Thursday, May 31, 2001
Brown Act IIOh, how Squid has missed former Seaside city manager Tim Brown since he leaped into civic oblivion two years ago with a golden parachute on his back and a hail of curses on his head! How Squid has longed for another Brown to come along with his sorta made-up résumé and his public boondoggles, his luxurious junkets and his piss-poor ratings by employees! It''s been so dull in Seaside since Brown and his mayoral buddy Don Jordan left City Hall that Squid''s been positively bored to distraction--bored enough to surf government agencies on the Internet. And whose bio popped up on the page for South Coast Air Quality Management District, the agency charged with making LA''s air breathable, but Brown''s, who has insinuated himself into the role of "Public Advisor."
"During his tenure in local government," the sketch says, "Tim has helped non-profit agencies and private sector businesses become more effective and gain a greater understanding of the governmental process with respect to their business relationships with various government entities."
Well, it''s accurate. Certainly Kaufman and Broad gained "a greater understanding of the governmental process" when they scored the Hayes Park housing development deal on Fort Ord with no impact fees under Brown''s rule. And Squid doesn''t doubt that developer Danny Bakewell became a "more effective" businessman when chums Brown and Jordan ensured he got a piece of the Hayes Park and Seaside Resort pies.
Those lucky newshounds in LA. They''ve got so much to work with.
Facilitate This!It''s beyond Squid why the good stewards of Monterey County would hire people who know nothing of Monterey County to run meetings about the future of Monterey County. But two of the professional facilitators hired by our inscrutable leaders, a man and a woman, stood in front of a group of Carmel Valley residents on Wednesday evening, seeming a bit lost. Our guides to tomorrow.
The occasion was the Monterey County 21st Century General Plan Update forum, and to the Squid, there were many clues that it was indeed Carmel Valley. There were signs. And maps!
Still, it took a few minutes to figure out where we were.
After a brief introduction, the crowd of 70 or so people in the gymnasium of the All Saints Episcopal Day School had been divided into four groups. Squid sat with one set of residents looking at issues facing the mouth of the valley, which, with the two facilitators at the map and easel, was a geographic location open to debate.
Despite more than a dozen other large maps taped to the gym walls, no one seemed to know north from south. In fact, no one seemed to be able to say where we were until an older fella in a red windbreaker got up and pointed to a large parcel, giving his neighbors a landmark. "This is Eastwood''s place right here," he said.
Ahhh.Then one facilitator asked, "What''s the name of the golf course? El Ranch? Quail Lodge?"
Getting warmer, one of the residents realized what was on the right edge of the map, behind one of the facilitators. "Yeah, Laureles Grade is right where Paul is standing." It''s all coming together.
Then Paul asked the residents where the school was. "The school that we''re in is right about here?"
Finding what might or might not have been the right spot, Paul wrote on the map in marker, "You are here."
And there we were, somewhere in Carmel Valley.
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