Saturday, January 7, 2012

Starting Out In January 2012

I've been neglecting the blog. Christmas, New Year's, family time and a quick ramp up on a business project have been distracting me and good distractions they are.

It's 2012 and let's get back to the subject. We'll start with the big one first - The Strip Club.

At the moment, there is no public indication of it going forward. Now in the past, the strategy has been to call "special meetings" with minimal notice to try to sneak it by and we have to be very careful not to let this happen.

Just to review, apart from the issue of what the club is, the city planning approval for the plans were flat out wrong. They did not take into account a school, a congregation and accepted without question a measurement of 501 feet from a child care center (less than 2/10's of 1% margin of error). There was also no public safety study, no evaluation of traffic impact, no economic impact study and our legal group was apparently unfamiliar with the laws governing adult entertainment. I hope the city take-away from this is that we pay for professional planning and legal services and we expect to get them. No project in the future, regardless of its nature, should be recommended for approval so sloppily.

Other things - There is a commission meeting on Tuesday January 10 with a very short agenda. The one item that needs careful consideration is the Charter Review Board. This is a group of citizens and city staff who review our charter, make recommendations for changes and submit charter updates to the voters.

The Charter matters. Our charter is way out of date. Much of the charter is about how the city looked a decade ago, before the population shift to condos and a more urban environment. The current charter does not facilitate professional government and is weirdly silent on many issues that affect us. Who gets appointed to the charter board is important and as the charter reforms are developed, these changes will dictate how our city will be run for the next decade. I'll be writing more about that in later posts but pay attention and if you'd like to be on board, contact your commissioners.

Bit more about the blog, from time to time I revisit my policy of not allowing anonymous postings and wonder if there would be better information if I changed it. Then something like this happens.

In another internet space which allows anonymous postings, a kid is being targeted because someone doesn't like the parent. That's the filthy underside of the internet and under the cover of anonymity, people are quick to go there when they have a place to hide. Seeing this craven attack makes my stomach turn and reinforces my decision that commenters on my blog have to own their comments.

From last year, I wrote an open letter to Commissioner Lim about his past enthusiastic support for the strip club and my dislike that from the podium he referred darkly to "half truths and innuendo" without specifying what these were. I offered him the opportunity to speak more clearly, he wrote back and said that he would and nothing. I don't think we will hear from him. He doesn't like to explain himself.

Agenda for Tuesday, January 10, 2012 City Commission Meeting

Kevin Vericker
January 7, 2012

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