Google+ Badge

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bottlenecks and Skip Rope With City Council

A bottleneck is "a point of congestion in a system that occurs when workloads arrive at a given point more quickly than that point can handle them." The inefficiencies brought about by the bottleneck often create a queue and a longer overall cycle time.

The term refers to the shape of a bottle and the fact that the bottle's neck is the narrowest point, and thus the most likely place for congestion to occur, slowing down the flow of liquid from the bottle.

Well ...

It seems a City Council member believes a particular cervical obstruction is clogging city government.

First Ward City Councilman Kevin W. Johnson says he has an issue of a “bottleneck in the office of the city manager.” He explains ...

“I have already received complaints and requests for assistance from individuals who claim to not have their phone calls returned. I have not had that particular problem as the City Manager has always replied expeditiously to any and all of my inquiries,” Johnson said. 

“I am concerned, however, that one very busy individual is now responsible for all communications traffic including basic, minor questions from Council which could be directed at a department head or key staff with a CC to the city manager.

Johnson goes on to say ...

“Between this ‘Council-Staff Communications Guidelines’ and your ‘Legal Opinion Charter 33 and 40’ you (or whomever also wrote the communications guidelines) have effectively and totally cut Council off from any relationship with any department head or staff; thus making us totally dependent upon information provided us only by you, the city auditor and city manager. In other words - distanced and totally dependent.”

City Solicitor John Haas said he could not respond to the “bottleneck” in the city manager’s office as he currently has no evidence there is a bottleneck, but added ...

“If you have specific information, please pass it along to your fellow Council members, Mr. Allen and me.” 

(Frank Lewis. "Council Communication Issues Continues." Portsmouth Daily Times October 20, 2014)

So ...

The continuing saga of who should deal with what communication in what manner IF, indeed, a suspected "bottleneck" has actually developed still baffles Portsmouth City Council. With "Council-Staff Communications Guidelines," City Charter regulations, learned legal opinions, and potential scores of unnamed individuals waiting for return calls about unspecified business, the question remains: "Is a narrow route a direct, open freeway for communication or a point of congested traffic for pertinent questions?"

This is not rocket science, but we all know about how playful council can be.

Perhaps ...

City Council should just investigate itself to determine the intentions of the politics it routinely plays. Instead of spending so much time worrying about "who is siding with whom" and "I know something you don't know -- na-na, na-na, boo-boo," the council members could explore their reasons for continually bickering like little children and then eliminate their own problems.

In fact, maybe a section of council chambers could be set aside for a "time out" zone reserved for those council members who refuse to play nicely and cooperate while taking care of real city business. This educational parenting technique of temporarily separating a "problem child" from an environment where inappropriate behavior has occurred is recommended by many pediatricians and developmental psychologists. It is intended to decrease positive reinforcement of the behavior.

Finally, the group may benefit greatly from some wisdom printed by the Summit Medical Group concerning "Teaching Children To Play Together." Here are some timely suggestions council may wish to take to heart as they "play" their communication games and teach their constituent "children" (we, the taxpayers) about effective city government:
  • Try to model the behavior you want your child to learn rather than just talking about it. When you say "please" or lend a helping hand, you are teaching your children how you would like them to act.
  • Pay more attention to behaviors you like and less attention to behaviors you don't like. Look for the things the children are doing right and comment on those.
  • Help your children learn to control their feelings and think of others. For example, if your child is having a hard time waiting for a turn on the slide, talk about it with her. It is more helpful to say something like, "I know you've been waiting a long time and you're dying for a turn, but you'll need to wait until Billy is done. Maybe you can ride the trike while you're waiting." rather than simply saying, "You have to wait until Billy is done."
  • Show your children how to cooperate. Children love it when an adult has a problem and they can help solve it. If the living room needs cleaning up, say, "Let's do this together. This is your room too. Let's get it cleaned up so we can go out for ice cream."
  • Teach your children some useful, non-violent ways of getting what they want. Help them bargain with each other, make a trade, or use something together. "I'll pull you in the wagon while you sit in it," or "I'll trade you my blue pen for that red one."

Teach your children well. It is important to remember that conduct that disrupts society is antisocial behavior, and antisocial behavior encourages further aggression. Such aggression infringes upon another person’s basic rights or violates cultural norms. The aggression can be overt or covert, such as lying or thievery.

According to Irving Weiner’s book, The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology, an antisocial individual typically has a learning style that is more receptive to reward than disciplinary action. In fact, an antisocial child will continue to engage in maladaptive behavior despite the threat of punishment and also sees an upside to aggressive behavior.

Because antisocial children are unable to learn appropriate behavior in a particular social or cultural context, they tend to exhibit inappropriate behavior, such as temper tantrums, use of profanity, bossiness, excessive jealousy, impertinence, fighting or flamboyant attention-seeking.

Researchers contend that it’s not unusual for the antisocial child to react to and defy authority figures. In addition, the antisocial child will repeatedly violate social norms until this behavior forms a pattern in terms of frequency, intensity and duration.

Such inappropriate behavior inhibits the ability of the antisocial child to form healthy interpersonal relationships. Because he also lacks empathy or warmth toward other people, he grows even more isolated.

Skip a Rope

By Henson Cargill

Skip a rope, skip a rope
Oh, listen to the children while they play
Ain't it kind of funny what the children say?

Skip a rope

Daddy hates mommy, mommy hates dad
Last night you should have heard the fight they had
It gave little sister another bad dream
She woke us all up with a terrible scream


Skip a rope, skip a rope

Oh, listen to the children while they play
Ain't it kind of funny what the children say?


Skip a rope

Cheat on your taxes don't be a fool
What was that they said about the golden rule?
Never mind the rules, just play to win
And hate your neighbor for the shade of his skin


Skip a rope, skip a rope

Oh, listen to the children while they play
Ain't it kind of funny what the children say?

Skip a rope
Stab 'em in the back that's the name of the game
And mommy and daddy are who's to blame

Skip a rope, skip a rope Listen to the children as they play;
It's really not very funny what the children say. 

Skip a rope

Youtube video of "Skip a Rope." Click here:

Post a Comment