Friday, April 23, 2010

23 APR 10: Mess-Con 2010

So did you do anything special Thursday to mark Earth Day? It's obvious Columbus State University faculty members did. Most of them pulled their lofty-thinking President back down to earth.

President Timothy Mescon received a 62-percent "no confidence" vote from the C.S.U. Faculty Senate. If Mescon was a Prime Minister in Canada or Europe, this vote by a parliament would bring immediate national elections. In Columbus, most residents probably will think the rebellious faculty should find jobs at "Cal-Berkeley."

The news was even worse for Columbus State Provost Inessa Levi. The Faculty Senate handed her a 77-percent "no confidence" vote. But no, Levi will NOT have to change her title to Con-vost.

Leaders of the Faculty Senate accused Columbus State's President of making too many impulsive changes. I'm not sure that's completely a bad thing. After all, C.S.U. gained a national champion in air rifle a few weeks ago - so fans didn't have to wait for the baseball playoffs.

Timothy Mescon also was accused of being too confrontational with Columbus State faculty, on issues such as tenure. I thought the old college phrase was "publish or perish" - not "publish or punch-out."

Timothy Mescon insisted Thursday the message of the no-confidence vote came through. He says he'll get more Columbus State faculty involved in decision-making, and slow down the process of change. Maybe Mescon now remembers his official inauguration as President came months after he took office.

As part of the adjustment, the Columbus State President recently agreed to undergo coaching in good management techniques. Step one: stop getting your management ideas from reruns of "The Office."

But what really is Timothy Mescon's future at Columbus State? He asked the Georgia Board of Regents to postpone a vote on his contract until the no-confidence balloting ended -- but he said Thursday he wants to stay at C.S.U. The Roman Catholic Church might resolve this by shuffling Mescon over to Augusta....

Only hours after the vote totals were announced, Columbus State University held an annual awards banquet. The Ledger-Enquirer reported one award went to Burger King franchise owner Marvin Schuster. He could have told President Timothy Mescon that "have it your way" refers to the customers, instead of the man in charge.

I wonder if this is a case where someone went through "culture shock" moving from the big city to Columbus. Timothy Mescon's last position was at Kennesaw State University, in a bustling Atlanta suburb. Columbus tends to be a bit slower in its pace - well, unless you're driving over the Veterans Parkway bridge to get to an appointment downtown.

THE BIG BLOG QUESTION wants to go outside the faculty ballot box on this. Should Columbus State's President and Provost resign, in the wake of this no-confidence vote? Or should Mayor Jim Wetherington go to C.S.U. to determine if they're as "salvageable" as the Fire Chief was a couple of years ago?

Some of us remember when Auburn University's faculty had spats with the President on a regular basis, yet the leaders stayed around for several years. The complaining seems to have stopped since Dr. Jay Gogue took charge. Or does Gogue keep reminding the faculty that their complaints could hurt in recruiting football players?

-> Does this blog scare you? One man said he was scared of us, at our latest poker night. Read why at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

BLOG UPDATE: The Columbus corporate tour moved to the Trade Center Thursday, with the annual meeting of Synovus shareholders. Unlike the TSYS meeting Wednesday, WLTZ reported every seat in the hall was filled. I think this is a rare case where a full house does NOT mean your team is winning.

Synovus Chief Executive Officer Richard Anthony told one concerned shareholder his salary currently is frozen. That shareholder actually suggested a pay cut to $250,000 - but that person apparently was wise enough NOT to suggest that money turn into a bigger dividend check.

Yet after the meeting was over, Richard Anthony spoke optimistically. He told WRBL Synovus might be able to purchase some banks next year. The banking company has had plenty of practice lately -- buying back foreclosed homes in Atlanta.

E-MAIL UPDATE: First I misstated the date of one Columbus Councilor's next election. Then I said he had opposition. And now comes this....


Once more we might want to retract. I will not face Red McDaniel in 2012. If McDaniel does not run and retires after this term...the Yes, I will run. Red has too many friends throughout his district that know he will always do what's right for them. As far as the garbage collection fee's, I would think it's probably due to the Summer months ahead and Red knows we need more pickup during the hotter days, plus fuel costs will be higher for citizens as well as you can see the gas prices continuing to rise daily. Now is not the time to be putting more rate hikes on the citizens. The citizen has given a great deal over the past two years by voting in the LOST and the SPLOST. Best not to push the issue right now.

Well I'm off the Houston. Have a great week and keep up the wonderful and most entertaining fun in the morning Blog of Columbus.

Jeremy S Hobbs

Chairman and Founder

The Chattahoochee Valley Better Way Foundation, Inc.

This is curious, since Hobbs sounded like he was declaring himself a candidate in February [21 Feb]. After reviewing his video clip again Thursday night, Hobbs did include an "if" about McDaniel possibly not retiring. But Hobbs also said he'd be "generating support for City Council in 2012" - so watch for his face in the background of many more Teresa Tomlinson campaign videos.

But wow -- is this blog really "the most entertaining fun in the morning"?! Has Bear O'Brien stopped telling jokes on the radio completely?

Let's see what other fun and games happened Thursday....

+ Jay Stetzenmuller added to his automotive empire, by announcing he'll buy Columbus Motor Company. The folks at Uptown Columbus must be thrilled by this - because Stetzenmuller soon may leave the area with a second empty storefront, to match Jay Suzuki.

+ The March unemployment rate in Columbus fell below ten percent -- all the way to 9.9 percent. The Chamber of Commerce kindly asks you NOT to apply "Price is Right" rules in this case. You know, rounding off to the nearest dollar....

+ Supporters of whitewater rafting on the Chattahoochee River held an evening rally in Heritage Park. Matt Swift of the W.C. Bradley Company told WTVM if all goes well, the river will be ready for rafting in 2012. If not, it still will be simply water under the bridge....

+ The Alabama Legislature ended its 2010 session, with no House vote on an electronic bingo amendment. This means all the candidates will have to take a stand on the issue this spring -- and I can't wait to hear candidates for Agriculture Commissioner reveal if they're for or against gaming machines with lemons and cherries.

+ The Georgia Bulldog spring tour brought football coach Mark Richt and men's basketball coach Mark Fox to Columbus. Dozens of fans lined up to get Richt's autograph, while asking Fox whether he coached the offensive or defensive line.

(Mark Richt told WTVM the Georgia Bulldogs will have 29 practice sessions before their first football game in September. He's already counting them down in late April?! Oh well - I suppose some women already are counting shopping days until Christmas.)

+ The Atlanta Falcons selected Missouri linebacker Sean Witherspoon as their top draft pick. Well, uh, OK - this Kansas graduate might be able to adjust to that. As long as radio play-by-play man Wes Durham doesn't keep bringing it up....

+ Instant Message to WRBL sportscaster Stuart Webber: I'm sorry to do this to you again - but if a high school basketball player in Huntsville commits to playing college ball at Auburn, he will NOT be "heading north" to play. If he does, the other Tigers had better meet him outside Vanderbilt's Memorial Gym.

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