I stopped by the funeral home to say goodbye yesterday, but will be here on the job tomorrow during former Mayor Butch Felker's funeral. (We will be streaming the service live on wibw.com for those of you who also cannot attend.) Butch died a week ago today, losing his long battle with cancer at Midland Hospice. I wonder how many Tuesday nights he tuned in Channel 4 to watch the current round of council meetings. There's word that Butch was planning a 2009 run for a council seat.
Given what appears to be chaos at City Hall, with Deputy Mayor Brett Blackburn's followers.. John Alcala's backers.. and the men in the middle.. Mayor Bunten and Manager Bonaparte.. what would Butch say about the mess we're in? The fight over a police helicopter, when we need millions for street and sidewalk repairs are the most glaring examples right now. How are we doing on bringing in the kind of economic development Butch liked to help with? (He would probably be very pleased with that part.) If you knew Felker as well as we did.. what do you think he'd say about today's top Topeka issues?
Mayor Felker certainly had his share of problems earning and keeping power. But in the middle of the council storm, the fact that Topekans by the hundreds have forgiven Butch for anything he may have done wrong.. is a comforting thought this week. RH