By now you know that the 13-year saga of the General Plan Update is mired in a review of basic principles which were agreed upon ears ago and now- what a surprise!- seem to need amending. This is not because the County has changed. It’s more due to the political climate and the emergence of HUMCPR as a force. I went down to lend my voice to sticking with the original principles, largely because the extreme length of this plan update is ridiculous and I wouldn’t like to see Humboldt County come in for (more) bad publicity for dragging out this process even further. If we end up on 60 Minutes for this , it will be an exception to the rule that there is no such thing as bad publicity. This is bad. We will be known for two things in this State: marijuana and ineffective government. A bad combination, don’t you think?
Also, I can’t think of anything more harmful to effective economic development than unclear or shifting zoning. I got there early because I though there would be a huge crowd. There were only five people signed in to speak when I signed in. The vast majority (I believe about 40 people spoke) sort of materialized during the meeting and didn’t sign in at all, so that part is apparently optional.
I have presented before the Planning Commission and the Supes several times but never as poorly prepared as last night. I ripped my notes out of the printer and went flying out the door, no review, no prep. I stumbled and fumbled through my remarks which were basically a plea to stick with the original principles, since the revisions seemed to me to be vague and enabling sprawl. Some of the other presenters- Dan Ehresman, Scott Greacen- were forceful and effective. Others sounded like they needed to be wound up. IF YOU DO THIS BE PREPARED. Sometimes public testimony really does have an effect. Don’t know about yesterday, but it definitely did in the Forster-Gill situation.
When they started going through the new/old language principles my ADD kicked in and I left, probably to rejoin the process at the next meeting on October 7. Many of the attendees last night were realtors, paid representatives of environmental groups or CPR folks and some had been involved in the process for years. I will never be a Supervisor because $80K is not enough to do this kind of mind-numbing analysis. I would go nuts.
Let’s see how the Supes do. If you haven’t attended these meetings, you should show up on the 7th. If you’re going to speak, practice a little first. We heard some awfully poor presentations and it was hard to tell what point some of the folks were trying to make. And I used to think the Supervisors were overpaid…..
MORE ON MEGABUS
With no trains, miserable air service and ever-climbing gas prices, many Redwood Coast businesses and their employees are taking a second look at bus transit. We featured Megabus a few posts back but didn’t mention their parent company , Stagecoach Group, which is headquartered in – wait for it- SCOTLAND. At least they didn’t paint the buses plaid. In America their revenues are up 22% in the last three months. That’s callled growing like wildfire, but the best news for us is that Greyhound is having to upgrade its service in order to compete. We can only pray…..