Gadfly turned to stone (33) (5)

(33rd in a series of posts on parking)

(5th in a series on the communication survey)

Reminder: Public Safety Committee meeting Wednesday Oct 10 6:30 Town Hall to discuss the BPA parking fines proposal. The Mayor has already approved the BPA request to raise meter rates from $1/hr to $1.50/hr. See post #28 in this series for the BPA proposal on fines.

We know the Communication survey meeting on Oct 24 has been canceled, but this thread on communication refuses to die.


In the October 8 post Public Response to Parking Increases? (29) (1) (why are you so number-anal, Gadfly? You oughtta see somebody about that), Gadfly said he was surprised at the lack of response and hatched a handful of possible reasons why:

  • Maybe the 50% rise in meter rates met with acceptance with the public and business stakeholders.
  • Maybe the response won’t come till the parking proposal package is completed when Council takes action on the fines.
  • Maybe it’s a little too early — a week — for the Morning Call to be publishing a spread of Letters to the Editor, which is the place where Gadfly usually expects to see a register of public response.
  • Maybe the reaction won’t come till the moment of implementation January 1.
  • Maybe “the people” really don’t know about it yet.

And Gadfly rambled off into some meditations about the last bullet.

Then Dana reported that social media was active and that “comment by area residents on social media sites was unfavorable overall.”

So Gadfly girded his loins and plunged into Facebook. Where he was immediately turned to stone like Polydectes looking on the face of Medusa (O, Gadfly, you are so wonky. People need a Bullfinch’s Mythology at hand just to make sense of your damn little blogblurt).

See if you too don’t feel just a little masonry-faced:

“Why does it matter? [About going to an open meeting to discuss the parking rates.] City Council will do whatever they want. Public input wanted but public input not valued. That leads to frustration which I don’t have time for. Example: meter rate increase. Foregone conclusion. Why waste people’s time?”

Mortar-throated, it’s hard for me to talk. My knuckles won’t bend; it’s hard for me to write.

We should think about that quote every morning. Put a stickie on your bathroom mirror. On your shoe top. On your Keurig. On your steering-wheel.

“Maybe” there hasn’t been the response in mainstream channels that Gadfly expected because people feel shut out.

We should think about those words before every meeting.

That guy is Gadfly’s audience.

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