Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Whither La Puerta?

The ABH has precious little on LPDS today (actually, a quick scan of the online headlines netted nothing whatsoever for me; if I'm wrong somebody point it out to me). Perhaps this is a sign that everybody's talked out on this thing. I'm pretty sure that I am personally. I think we've pretty well hashed it out on both sides here (thanks for those who disagree with us for contributing). There's two weeks until the vote, and it seems like everybody knows where they stand and don't intend to change their minds; that is, except for the Commissioners themselves. Precious little is known about how most of them feel, and if anybody changes their mind on this issue in the next two weeks, it will be those Commissioners in the middle.

We will be watching the meeting in two weeks with much interest; not just because of our interest in the outcome, but because of our interest in the process as well. I am personally hoping that the number of "3 minute" speakers is fairly low, and that instead the Commissioners spend a lot of time hashing it out aloud. This may at first seem anti-democratic, but let me explain why I hope for this. As I alluded to above, Athens has heard from those for and against this; the positions are well-known and for most people they are fixed at this point. Although the number of speakers for and against may be somewhat instructive for the Commissioners on Nov. 1, I would certainly hope that they would not ultimately base their vote on that. What I want to hear at the meeting, therefore, is some discussion that enlightens me on what exactly does drive the votes; I want to know the process this Commission went through to make this decision, whatever it ends up being. I think that may be bigger than the decision itself, because it should provide insight in to how similar decisions would be made in the future. If nothing else positive comes out of this whole thing, it may be that a few more people at least will understand the importance of zoning decisions and of land use planning generally. Hopefully we will emerge from this thing with more people engaged with their local government; and that can't be a bad thing.


Buck Laughlin said...


At least on the hope that the number of "3-minute" speakers will be low. Frankly, as much as they might impress themselves, those folks bore the hell out of me.

I count 3 no votes: States, Elton, Chasteen. Carter is a yes. That leaves 6 votes I can't count, but I'd say Jordan is leaning no, probably Maxwell as well. Lynn and Kinman and Hoard might be inclined to vote yes, but in the end they and Sims will probably defer to Elton and it'll probably go down hard, maybe as big as 9-1 or 8-2.

monticello_pres said...

I agree with you about the 3 minute speakers. But I don't foresee that happening unless both sides come together and agree to issue one statement each. Maybe there's an idea in there waiting to bloom? Or maybe that can't happen because of the democratic process that must play out.

As for the assessment of the votes, I agree on the no's. I tend to agree that Carter is a yes (if for no other reason than to put it back in States' face). I'm not yet sold on how the other 6 fall. It will depend upon how easily folks will forgive and forget some of the actions (and perceptions) of States. His track record is so good and so credible, he may gain back ground quickly. I hope so - outside of politics. He really is a good man and a tireless servant for the community.