"For years, they've called me the power behind the throne," Councilman Ian Thomas' second seat told the Columbia Heart Beat. "It's time for me to sit up for what I believe in."
Often seen holding Thomas' coat, conferring with his satchel, advising him on votes, or arguing with city staff at Thomas' side, the chair entered politics much as Thomas did: a Pednet enthusiast who thought people should sit less and walk more.
"I was young," the chair said.
Years at the center of Council power has not only tempered that idealism, it's prompted the chair to sit back and take stock.
"There's big money in walking and biking these days. Entire bureaucracies have sprung up around it," the chair said. "Sitting, on the other hand, still means grandma's rocker, old timey values, and coffee house office hours."
While the chair has enjoyed its service as Thomas' muse and confidante, it regrets a fact of the modern conference room: professional jealousy, and from a surprising source—other chairs.
"Chairs can be catty," the chair said. "Snark about how easy my job is, how privileged I am, how I can't possibly understand because I don't have a butt on me for five or six hours at a time. Just the other day, the city clerk's chair said I was 'creating a hazard by being in the aisle'. I mean, wow. Just wow."
“I won’t lie—I was pretty broken up when Ian got in trouble
over that developer pay-to-play thing,” the chair said. “The way it went down, the developers’ chairs, all high-and-mighty while their masters browbeat my buddy.
"I tried to tell Ian: don’t do it, bad idea, they’ll own you. But he wouldn’t listen. In fact, he told me to sit down and shut up. I’m already sitting, I says.”
To prepare for its campaign, and questions about accounting shenanigans that hide tax dollars, the chair is working with Thomas’ satchel to study the city financials it carries around.
"Councilman Trapp’s chair is already giving me grief," the chair explained. "And city manager Glascock’s chair says it’s none of our dang business. But like I told those guys: you want to sit down on the job, that’s your problem.
"Me—I know when it’s time to sit up—and take a stand."