(56th in a series of posts on parking)
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Emily Dickinson, American poet
Gadfly is still processing his visit to the Bethlehem Parking Authority Board meeting October 24.
And still can’t believe that the hurdle that City Council asked the BPA to jump over before considering the proposal for fine increases wasn’t discussed at the meeting, though “it’s being taken care of.”
To Gadfly that’s like the president failing to mention and discuss the attempted assassination attempts on 14 major public figures at a Cabinet meeting two days after they occurred. Bit of an exaggeration. But I think you catch my drift. Seems unbelievable.
Why, a future historian of the BPA would have no idea from the minutes there was even a ripple of concern about BPA handling of the increase proposals. And Gadfly bets there is an interesting history to be written – sure of it, in fact, the Morning Call files he’s been browsing reveal significant drama.
What Gadfly really wants to talk about now (again) is the Authority’s attitude toward the public, using as example yours truly, His Gadness.
During Courtesy of the Floor at the previous September meeting of the BPA Board, the Solicitor body guard told Gadfly peremptorily, “No one gets to interrogate The Board.” And then after the end of the October meeting same said Solicitor body guard told same said Gadfly the Board didn’t need to answer questions then either.
No answers during, no answers after. Nice.
But here’s Gadfly’s current case-in-point about BPA attitude toward the public.
In the minutes of the September meeting, we find: “Mr. Ed Gallagher arrived late for Courtesy of the Floor and wanted to discuss the parking fees.” The meeting started at 4; Gadfly arrived at 4:29.
Gadfly knows the reference to being late is not a big thing. But he still has a box of blue-ribboned medals for perfect attendance and promptness stamped with the likeness of the Virgin Mary from St. Philomena’s school.
And he admits that he was a bit miffed at going answerless at that Sept. meeting.
And the “late” reference felt like rubbing it in.
Especially since the lateness could reasonably be ascribed to the fault of BPA.
So Gadfly emailed the Board using the group email provided by the Exec Dir thusly: “I wonder if someone tomorrow would request an addition to the Sept. minutes about my lateness: ‘Mr. Gallagher was late for the meeting because the time given on the City website is 4:30. Mr. Gallagher has requested that Kevin Livingston and Louise Kelchner look in to fixing that so others wishing to attend the meeting do not run into the same error.’” [They have fixed it.]
Gadfly expected that a Board member would make such a motion before approval of the minutes that takes place at the top of the meeting before Courtesy of the Floor.
Well, not the end of the world but surprising. What happened next was even more surprising.
After the meeting was over, Gadfly asked if members had received my email. The question was met with the equivalent of toe scrutinizing, and the BC [those of you paying attention last time will recognize this as Board Chairman] shrugged and physically dismissed my evident pique as inconsequential.
I was, as they say, blown off.
Gadfly could have been told “No.”
Gadfly could have been told “we didn’t think it important enough.”
Instead, Gadfly was treated as if he were a Nobody.
Now this is not Gadfly’s first rodeo, as Dr. Phil always says. And he wears his Big Boy pants religiously.
It’s not about me.
But about a BPA pattern of dismissiveness to the public – perhaps unconscious – that he has documented in past posts.
More about this attitude in following posts.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one’s name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!