, Michael’s.

First, I acknowledge the superstar work of ELGL member Laura Savage. You may know her as ELGL’s most improved tweeter, but you know will know her as Soaring Eagle Award winner.

Her current duties and responsibilities include serving as Pueblo West’s Designated Election Official; Public Records Custodian; and Administrative Assistant to the District Manager, Legal Counsel, and the elected Board of Directors.

She also prepares board agendas and packets, creates and records the official minutes of our public meetings, records and maintains official public documents.

Savage also assists in managing the District’s social media accounts and the live streaming of public meetings.

Recently she served successfully as project manager for the District’s new website and retail marijuana excise tax collection projects, while also managing the District’s legal intern.

“Laura serves as a standard-bearer for the entire District and what should be expected from those serving the Pueblo West community,” officials said.

“She consistently goes above and beyond what is expected of her position and pay grade and has never once complained.”

Originally from Kansas, Laura is married to her husband Frank, and together they are raising their daughter Raeann in Pueblo West.

“With her relentless drive and determination, Laura is well deserving of the 2016 Soaring Eagle Award,” officials said.

Great work, Laura!


We’ll put this in the laugh/cry category. Flying Axes and beer – the perfect combination?

Flying Axes venue to open near Extreme Park

Before you down a six-pack and throw axes, you might want to sip on a vanilla latte. Based on this map, you will most likely head to Starbuck’s, except if you are a Patriots fan.

Caribou is the best of the three. Unfortunately, Caribou, like Chick-fil-a and Zaxby’s, is not in the Pacific Northwest.


The cost of  being black is real. The high cost of being black in Multnomah County.


How tech ate the media and our minds – This story hits a little too close to home. My attention span has vanished as my use of Twitter increased. I have read article similar to this, but I struggle in keeping my little fingers off my iPhone.

Our brains have been literally swamped and reprogrammed. On average, we check our phones 50 times each day — with some studies suggesting it could three times that amount. We spend around 6 hours per day consuming digital media. As a result, the human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to eight seconds since 2000, while the goldfish attention span is nine seconds. And we just mindlessly pass along information without reading or checking it. Columbia University found that nearly 60 percent of all social media posts are shared without being clicked on.

I am beginning to think that this is how my dog Michael Jordan felt when he ate 15 cups of dog food while visiting a neighbor’s house. He just could not stop.

Since I mentioned the real Michael Jordan, I should also mention the other Michael Jordan. I don’t play golf but I might start if I can wear these – Nike Golf Finally Has Drop Date For Air Jordan I High golf shoe.

Winners! Winners! Winners!

If you are looking for ELGL members to start a betting syndicate with, start with these three. Each is the winner of an ELGL calendar or #ELGL16 t-shirt. Choices, choices….

  • Josh Schoemann, Washington County, WI – Patriots – 31, Falcons – 27
  • Josh Edwards – City of Durham, NC – Patriots – 38, Falcons – 35
  • Susan Barkman – Boulder, CO – Patriots 28, Falcons – 21

Tweets to Live By

Rise Up

A Tweet Says a Thousand Words

Enough About the Game

Who really cares about the winner of the Super Bowl? The day is a celebration of food, friends, and commercials. Skip the overtime and watch every commercial from tonight’s game.

Falcon Fan Meet Seahawk Fan

The Patriots ripped out the heart of the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, now they are about to do the same to the Falcons. Pro Tip: The pain does not go away, Falcon fans.

Game of Inches

Welcome to the Drone Show

With the Patriots mounting a comeback, let’s distract ourselves by learning about the drones involved with the Super Bowl. (If you’re wondering why I don’t care for the Patriots, I am bitter about the Seahawks blowing the Super Bowl to the Patriots a couple of years ago.)

Back to the drones

It’s probably first time you’ve seen 300 drones flying in formation, but it’s almost certainly not the last. The technology underpinning the Intel Shooting Star drone system is fascinating in and of itself, but its potential applications are even more so. The same drones that accompanied Lady Gaga will one day revolutionize search-and-rescue, agriculture, halftime shows, and more.

Now You’re Talking My Language

Props to Mike Ekey for droppin’ knowledge on Twitter tonight. He found this gem.

The Reviews Are In

Everyone, including myself, was expecting political fireworks from Gaga’s halftime performance. She went with a subtle approach. Read one of the first reviews of the performance.

That use of “This Land Is Your Land” was probably the perfect/fitting Gaga choice, as Woody Guthrie’s anthem is both aggressively political, but also part of the musical tapestry of the country, the kind of thing that resonates with a target audience, but also has aged into being sacred enough that few on the right have the nerve to complain about it.

Since no one asked, I’ll tell you that the mic drop was my favorite part.

Brace Yourself

The new meme that you’ll be seeing for the next year is…

This Photo Of A Sad Tom Brady Is Now A Hilariously Brutal Meme.

Political Hot Takes

Politics is all over this Super Bowl which is unfortunate. Since Trump isn’t at the big game, Vice-President Pence draws the honor of being torched by Twitter. I wonder why people don’t want to run for elected office.

Little Monsters

I love Gaga. I do. I am not a Little Monster but I respect Gaga’s musical talent.

I do not love the Patriots. I do not. I respect (somewhat) their success but I’m not rocking a Brady jersey anytime soon.

The below tweet shows that I’m not the only one in local government with these hot takes.

Clay for 3

Here’s a fun fact for you to snack on. This week’s GovLove episode features Greg Clay, candidate for Atlanta City Council. Greg is a candidate in district three which is the district where the Falcons’ stadium is located.

The New York Times wrote an excellent piece on the new stadium – Building a Stadium, Rebuilding a Neighborhood – The New York Times and Greg expanded on it during the GovLove interview.

Another snackable? Greg was classmates in the KU MPA program with ELGL member Shelby Teufel, City of Pleasant Hill, MO.

Podcast: Analyst Turned Candidate with Greg Clay


The Falcons are winning so let’s listen to my favorite song from Georgia native Ludacris.

The Commercial Everyone Is Talking About…

But I haven’t seen. This commercial is littered throughout my Twitter timeline. Here’s the full version.

The full, uncut 84 Lumber Super Bowl promotional film. See a mother and daughter’s symbolic migrant journey towards becoming legal American citizens. Contains content deemed too controversial for the original ad and banned from broadcast.

The Washington Post details the journey of this commercial.

Company forced to re-tool Super Bowl ad rejected for depicting Trump’s border wall

In the ad’s initial iteration, a Mexican mother and daughter, who appear to be on their way to the United States, come across a depiction of an imposing border wall, reminiscent of the one Trump has touted will eventually divide the country from Mexico.

“Ignoring the border wall and the conversation around immigration that’s taking place in the media and at every kitchen table in America just didn’t seem right,” said Rob Shapiro, the chief client officer at Brunner, the agency that worked with 84 Lumber to come up with the ad. “If everyone else is trying to avoid controversy, isn’t that the time when brands should take a stand for what they believe in?”

But while 84 Lumber believed in its message, Fox, which will air the game on Sunday, thought it was a little too controversial.

“Fox would not let us air ‘the wall,’ ” Schapiro said. 

Google It

Leave it to Google to show us when America started caring about the Falcons. Rise up!

An Observation

America has a lot of pent up Patriot jokes that they were ready to unleash. Beautiful Tom Brady is drawing the majority of America’s wrath. Personally, Belichick claims my #1 spot for most disliked Patriot.




Round of 32

We interrupt this award-winning blog post to announce the first round winners of the #ELGLCityHall Bracket Challenge. Which city hall will cut down the nets on March 10?

Kids Draw the Darndest Pictures

The Championship Belt

If Atlanta wins the game, I want every Falcons player, coach, and bandwagon fan rockin’ this shirt.

America is Winning!

Tweets of the Night?


Twitter Flock

Fun Fact: Twitter accounts with the most followers:

  • Lady Gaga
  • Katy Perry
  • Justin Bieber
  • Obama
  • Taylor Swift
  • ELGL
  • Rihanna
  • U2
  • Ellen

Football, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer…

It’s all the same to my kids. They think the Super Bowl is a baseball game. Since most of us know the Super Bowl is a football game, we take a few minutes to honor the greatest ELGL member to play football.

Ben Kittelson dominated the gridiron at Willamette University. He shattered the record books. (That’s probably not true.) He was elected to the Willamette Ring of Honor. (Definitely not true.) He was the team’s spiritual leader for his four years on campus. (That could be true.)

Check out Ben’s stat page. I am slightly upset that such a gridiron great would be represented by this picture.

I’ll contact the athletic office tomorrow and request his picture be replaced with the correct one.

The one thing that people do forget is when Ben and I suited up for the Dallas Cowboys.

Ketchup Stains Happen

The struggle is real. Thanks to Terry Bradshaw for bringing awareness to this horrible ailment.

So, go ahead and wear your most stained shirt to work tomorrow.

Emoji Expert

ELGL emoji expert Mike Ekey points that the Ocean City Police Department is rollin’ strong with emojis. I concur.

In 2015, Mike began serving as ELGL’s emoji expert after writing the textbook (really, it’s an article but textbook sounds better) –  It’s World Emoji Day! If you want to love on Mike even more, check out his appearance on GovLove – Podcast: Local Government Website Do’s and Don’ts.

Since you’re spending the Super Bowl with me, I’ll share something special with you. (Don’t tell, Mike.)

Game Break

The game is boring. My 7-year old daughter is hovering. My 5-year daughter has stomach issues. My dog is passing gas. Back to my oldest daughter, she just asked me what day it is. Just wanted to set the scene of the life of a part-time blogger.


H/T to Kristina Ashton for posting this gem on the ELGL Facebook Group.

Escaped Steer Leads Weatherford Police on Chase for Nearly Two Hours

A steer that escaped from a Weatherford butcher shop and led police on a nearly two-hour pursut Thursday morning is now being put out to pasture.

Editor’s Note: The article misspelled “pursuit.”


Live from the Super Bowl…

That was a boring, uneventful first quarter. I’ll move onto working on my daughter’s Lego set if this continues.

If you bet the under on the length of the national anthem, you don’t care that the game stinks and are busying spending your winnings.

The action got underway after country music singer Luke Bryan took 2 minutes and 4 seconds to sing the national anthem, which made bettors who took the “under” prop bet happy – the line was set in most places at 2 minutes, 9 seconds.


Down with Diversity

Apparently I am out of touch with America. I loved the Coca-Cola commercial. My 7-year old stopped working on a Lego set to watch the commercial.

Anyway, lots of people on Twitter were upset, as happens on Twitter. The hashtag #BoycottCoke took off virtually immediately, with hundreds of messages rolling in before the commercial had even ended. They couldn’t stand for either a language other than English or a skin color other than white being so prominently featured in the commercial.


ELGL members have submitted their predictions. Winner claims an #ELGL17 calendar.

  • Ashley Jacobs – Falcons 31, Patriots – 27
  • Josh Dukelow – Falcons – 34, Patriots – 31
  • Chris Floore – Falcons – 34, Patriots – 21
  • Josh Schoemann – Patriots – 31, Falcons – 27
  • Shawn Bell – Falcons – 42, Patriots – 38
  • Josh Edwards – Patriots – 38, Falcons – 35
  • Heather Geyer – Falcons – 36, Patriots – 30
  • Susan Barkman – Patriots 28, Falcons – 21
  • Greg Clay – Falcons – 27, Patriots – 17
  • Jason Jones – Falcons – 28, Patriots – 14
  • Jennifer Teal – Falcons – 33, Patriots – 7
  • Danielle Danay – Falcons – 31, Patriots – 17

And, one more entry, Mike Ekey told a bold approach and predicted “42.” We’re not sure what that means or who he thinks is going to win or maybe he just loves Jackie Robinson’s number.

Wendy Is Winning…

DC Water is winning Super Bowl Sunday with this video starring Wendy. (Teaser: You may hear more from DC Water at #ELGL17.)

Superb Owl Jokes Return

The #SuperbOwl mentions are back. Not many are interesting but one local government entity found a way to change that.


Wyatt House Is Lit

I went to a killer Super Bowl pregame party in the Safeway parking lot.

Things got so crazy that my cell phone battery died.


I get fired up for the Super Bowl by looking at old pictures of the Patriots coach getting fired up.

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