Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sister Cities

Apparently I was sabotaged by by a cheeky eggnog recipe over the holidays, because I am just now finding this wealth of blogging material posted on the Mayor's official blog. I know that her blog is official because it displays the official seal, and this blog was once reprimanded by the city for displaying the seal in an unofficial manner.

Why the mayor chose to post about that particular topic at that particular time is anyone's guess--perhaps she is buttering the city council up for massive funding of the sister city program in next year's budget.

Much like the PhD economics program at the University of Maryland, to which I was denied admission, the Sister Cities Program apparently has highly exclusive entry standards:

Sister Cities choose each other on the basis of one or more similar
demographic, characteristic, or historical ties and agree by ordinance to

Can you imagine how easy it must be to find a city with one thing in common with this city? I have to admit, if I was in charge of this program, there would be sister cities in Hawaii, the Virgin Islands (British, of course), St Lucia, Spain, Wisconsin (because I like cheese), and the lost city of Atlantis. And I would visit all the time. Why?:
They look to each other for assistance and advice on matters including
governance, healthcare, housing, and just about anything else facing a city

We must be very well assisted and advised, because the Mayor's blog reports that we have 15 sister cities. This is double the 8 sister cities that I could find!

The mayor called the program "cultural mentoring", sharpening her keen command of misleading phrases.

"I believe that participating in these types of programs are the only way to appear more worldly, and convince foreigners that we are not racist", the mayor failed to say.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Mayor wishes to use the sister city program to strengthen its ties to its fifteen global partners.
Annapolis will continue to strengthen its ties to its fifteen global partners
through mutual visits, events, and exchanges of ideas and information. Through
these bonds Annapolis will further its Sister City mission of creating a force
for international cooperation and understanding through community involvement
and people-to-people relationships.

The sister city program is being administered with the zeal that should be applied to fighting crime. WHO CARES about sister cites, other than the people we pay to visit these places? Nobody will ever convince me that sister cities have provided us a solution to a city problem that we could not have found on our own. Heck, the highly read pages of this expert blog provide solutions all the time! Having one or two sister cites would be fine, even cute. But fifteen? With plans for more on the way? And continual time being spent by our city staff to travel across the world?

I am unpersuaded.