There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the MCC ran its meeting under new Chair Leonard Woren in the most professional manner I’ve ever seen with this body. No one in the audience gave a twenty minute speech. Agenda items were taken up roughly on schedule. For the most part council members didn’t talk all at once in a confusing babble.
True, the Council must come to grips with the need for members to speak in an orderly fashion–some members were frustrated that they were unable to express their thoughts given the aggressiveness of their fellows. The Chair needs to start recognizing speakers rather than permitting members to speak whenever they are so moved–sometimes over the top of another member who is trying to speak.
True there were a few “hang your head in despair” moments. One when a council member, with apparent glee, publicly embarrassed a citizen who was critical of the MCC as he attempted to leave the room, an hour or so into the meeting. Another when the council seemed to be at loggerheads over when to schedule a bathroom break on their retreat agenda, how long the break should last and how many were needed. (In the end they decided to take them as needed.)
This is the good news, as I said. And it is. Compared to the previous meetings this was a tremendous step forward. It signaled to me, at least, that there might be hope after all to transform the MCC into a relevant body once again.
The bad news is that they still have a long way to go. But this meeting was promising nonetheless.
If you have limited time you should focus your attention on two of the sections. First, watch the section where MCC debates its purpose and role on the coastside. You can see the seeds of many interesting things and also sense the difficulty the MCC faces as it tries to evolve.
Second, watch the section on the water fountain. This may sound like a trivial item but it is not–it captures in its own way important issues about the quality of life here on the coast vs. the desire to limit growth.
The water fountain, proposed for the Coastal Trail, requires a new pipe and associated apparatus. Some are concerned that the water fountain, in and of itself a fine thing to build, is really just the “Trojan Horse” to allow the installation of a water supply that might be used for more extensive development later on. On the other hand perhaps the risk of a “Trojan Horse” can be mitigated against by physical and legal methods while at the same time improving citizen’s and visitor’s enjoyment of the coast.
Given that Rich Gordon, of the Board of Supervisors, has expressed displeasure with the past workings of the MCC and suggested that it may have outlived its usefulness it is good to see the MCC responding, examining its own workings and starting to discuss topics of more relevance.
If they keep on this trajectory of improvement then perhaps more members of the public will participate and attend meetings–and not leave shaking in frustration.
Videos by Darin Boville