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Friday, August 23, 2013

The Less They Know the Louder They Scream

No decorum, no manner

The “Rowdy Rudedudes” that used to scream and sing at City Council meetings didn’t disappear; they went dormant. They awakened for the Thursday meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission just in time to demonstrate their ignorance and lack of courtesy. The usual agitation-leaders were there to dispense instructions to some new faces, as well as to some old regulars.

If you want a sense of the ambiance at the meeting, visit a toy store. Watch a spoiled-child’s tantrum when she can’t have what she wants; multiply by about 15 and replace the child with middle-aged bodies and spoiled-child minds. It was embarrassing to watch.

Give me what I want or I’ll scream.”

Old plans generate new whining

At issue was a play area, a parking area and entrance gates for Fairview Park. These projects have been in Park plans for well over a decade. They've been vetted, updated and analyzed for conformance to the many federal, state, and county constraints. Grants were recently found to help with the cost, so the dormant projects came to life. A cynic might observe that grants awakened plans and “Rudedudes” like rain awakens fairy shrimp in the vernal pools.

The Commission was considering tweaks to the final designs. Changes were driven by newer methods and materials that are now available and by changed constraints from local agencies such as the Fire Department.

Scenery and traffic changed

The people who bought houses overlooking the bluff tops will now see a parking area. It may encourage more traffic on their quiet streets. However, if that’s unacceptable, the culprit is their real estate agent; perhaps he didn't tell them what the Fairview Park Plan and the Open Spaces Plan said. Or they may have expected that Fairview Park would remain unchanged throughout their residency.

One would expect NIMBY complaints (Not In My Back Yard), especially from folks who neglected to look at the plan before they bought the home that could now overlook a parking area.

Getting face-time on TV and . . .

But why would “activists” (perhaps better termed “agitators”) hiss the Commission Chairman and conduct loud screaming tantrums? Why would brats scream “No I don’t have to move down front I have a right to sit where I want?” when moving forward was suggested for those who complained they couldn't hear a soft-voiced expert’s comments?

(They’d hear better if they’d stop talking during testimony. We had a hard time following some of the remarks from a seat near the front because nearby visitors couldn't – wouldn't – refrain from their personal discussions.)

Did school or mom fail?

Apparently the screamers and jabberers failed Kindergarten. And their mothers failed to instill manners and concern for the rights of others. They give environmentalism a bad name.

Perhaps their leaders are just trying to embarrass Council members they want to defeat in the next election. Perhaps they want to pressure the City Council to soften them up for the current labor negotiations. Or perhaps that’s all paranoia.

We can only hope that the "Rudedudes" will go dormant again. 

We’ll see.

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