Danville voters now have a mayor-council form of government, whether they wanted one or not.
Your mayor (or perhaps someone who influences him from behind the scenes) is in complete control, because he not only has a 3-2 majority on the commission, but he has his personal pick in the city manager's office.
The next thing to watch for is the emergence of political favoritism. From where might it come?
Will someone get a nice job because of her connections? Will someone get a city contract steered his way? Will a heavy hand influence decisions by certain committees? Will someone's private property get special attention?
We know, we know. You've voted twice, in overwhelming numbers, to preserve the city manager form of government that has been in place for many years. You chose that form because, among other things, it makes it harder for politics to enter the day-to-day workings of the city.
But making something harder has never stopped those who are determined.
The commission — including the mayor, whose principal duty under the law is to bang the gavel during meetings — is supposed to hire a qualified person to supervise the city's operations (much like a school board hires a superintendent).
The mayor and commissioners then get out of the way, coming together mainly to set policy and approve spending.
But the power hungry don't like that setup, so they find a way to denigrate their opponents and gain a majority.
Then, after firing the person with the knowledge and experience to keep them in check, they go through the motions, purportedly looking for the most qualified replacement. But in fact they seek someone who they think will carry out their political agenda. They don't even care when it's obvious to everyone that they readily dismissed at least two candidates who were more qualified.
It was all a big lie. They — specifically the slim majority of Bernie Hunstad, Gail Louis and Ryan Montgomery — never intended to respect the actions of the so-called "benchmark" and "citizens" committees they created and that they used to try to smokescreen the predetermined outcome.
The whole process was so transparent it was laughable. They never intended to operate the city in the spirit of the law that defines a city manager form of government, even though they told the voters during the campaign that they would.
So, after spending a year and several hundred thousand dollars in the process, their goal — the goal we predicted on this page months ago, and apparently the only goal they had for themselves during the first year — has finally been accomplished.
You have a city manager form of government in name only. Watch closely as they make the best of it — for themselves.