Frank Peterman's plan to limit talking by City Council members is hardly draconian. Giving each council member three minute statements, three minute follow-ups, and one-minute summations per issue offers the potential for nearly an hour of discussion on every matter on the agenda.
Still, ordering politicians to keep it brief is like telling trick-or-treaters to take just one piece of candy. For those playing along at home, the Times is handicapping each council member's ability to abide by the new rules.
The odds reflect each member's likelihood of breaking the new time limits. They were developed in consultation with some watchdogs who spend a fair amount of their lives sitting through marathon council meetings: Emily Rogers Coeyman and Tee Lassiter.
CONNIE KONE: 2 to 1. Kone does not necessarily consume the most time at every meeting, but she rarely says anything in less than one minute. A three-minute cap will be a challenge, though Kone expressed shock at being declared the odds on favorite for talking too much.
"If anyone is guilty, it's Kathleen. She gets on a roll and keeps going and going and going. She asks good questions, but she asks so many and at such length."
KATHLEEN FORD: 3 to 1. A serious talker, but Ford launches missiles instead of ships. She dominates meetings, but usually by taking a trial lawyer approach of firing off questions. Think of defense attorney Barry Scheck at his most aggressive ("How about that, Mayor Fischer?").
ERNEST FILLYAU: 3 to 1. The Chairman looks like a sound bet, too, because of his tendency to launch periodically into trance-like speeches that can last eight minutes or more. Former City Council member Leslie Curran used to try, with limited success, to cut him short with swift kicks under the table.
BEA GRISWOLD: 4 to 1. Griswold can take over a meeting talking about veterans monuments or lousy communication from city staffers, but she is unpredictable. Our experts had trouble determining her blab factor.
LARRY WILLIAMS: 5 to 1. Depends on the issue. Usually quiet. But get him talking about adult businesses or anything relating to staff incompetence, and time limits are out the window.
JAY LASITA: 7 to 1. A concise speaker, but he can eat up a full minute qualifying his statements or apologizing for speaking.
FRANK PETERMAN: 10 to 1. He'd look like a jerk if he yammers past his own time limits.
BOB KERSTEEN: 10 to 1. A master of brevity. When he speaks, he often reads a written statement.
_ ADAM SMITH