A new look. A new day. Another new council.
The eyes of a city will be focused very intently on Alpena Municipal Council Monday, as the newest chapter of council's history unfolds - a chapter ushered in by the results of last week's recall election.
Prior to last week residents were closely monitoring the decisions of five on council. Monday, the spotlight will be on three, which perhaps makes that scrutiny all the more intense, especially on matters that require a unanimous vote.
The three will quickly need to find a common ground, a place where all perspectives can be voiced and compromise is not a dream, but rather the new reality. Unanimous decisions will require each of the three to set aside his personal preference and philosophy, and instead find neutral solutions where no one councilman has the advantage. That will be important to begin the healing and get the city moving forward again.
Since November of last year, when city residents voted to have Councilmen Dave Karschnick and Mike Nunneley join Matt Waligora as mayor Jan. 1, residents will have had three different looking councils governing them. If council eventually succeeds in choosing replacements for Karschnick and Nunneley, it will mark the fourth council in 12 months. Depending on who runs for office in February, we could have yet another look, or fifth council, at that point.
Certainly Alpena council is a good example of democracy at work.
Conversely, few seats there get all that warm these days.