OK, so I had to resort to a little bathroom humor. A little juvenile, perhaps. But it actually fits … keep reading.
Wake County, North Carolina is not a big place. They have just seven county commissioners, and one, Democrat Harold Webb, had just suffered a stroke and was forced to step down. The candidate up for replacement was one Tony Gurley, a member of the GOP.
Discussion was spirited and the votes continued to come back 3-3 over and over again … in fact, they voted 13 times that way. At that point, Betty Lou Ward could take it no more and made an unscheduled “pit stop.”
When she returned, there was Gurley sitting in the commissioner’s chair, the result of a 3-2 vote that took place while she was using the facilities.
“Thanks, guys,” she said, tongue-in-cheek, when she returned from her powder room respite and saw him sitting there.
If that’s not strange enough, the commissioners’ next order of business was to elect a vice chairman. This time, the vote came down to a choice of Ward or Commissioner Paul Coble. Again … multiple deadlocks at three. More than five hours later, it still was not settled, and Commissioner Stan Norwalk, a diabetic, made a motion to order sandwiches due to his medical condition. This vote barely passed 4-2!
By 11 p.m. the commissioners voted more than 100 times, each one coming in at 3-3; the Democrats voting for Ward and the Republicans for Coble. Motions to recess or adjourn the meeting were dismissed, and the madness continued.
Finally, at 2 a.m. Commissioner Norwalk again asked for a recess because he hadn’t gotten his insulin shot. Coble then ended the political posturing, proclaiming that he “would not sit here and put Mr. Norwalk at risk.” A new vote ensued and Ward won 5-1, with Gurley being the sole Commissioner voting “no.”
It just goes to show that sometimes in the world of politics, it’s the party whose members have the strongest bladders that win the day.
Note: Thanks to my friend Trace who told me about this rather unusual political gathering.