This Week At City Hall: Say It Ain’t So Joe

I cracked the Leader Post this morning to read the Monday morning city hall column and found that it was just a list of issues that are facing the city in the near future — from infrastructure to the stadium — with quick blurbs outlining the key issues on each. Seriously, blurbs? This is like prairie dog writing. Like when I pitch seven city stories to Whitworth and he says, “Yeah, do that. And you have 500 words.” Or when I have nothing to pitch and Steve’s like, “But we have a news hole! Fill it with blurbs! The spackle of journalism!”*

So, obviously, not what I’m used to from a Joe Couture column. It seemed to have a strange tone of finality to it. And the headline, “Lots of issues at city hall” was also a tad, shall we say…. perfunctory?

And then I read the last line and it all made sense,

This is Joe Couture’s last column about city hall. He will now be reporting on the provincial legislature for The StarPhoenix and the Leader-Post.

What the hell, Joe? You can’t leave the city beat now! There’s too much going on!** Regina needs coverage!

So that’s it. The mighty Couture is moving up the political food chain. I’m sad to see him go. Whose coverage am I going to crib from when I’ve nodded off in a council meeting?***

You know, when people have said to me that the Mainstream Media never covers local politics (which happens more often than you’d think and it’s a statement that really irritates me), I’ve pointed them to Joe’s column and his weekly city hall coverage to show how they’re frickin’ wrong.

That Monday column of his was essential reading, in my opinion. And I don’t think it’s even a year old.

Anyway. Congratulations, Mr Couture, Ledge Reporter. And see if, with your new found province-spanning fame, you can convince your bosses to get you a better head shot. I swear yours is almost as bad as Murray Mandryk’s.****

As for city hall this week… not much to report…. (footnotes and city hall coverage after the jump)….

Wednesday, October 26
REGINA PLANNING COMMISSION (4 pm): Someone wants to open a fish and chips restaurant in a vacant unit within a strip mall at 365 Broad Street. Administration says they should go for it. I think so too. Fish, even fried in batter, is good for the brain. Here’s hoping RPC and council agree. If they don’t, I’d recommend they eat more fish.

Also on the agenda, a request to close part of the roadway within the lands devoted to intermodal facility to allow for development in there.

And that’s it. If you want to read more about what’s going on at city hall, don’t ask Joe, he’s broken free of that shit. Go to the city’s website for full agendas and reports.

* To be fair, that’s not a quote and this only happened once.
** Actually, no, there isn’t. I’ve said it before, things seem too damned quiet downtown.
*** I mean, I can’t lift everything wholesale from Book’s coverage. Can I?
**** I kid.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

14 thoughts on “This Week At City Hall: Say It Ain’t So Joe”

  1. Oh No!!! I love Couture’s column! And btw, it seems that TWACHs have been few and far between lately.

  2. I’ll miss Joe’s approach to putting plaza protesters in their place. Going forward, I’d make the friendly suggestion of less heavy looking frames.

  3. He and Sarah Mills were the best reporters on school board news over the past dozen years.

  4. Barb,

    Actually Joe just won an award for his coverage on the North Central Shared Facility. Too bad he will be gone in the future.


  5. Yes, Tim, I saw that. It seems to be the rule everywhere: get good at something, and you get kicked upstairs!

  6. A true loss for us all. Joe inspired us all to bring our game up to his level. On the bright side, at least I won’t get beaten to stories quite so regularly now!

    Also, don’t forget about Board of Police Commissioners on Wednesday. It’s the city’s least publicly-attended meeting. I think it’s open to the public, anyway.

  7. Yes, the Board of Police Commissioners is open to the public for the first portion of the meeting (usually starting at 9). There are usually some crime stats and some interesting stories of policing in our community!

  8. Writing well on this sort of stuff just takes discipline. Granted, not the sexiest “beat” but put down your Facebook for a minute and do some reading and anybody should be able to do it. It’s not like breaking massive conspiracies or anything.

  9. TF Jr., you make covering city hall sound a challenging as covering a bake sale. There’s a lot going on at city hall, a lot of issues to understand, and a lot to learn in order to ask the right questions and get the right perspective.

    And who’s to say there aren’t massive conspiracies?

  10. Pat: I didn’t forget the Board of Police Commissioners. I ignored it!

    Their website is labyrinthine and I can never find the reports for upcoming meetings when I’m writing these TWACHes.

    So I kind of just skip ’em.

    TF Jr: No. You are wrong. Writing well on this sort of stuff just takes whisky. Because with whisky every beat is sexy and rife with conspiracies.

  11. I read this as that there is a job opening…

    Ronnie’s Rant
    wouldn’t cut it in the L-P world,so,I’m not applying.

  12. I didn’t say it was easy, I said if it was your job, you should be good at it. I was happy to see Couture’s column fill a void, one that shouldn’t have been there in the first place, but like I said, apply yourself, make some phone calls instead of appeals thru Twitter for source material, and you should be able to come up with something good.

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