Have you ever had one of those nightmares where there is a serious conversation going on – half obscure bureaucratic jargon, half childishly simple statements – and everyone else in the room thinks it is gravely important, but you can’t figure out why?
Oh, wait, that’s not a nightmare, that was the city council discussing its “Strategic Plan and Council Priorities.” last Monday night, Jan. 5, 2009.
Yes, the council is BACK. And what a dreary beginning for the new year.
First the council had the sad task of honoring the recently departed Belle Ziegler, a pillar of the community. She was a city resident since 1956, director of the city recreation department from 1967 to 1990, and organizer of the annual Independence Day parade and fireworks.
Then the council turned to its priorities and strategic plan – despite the scorn Your Gilbert expressed when this first came up last fall.
As we said then, ” The point of all this appears to be that the city manager’s budget for 2009 includes $35,000 “to retain a consultant to facilitate a community-wide strategic planning process,” quoting from the Sept. 2 agenda. So, this exercise in identifying priorities seems to be a set up for the hiring of a consultant to tell the city what it wants. (and what it probably already knows).”
This made the Jan. 5th discussion narrowing down the draft document’s definition of the city’s “core services” all the more ironic. This is a far from a core service as the council could get. Given the severe recession, certain budget cuts, and a local tax rate based on pre-real estate crash property values this looks to Your Gilbert like even more of a waste of time and money than it did last September.
– Your Gilbert
PS. Hey! How about the New Look for the blog? Spiffy, eh? Thanks to the Takoma Voice for the improvements and the support!.