Where do I begin with this one? Well…how about here!
A disproportionate part of the problems associated with Kane County politics are directly related to the existence of what I like to call “ancillary players.” The term “political groupies” would work just as well. They tend to be folks like precinct committeemen, lobbyists, non-paid minor board members, and self appointed advisers who tenaciously cling to the periphery because they’re addicted to the rush of being a part of the process.
Try as they might, they don’t have the comportment, or good sense, to make the big time and, to suit their purpose, they will change allegiances faster than Charlie Sheen changes “girlfriends.”
Please don’t get me wrong, real workers like Michael Foote and Tina Yagla, both Geneva precinct committeemen, are worth their bleepin’ weight in gold. When I decide to run for Mayor of Geneva, those are the first two calls I’ll make.
But for the most part, the ancillary players’ unceasing self-aggrandizing efforts to accumulate an ever increasing piece of the political pie almost always make the situation worse and never better.
Just like the Weak Force transmits the energy necessary for nuclear fusion, these folks are responsible for carrying the feuds, vendettas, inane rumors, one upsmanship, and general middle school mentality that plagues the local political process.
And like a lemming on a death march, ancillary players will stop at nothing to fulfill their self-intended purpose. They also love to give themselves far more credit than they could possibly deserve for whatever turn of events they believe they had a hand in. And they always believe they had a hand in it.
To wit, in DH reporter Jim Fuller’s well-written article on this very topic, if you read between the lines, Ms. Ramey clearly takes credit for getting Chairman Lauzen elected when the truth is, she cost him at least five points.
Please, please, please! I’m certainly not saying our elected officials are anywhere close to perfection because they’re not. Left to their own devices, they generally do a good job. Ah! But when, perhaps seeking respite from the constant criticism, they start relying on these hangers on for their moral compass, it’s the beginning of the end.
So when I read that Forest Preserve President John Hoscheit “gently” guided Ramey into retirement, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. Though the irony is, for a mere 12 grand a year, she did a great job for the Forest Preserve. The best evidence is, when, for the first time in ages, the KCFP asked for other bids, no one came close to her reasonable price.
But because the ancillary player’s job description clearly states you can never be content in your own skin, her constant need to “spread her influence” ultimately did her in. As it was with her friendship with former Chairman McConnaughy, when Karen became more of a liability than an asset…
If you will allow me to briefly digress, I would also like to point out that Mr. Hoscheit’s bizarre outright backing of Mark Davoust for Kane County Clerk might just bring him this very same kind of heartache. There was a time I thought John was chairman material. Not anymore.
Please don’t cry for Karen Ramey, dear readers! Because, like a late Saturday night channel 26 vampire, ancillary players never fade away. No! Like that blazing morning sun, Ms. Ramey will come roaring back to torment her perceived detractors in new and interesting ways.
It’s the cycle of political life!