Last night’s City Council meeting was one for the books. A resident of the Sixth Ward reportedly told councilman Marty Mohr afterwards that he was an embarrassment to the ward. Mohr is not only an embarrassment to the Sixth Ward, he is an embarrassment to the city. He is not only an embarrassment to the Sixth Ward and the city, he is an embarrassment, or should be, to his family. He is not only an embarrassment to the Sixth Ward, to the city, and to his family, he is an embarrassment to our species. He is downright pre-hominid. He is a goon. The primary meaning of goon is “a stupid person.” But it is the secondary meaning of goon that particularly applies: “a man hired to terrorize or intimidate opponents.” That is Mohr’s role on the city council: to intimidate opponents by accusing them of being terrorists, to snarl and sneer at them, to call them crap. At the close of last night’s meeting, he tried his best to insult, intimidate, and humiliate Bob Mollette, who represents a higher form of hominid, a civilized, respectful male who doesn’t need to prove his manhood by snarling and gnashing his teeth or having sex with some woman other than his wife. In terms of evolution, Mollette is about 250,000 years beyond Mohr. When the minutes of last night’s meeting are printed, Mollette’s report to the council – informed, respectful, and conciliatory – should be compared with Mohr’s attempt to provoke Mollette and the citizens in attendance into getting down to his grunt level and exchanging insults and provoking physical violence. He might have succeeded in inciting the audience, which was furious at his provocative performance, but fortunately Mollette set an example of civilized behavior. Had Mollette blown his top, I think some citizens might have too. And then chief Horner would have been like a pig in shit, dealing with these “domestic terrorists.” He would like nothing better than throw some of them in the hoosegow.
Up until Mohr’s failed effort to start a riot, the meeting had been unusually peaceful and collegial. It seemed people were determined to avoid the animosity of the previous meeting. Compliments and sweetness flowed like sugar at John Simon’s Sorghum Festival. The most touching moment was when an elderly gentleman addressed the council and said that in the forty-six years he and his wife had lived in the Third Ward he had never known a councilman as helpful, decent, and considerate as Bob Mollette. But it was not only Bob Mollette who was praised. Praise was heaped by others on Kevin Johnson, on the Portsmouth Daily Times, and especially on First Ward councilman Mike Mearan, who has earned a reputation as
Mike Mearan: Good Samaritan
Unfortunately for Mearan, Marty Mohr came to his defense in his tirade at the end of the meeting, and if anybody in the council chamber or listening on the radio hadn’t known that it was Mearan who was the councilman rumored to have been found with drugs in
The Goon and the Good Samaritan are just two of the cast of characters who make up our incredibly colorful city government. If only we had a Damon Runyon or Meredith Wilson to create a Portsmouth version of Guys and Dolls or The Music Man, if only someone would write a play or musical featuring our Keystone Cop, our Doofus Mayor, our Smarmy Council President, our Sleazy City Solicitor, our Ku Klux City Clerk. The only other city that could possibly compete with us for crooked and incompetent politicians is
"I am shocked, shocked to hear Mearan’s name associated with drugs."