08/14/2006: "Garbage In, Garbage Out"
I was at the same SWAC public meeting on Thursday that Piet Visser attended and made the same observations and came to the same conclusions that Piet has (Visser Column: Endgame . Even though the facilitator was asked the question, and I paraphrase, "Is this going to be like a Washington State Ferry meeting where the decision has already been made and this meeting is just a formality?" To which he answered, "No decision has been made, we are here to find out what you, the public wants." I watched a carefully choreographed presentation that left me with the impression that a decision HAS already been made. It was the little things that were left out (i.e. the available town owned land that the existing site can expand into was not shown, but the existing one acre was), the tenor of the statements made by county employees regarding the existing site and body language of some when the vote was tallied. All of these little things by themselves seem to be meaningless, but when placed together in the total picture leaves only one conclusion.
If past history of this Council is any indication of what one can expect, then I see no reason why anyone should take seriously the Dog and Pony Show of Thursday evening. The decision has more than likely already been made. There seems to be no limit on what this Council is willing to spend and ignoring the advice of their legal council and the wishes of the voters have become common place. I would hope that any decision could wait until we have the full Council seated, per the Home Rule Charter, but then I have always been a dreamer.
The meeting on Thursday was about what to do with the garbage we take in, and when I left I felt like I was taking the garbage out.
San Juan Island