With fewer City Council meetings during the summer months, I play catch-up in my job at City Hall, tackling tasks there isn’t time for the rest of the year. This summer, I’ve been working my way through Council minutes of past years, updating our resolutions list to improve efficiency.
|Portage la Prairie City Hall|
If you think Council minutes are not riveting reading, think again. Didn’t you always want to know which company won the bid for the supply of Hydrofluosilicic Acid in 1999 or who applied for a variation to allow the construction of a deck in their backyard in 2001?
Once in a while, I come across a tidbit of information in these public documents that is interesting only in hindsight. Go back far enough, and you can see where grants were approved for renovations to buildings that no longer exist. You see names of Council members and citizens who have died. You see the names of people who worked hard to develop our library, our arts and sports facilities, and so on. Their names stay on record.
In the Bible, there’s a cool story about a king who can’t sleep one night and asks for these types of records to be fetched and read to him. I guess he considered them a sure cure for insomnia. Instead—surprise, surprise—he discovers a good deed done for the kingdom but gone unrewarded. The king promptly sets out to rectify the situation. Mordecai is rewarded and the story’s villain is justly humiliated, all because the king decided to read those records late one night.
I keep hoping I’ll come across something cool like that in the City’s council minutes. I could go to Council and say, “Looky here. In 1981, Jerry Maksymyk single-handedly diverted an army of man-eating lobsters away from Portage la Prairie and saved the whole town from a certain and gruesome demise. Overnight. With nothing more than a homemade dulcimer. While wearing only pajamas.”
And Council would erect a 7 foot tall statue of Jerry and his dulcimer in the centre of Heritage Square for future citizens to admire forever. Children would ask, “Was he really that tall?” And parents would solemnly nod. Eventually, the Legend of Jerry Maksymyk would circle the globe, and we’d all enjoy a holiday every year on Jerry Maksymyk Day. Someone would write a musical called Jerry and the Incredible Carnivorous Crustaceans. It would have its world debut at the William Glesby Centre and young performers all over the planet would vie for the role of Jerry. Council might even spring for some new jammies for Jerry.
Just an example.
Ever wonder what it might be like to have such a record of your own life? Every choice you’ve ever made, forever engraved with the date and either “Defeated” or “Carried” stamped boldly on the bottom? It could certainly settle a few arguments. Get you out of some pickles. Maybe even win you some rewards.
Believe it or not, such a list exists, and I ain’t talkin’ Santa Claus. It includes things you’ve forgotten and things you wish you could forget. Things deserving of reward and things you’d give anything to erase from the record.
There’s good news on both counts. But don’t take my word for it—I’ve been known to make stuff up. Grab the nearest Bible and check out II Corinthians 5:10, Psalm 130:3 & 4, and Romans 8:1 & 2.
It’s in the record.