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Whither the Finger? 

Each July San Antonio's downtown political scene gets a little quieter, especially around the Main Plaza area on Thursdays. City Council typically adjourns for the entire month as the City Manager's office navigates the murky budgetary waters of the upcoming fiscal year (hear all about it in August!). Journalists who cover municipal governance often feel at a bit of a loss: How to replace the low-hanging fruit of "Council Approves _____ Ordinance" stories? Where else to practice eyes-open sleeping in a refreshing 60-degree Fahrenheit setting? What to do when the most reliable news-generator grinds to a halt for one month? And most importantly, Where can we find Jack Finger?

If journos feel a gaping hole in their lives where four-hour-long public meetings used to be, QueQue wonders what the winner of the attendance prize at City Council's citizens to be heard must be going through? We've said it before, and we'll say it again, we cringe every time Finger strides to the podium to speak on social matters (most recently, Greg Harman recounted Finger's Red-White-and-Blue appearance during the City's consideration of the resolution urging the State to refrain from touching Arizona's new immigration laws with a 10-foot pole.) We're not shirking from Finger's opinions, which we've previously described as belonging in the "Christian-right lunatic" column, but we just get a little tired of using rhetorical embellishments like "socialism," "homosexuals," and "Barack Hussein Obama" to prove every willy-nilly point. That said, we usually snap-out of our silent-snoring routine when Finger speaks, his gleeful heckling is at least engaging and never menacing, and we reserve some admiration for the guy's dogged determination to track City spending, not to mention his sheer ubiquity. He is at almost every single Council meeting we attend, seizing firebrand opportunities to denounce anything even tinged with a whiff of "GLBT" or "minority," but frequently speaking out on mundane zoning cases and consent agenda spending items. We've even seen him at VIA meetings, asking detailed questions about security and funding at the planned Bus Rapid Transit terminals. We would not be surprised if, hour by hour, Finger spends more time poring over the weekly agendas than almost anyone else in the City. So, we openly ask Jack M. Finger: what are you up to these days? Fishing? Wood-turning? Polishing the ole' cowboy boots? Let us know! Until we meet again, likely at the Aug. 5 City Council meeting, have a good time doing ... whatever.

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June 16, 2021

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