Ashley Morris thinks New Orleans Councilwoman Stacy Head looks like Tina Fey; however, that's where the compliments end. In his posting, entitled Stacy Head could just move to Metairie, Morris finds "fascist" the councilwoman’s expressed attitude towards littering and public drunkenness. From lawyer/mom to “fascist” in six months - a meteoric rise for the 36 year old Head.
The early election choice of uptown society voters and the young professionals, Head used that critical support to propel her into a victory last spring in the District B council race against ineffective incumbent Renee Gill-Pratt. Her election notwithstanding, Head was a largely unknown quantity for the voters of District B.
The young Councilwoman has also gotten the attention of other bloggers. In the posting One Year and 15 Days Later, a local blogger writes of her disappointment with Head and her “strident” and “screeching” outbursts at a neighborhood public meeting, which the blogger finds failed the “rationality” expectations that the blogger had of the new councilwoman. Bitch’s disappointment was echoed in a comment by Karen, who stated, “You left out the part where Stacy chastised the crowd and asked that we ‘make nice’ so that Ray (Nagin) would come back.”
Head has apparently also assumed a shoot-from-the hip style of presentation. For example, the Councilwoman advised citizens to all gather in Criminal Judge Charles Elloie‘s courtroom to object to the judge’s bond rulings that release from jail persons charged with serious crimes. She also recently suggested dealing with vagrancy problems by having the city set up loudspeakers in public places and blast the area with loud Barry Manilow recordings. At a recent public forum, she defended the practice of having the city council retain final authority on land-use and zoning matters, despite that during the campaign she supported the concept of a master plan with the force of law. Just last week the budget hearing for the overburdened police department was the setting for Head’s suggestion that the police should have a "zero tolerance policy" and issue more summons for littering and public drunkenness, an opinion which gave rise to blogger Morris’ comments about fascism, as well as comments by Loki that he will fight this “snippy soccer mom vision of the new New Orleans”.
Management by criticism and admonition and a shoot-from-the-hip style adds nothing of value to the public dialogue. The city council does not need a councilwoman with a "mouth-that-roared" style of governance, but rather it needs public officials with an incisive and thoughtful ideology that mirrors broadly-shared, progressive community values. The city needs effective action driven by wisdom, maturity and reflective policy analysis - true leadership to help it successfully meet the daunting and complex challenges that lie ahead.