An Interview: Audrey Bonheur – Las Almas City Manager
An Interview: Audrey Bonheur – Las Almas City Manager

An Interview: Audrey Bonheur – Las Almas City Manager

About midway through yesterday’s Comic-con, the festivities took a bizarre turn to put it mildly. A man dressed in a slingshot speedo, fanny pack, and leopard-print cape, going by the name of Wade Schitt, took the stage carrying a bucket of greasy french fries, and began a political soapbox, accusing the Mayor Adriana Nahum of being in cohorts with criminal elements, as well as the District Attorney, and other prominent Las Almas figures. Both the Mayor and the City Manager were there to offer rebuttals of these statements, but they say in boxing and in business, you should never punch down. I decided to reach out to the City Manager to help unpack this strange scene yesterday, and hopefully help to understand the finer nuances of this political conversation.

NB: Miss Bonheur. Thanks for your time. Wow. What a Comic-Con huh?

AB: I heard what was being said and how it was escalating. I didn’t think that kind of innuendo without supporting facts has any place at a meeting like that. What about people who were there and didn’t really know or care much about politics before that? Were they to only have shouts aimed to demean a politician – many of which seemed more than a little sexist – as their sole means of understanding Las Almas government? I had to speak up…Yeah, it was a day, that’s for sure. I don’t know what I was expecting, but that wasn’t it.

NB: I won’t waste your time with questions about Mr. Schitt’s credibility. Obviously he is an eccentrist with some minor delusions going on. Though I couldn’t help but notice that some of his statements were reaching some level of crowd appeal. Anything to say in defense of his multiple claims of mismanagement on the part of the local government?

AB: I’d say that he never made a single, specific claim. It is easy to cry “corruption” when you don’t have to back up your words with pointing to any individual incident. I could call you corrupt loudly and long enough and people might start to believe it. I’m obviously deeply involved in city government. I can only tell you that we’ve accomplished a lot since Mayor Nahum was elected. We’ve stretched the budget where we could and run fundraisers where there was nothing more to stretch. The ‘City of Sin’ festival was a budgetary success, though I have hopes that next year will bring in even more funds.

NB: Obviously we want to reinforce that Mr. Schitt has as much right to express his ideals and virtues as anyone else. That’s what makes this country great, but are you the slightest bit concerned that if the guy got himself a shower and a decent suit, that he could be a real contender for the city’s Mayoral race?

AB: Mr. Schitt has every right to express his ideals and virtues, yes. But, he doesn’t have a right to gaslight Las Almas with vague accusations with no meat to them. He doesn’t have a right to claim corruption without specifics. He’s popular because he’s comical. In that way, Comic-con was a good choice of venue for him. People want competence from their government officials. They want the lights kept on. The citizens of Las Almas want to know that the garbage is going to be picked up and the teachers and other civil workers are going to be paid. Its important to literally every single person who has to live here. Until and if he is ever able to answer how he can make promises like ‘no taxes’ and accomplish those basic duties of government, I wouldn’t vote for him.

NB: Honestly, there are several things that are growing more prevalent in today’s politics. Extremism, conspiracy theories, actions that come close to breaking the law but in most cases pull back before crossing the line. Do you think yesterday’s episode was a sign that more people like this could get their hands on a megaphone, and topple the system as it has operated for the last two hundred or so odd years?

AB: I don’t know about the whole ‘system’ But, I do know about what happens when men like Wade Schitt get power. He’s just going to use it to gather more ..whatever..for himself. I don’t know what that would be at this point. But it probably wouldn’t be anything good for us.

NB: I know you don’t speak directly for the Mayor, but what can you say are some of the biggest challenges facing Las Almas, and what do you see as our best hope to make progress as a town, and as a leadership team?

AB: Personally, I think we need to work to lower the crime rate and all the other issues cities have. But, I’ve been saying for a long time that the way forward for Las Almas is to put ourselves on the map. Why should people go to other cities for gambling or entertainment when they can come here and get more value for their efforts? The funds that we can bring in by growing our reputation as ‘the true city of sin’ could be transformative. Funding for law enforcement, schools, public works – the more we can bring in from tourist visits and national recognition, the better this community will be. But, I suppose that’s the accountant in me speaking out. Say what you will, but violence goes down, students do better…everything is better when the coffers are flush

Well, there you have it. A complete and rational breakdown. The Gazette Gauntlet is laid down and it seems like Mr. Schitt will have some ground to cover if he wants to convince the hearts and minds of a majority of Las Almans that he is the right candidate for Mayor. If Mr. Schitt does want to give his interview to the Gazette, he can reach our office at the email address listed on our website.