Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Re-Formed Commission

There are two new faces on the commission - Richard Chervony and Stuart Blumberg, Commissioners at Large and for Treasure Island respectively.  Both were appointed to fill the vacancies created by the resignations of Corina Esquijarosa and Frank Rodriguez.   

Stuart Blumberg has shown himself to be surprisingly outspoken for a new commissioner and has in his short tenure brought the flawed city processes around purchases and other matters to the front.   In particular, he has spoken against over reaches by the boards either perceived or real on matters that should pertain to the commission.  

He's right.  The boards are volunteer positions to study aspects of city policy and provide clear concise summaries and recommendations to the commission for their action.  Some have tried, others not so much.  I hope his efforts to focus the board's efforts are successful.   

Richard Chervony and I have a long political history, a history of disagreement over priorities and election tactics.  These disagreements, at least on my part, still stand.  I won't go into them today but if you read here regularly, there are no surprises in what I am saying.  

Chervony was appointed when the mayor resigned last year to fill the vacancy when the then vice mayor became mayor.  

Like Blumberg, Chervony has been outspoken on issues that concern him, particularly the finances.  He supported Blumberg's effort to seek outside advice on the finances, a move long needed.   

So far, not so bad.  But the reality of governance goes deep.  This commission has to take on the police chief's out of control spending or the finances will collapse.  This commission has to address the foreclosure crisis with strong action.  This commission needs to balance spend against value and truly address economic development.  Commissioner Chervony in particular, but several others, are already criticizing the new city manager for "lack of communication" but their own behavior and lack of direct and clear questioning is the issue.  (Was I the only one who noticed that in commission meetings the city manager is more often spoken about than to?  Check the recordings.)  

Look.  This is not the commission we need at this point.  Paul Vogel is long gone but will not resign.  Connie Kreps lacks the acuity and leadership skills to keep the meeting on track let alone create an agenda.  Only one commissioner was elected, Eddie Lim and he has not proven to be very useful.  The taint of the strip club developer and his tight relationships with the city hang over every action.   

Still, it's hopeful to see the two newest members taking on some of  the tough issues.  I can't lose the feeling that it's just a matter of time before the same people who have run things for years turn against them, something we have already seen signs of.  In the meantimne, I would urge the two new members to keep pushing and to pick the right battles.  

Kevin Vericker
May 10, 2012

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