January 3, 2012
It was an impromptu moment at Tuesday's city commission workshop meeting.
Ward I Commissioner Jon Howard thanked outgoing Mayor Willie Adams, who was presiding over his final work session as mayor, which prompted several of the other commissioners to speak their own words of gratitude to the two-term politician as well.
And, as is typically the case, Ward VI Commissioner Tommie Postell, whose colorful phrases and, shall we say, unique, perspective on some issues frequently lands him in the squawkbox, managed to get the last word in even over the mayor himself.
You see the mayor had just finished a rather poetic-yet-extemporaneous speech to his commission in which he showered them with appreciation its ability to work together and overcome things that had plagued previous commissions like racism, personal agendas and hubris, while acknowledging they haven't always agreed.
"But you know, it's a lot like physics, if you can't have energy without a little friction," Adams said.
And just as Adams, the city's first black mayor, had finished talking about how the community was inching towards overcoming generational poverty and racism, Postell made an almost-theatrical entrance to the conversation.
"Doc...I'd just like to say thanks for being the city's first black mayor. I saw in the paper where they said you were the worst mayor in Albany's history...but they're just saying that because you're black," Postell said.
During his rant, Postell came back around.
"We've got to work hard to reduce the racism," Postell said. "Everybody don't love everybody."
The rest of the commissioners gave less impassioned soliloquies to Adams, but no less poignant.
Howard thanked Adams for what he said he believed were positive changes for the city and to the dynamic between commissioners.
"I think that you have helped us get to a place where we know we can restore civility and honor back to this city," Howard said.
Ward IV Commissioner and Mayor Pro-Tem Roger Marietta also thanked Adams for what he said was his "wisdom and guidance" of the city.
Commissioners Bob Langstaff, Christopher Pike and Ivey Hines said they would wait until the Jan. 9 night meeting to make their comments.