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Friday, July 19, 2013

Delaying the Charter, North Korea style

Honest delays or chicanery?

Shakespeare titled one play, “Much Ado about Nothing,” and another “Tempest in a Teapot.” He could have been prescient about Costa Mesa’s Charter development. Let’s build a paradigm to illustrate.

Pretend that

An Explorer troop is planning a camping trip. They've been to a lake in the area before, but that campground is getting expensive and setting onerous rules. So, they decide to check a map, pencil in some routes to places they think they’ll want to go, and plan their trip.

One Explorer, though, is adamant: “Why do we need a map if we've been in that area before? Besides, a hiker’s body was just recovered from the desert; he had a map, and look what happened to him. Just name one lake and one peak you think we should visit and can reach in a day’s hike – if you can’t then why are we buying a map? I want a cost effectiveness study of buying a map versus just hiking in a direction that looks right – since we've all been there before.”

From paradigm to Costa Mesa 

Sounds pretty sillydoesn't it? But if you substitute “charter” for map, and “Bell” for the hiker who died in the desert, the nonsense starts to sound familiar. Add “effectiveness study” for a charter in place of the “cost effectiveness” of a map, and the Costa Mesa (charter-related) foolishness appears in all its glory.

Delay under any other name takes as long

One member of the Charter Committee is still striving for a “needs study,” perhaps to be made by his business. A frequent complainer brought the issue to the last City Council meeting, complete with video clips of an informal remark by the Mayor. Their premise; the Mayor’s casual remark indicated that he wanted them to study whether a Charter is needed before they started to write one.
The Committee was formed by a Council Resolution specifying that their job is to write a charter. So, why the foot dragging?

Delay until you have what you want

This delaying tactic sounds like what was used by a couple of (elected) Charter Commissions; they debated and argued until their time ran out, then dissolved. These commissions were dominated by public employee unions (associations). They got what they wanted: no charter.

The tactic was also used by North Korea to negotiate nuclear weapons. They insisted on debating schedules, formats, and even seating; they debated anything to add to the delay. After they built and tested their nukes they thumbed their noses at the na├»ve west: “we got what we wanted, go home.”

Stupid or dishonest

It seems specious, at best, and maybe even duplicitous. Would an honest Costa Mesan accept responsibility to write a charter if they wanted to prevent writing a charter? 

That certainly raises questions of integrity and honor. One would think that finding work with a different committee would be better than compromising their honor.

Or maybe they adopted the North Koreans’ tactics and ethics: the only thing that matters is getting your way. That’s the philosophy of rogues worldwide. There is no honor among scoundrels.

1 comment:

  1. I will say dishonest23 July, 2013 12:22

    I debate the stupid or dishonest dilema ofren. Many that oppose the Charter are not dumb. So I mostly put them in the intellectually dishonest category.

    If facts not emotion were introduced I think many would come to a different conclusion.

    Rather they label and blame.

    I wouldn't know the oc gop leaders in a line up. I have no idea who Grover Norquist is? Yet if I think a certain way then I am labeled as some vulcan mind meld follower incapable of independent thought