THE HABITS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL COMMITTEES...
Thursday, May 9, 2002
Squid has a friend, also a squid, who has a favorite saying: "The key to happiness," this pragmatic cephalopod is fond of intoning, "is low expectations."
Allow Squid to illustrate the wisdom of this expression. Expect hogslop and that crusty burrito will taste just fine. Expect a vicious attack from your mother this weekend and her indifferent response to your box of chocolates will be welcome. Expect a daily onslaught of petty indignities at the hands of cruel corporate masters, and the occasional public humiliation at the office won''t seem so bad. In fact, where low expectations are exceeded, self-congratulation and satisfaction are sure to follow. It''s brilliant!
Squid was thinking maybe municipalities should start aiming low, too. Picture it: a marketing slogan for Seaside that says, "Seaside... We''re A City by the Sea, Too." Or a tourism campaign for Carmel: "Come visit us if you have time." Or a goal for county human services: "Most people should not starve to death all alone in their houses." Any success at all would enable all interested parties to look in the mirror and think, "Darn it! I''m special, and I can make a difference."
Looks like the folks at the city of Monterey have been talking to Squid''s pal. As the city''s General Plan Committee considers the housing element of the city''s master plan--which dictates how much affordable housing will be built over the next decade--it gives the city not just a pat on the back but a chair massage for surpassing expectations.
"The City has exceeded its previous ... goals for low and moderate income housing... Monterey is one of the few cities in the state that has meet [sic] the low and moderate income housing goals but not above moderate income goals." Read: We''ve built enough of those scummy apartments. Bring on the mini-mansions!
(Incidentally, this chapter also contains a thinly veiled diatribe against the water board, leaving Squid to wonder which committee Bob McKenzie member BobMcKenzie wrote the BobMcKenzie chapter on the BobMcKenzie housing BobMcKenzie element. But some mysteries may never be solved.)
And now for those lofty targets set and exceeded by the city. Goal for low income housing from 1989-2001: 0. Goal for moderate income housing during that same period: 0.
But at least the city can feel good about itself, and that''s what counts.
Squid''s found a true calling in life. There''s a vacancy on Pacific Grove''s Beautification Committee. And who better to advise PG on beautification matters than Monterey County''s cutest cephalopod?
Squid humbly hopes the Pacific Grove City Council will consider the humble application below.
As PG''s newest beautification committee member, Squid will offer a bright, clear vision for PG. Squid sees a new flashy, flamboyant look carrying Pacific Grove into the future.
First, add public art. And lots of it. May Squid suggest neon pink flamingos in every yard? Lawn dwarves would be a welcome addition to America''s Last Hometown, too. Squid''s sure the dwarves will feel right at home amid the cuteness that is PG.
Allow Squid to advise on construction and development. Bars are beautiful things. Squid wants to see one on every street corner--but Squid will settle for even one full-service bar in the city limits.
And Squid thinks Miami-beach style storefronts and homes are so underrated here along the Central Coast. Let''s show those Floridians that they''re not the only ones who appreciate a nice orange condo.
The application deadline is May 22. Squid''s tentacles are crossed.