November 18, 2013 by wcobserver
-By Steve Winkler-
On November 12, 2013, Frances Hime resigned as mayor of West Fork. Having worked with her on various city related issues, some people assume I have some insight. I get asked why – what’s the “real” reason she quit.
I’m not big on motives. I’ve got enough trouble dealing with what’s going on in my own head than to worry about what’s rattling around in someone else’s head. In college the head stuff was left to the psychology majors who were tasked with probing the workings of the human psychic. Over in the sociology/ anthropology department we were more concerned with what we could see happening in everyday life. People do stuff. Then, they talk about what they do. Then comes a lot of speculation, guessing, conjecture, analysis, and theorizing about human motives.
That’s not to say the soci/anthro gang doesn’t have a way to explain cause and effect, it’s just that it’s not a cue-ball-hit- the-eight-ball kind of cause and effect. It’s complicated. Without drifting to deeply into a critique of the Causality Concept, let’s just say there are alternative perspectives. The one I like is sometimes called “mutual simultaneous shaping” which basically recognizes that causality happens within a variety of ever changing situations. Everything is interconnected; there is a complex constellation of interacting “causes.” That swirl of “causes” can lead to a particular outcome, but trying to pull one particular “cause” out of the herd can be daunting.
So, why did Hime resign? Look at the situation, not her motive. We all, some more than others, have a personal/private life and a public life. We have personal problems and we have public issues.
Ms. Hime’s personal life revolves around her family, both nuclear and extended, both by blood and marriage which includes her home, property, estate, and business affairs. We all know that that involves health and wellness, birth and death, feast and famine. Throw one’s faith, life philosophy and guiding principles in the mix and you’ve got more causes than the woods have deer stands.
As mayor, Ms. Hime was a public figure juggling community resources with citizen needs in a town where the status quo, old school way of doing things didn’t mesh with her push toward modernity. At every turn she faced obstructionist resistance, foot dragging, insubordination, and downright meanness.
Are you looking for a clear motive, a single cause for her resignation? Pick one, if that makes you feel better. Blame it on a sick relative. Blame it on a hostile city hall. Blame it on the stars.
Or, you could go with a variation of that highfalutin “mutual simultaneous shaping” theory that says everything influences everything else.
Or, you could rely on a bit of folk wisdom that says, “If you stack the cow patties high enough, eventually they’ll fall over.”
Or take John Wayne’s advice: “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”