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  Best Local Politician
May 5, 2004


The May 5, 2004, East Bay Express, in its “Best of the East Bay” edition was kind (or perverse) enough to select me as the “Best Local Politician.” I am not sure whether this is a compliment or a joke, so decide for yourself. At any rate, they did spell my name right, more than many people have figured out how to do.


I am hoping that I can convince Mayor Anderson to give me one of those nifty recognition resolutions and a certificate at the next City Council meeting.


The piece follows:



And pain in his colleagues’, uh, necks


Tom Butt, Richmond City Council


If Mama Buzz is cool, politicians generally are not. The thing we love about Butt is that he says things he isn’t supposed to say. In politics, that means he’s honest, if not necessarily cool. He chided his colleagues – who generally consider him a pain in their own collective butt – in his email newsletter earlier this year for trying to decide on massive municipal layoffs behind closed doors. That critique, of course, could be viewed as being politically astute in an election year. But he also tells on himself: In another of Butt’s newsletters, he ‘fessed up to owing the city a $4,000 court judgment from when he unsuccessfully sued to gain access to city financial records. He explained to his subscribers that he felt justified in stiffing the city because he’d been trying to show how its leaders were trying to give Chevron, the city’s biggest employer, special treatment. Which brings up another of his good qualities: He stands up to the Company in the Company Town. Although we may not always agree with him, we at least always know he is being straight with us.