Fairview Park Progress?
During one of the most frustrating meetings I've ever experienced, Wednesday night the Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee spun its way to a small victory. You can read the entire agenda report HERE.
The main objective last night was to winnow down some of the potential changes to the Northwest Quadrant of the park from the original list compiled for the entire park last July. That list had been preliminarily thinned the previous meeting and the resultant items are shown below:
Unfortunately, rather than just take each of the eighteen (18) remaining items in order and discuss whether each should be given further consideration for possible inclusion in this quadrant of the park, the discussion got sidetracked for more than a half-hour when member Dennis Popp - the boring blogger who has become the de facto mouth for the current power elite - suggested they resolve Item #12 - Keep Master Plan as-is, first. What followed was a series of convoluted, confusing and, quite honestly, unnecessary Parliamentary maneuvers and circular conversations that resulted in the committee being right back where it started after 35 minutes of jousting.
So, then they commenced to take each item, one at a time and finally got the choices down to the following four:
12 - Keep Master Plan as-is
15 - Community Garden NW Quadrant (in unused portion)
20 - Install information kiosks with pamphlets
33 - Nature Center - bird watching platforms
NEXT IS STAFF ANALYSIS
The staff will now take those choices, assess them as to where they might be considered in the Northwest Quadrant when taking into consideration many factors, including any specific prohibitions that are mandated by existing government agreements - mitigations, for example. The committee will be presented with that analysis at their February meeting, vote again on them and send them to the Parks and Recreation Commission for consideration and subsequent forwarding to the City Council for consideration.
SOME MORE ATTENTIVE THAN OTHERS
It was interesting to watch the dynamics at the meeting last night. The other 27 members of the audience and I were noticeably frustrated by the early goings-on. There were lots of guffaws and grumbling as the committee painfully navigated their way to a decision. I was amused to watch Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger - council liaison to this committee - busily texting or emailing during the discussions.
Early in the discussions member Terry Cummings observed that there were clearly two factions on the committee - those who wished to keep the status quo and those who wanted playing fields everywhere. He suggested that, during this deliberation, efforts be made to find some common ground between the factions.
OPEN MOUTH, INSERT FOOT...
By the way, maybe the most interesting line of the night was uttered by Ron Amburgey during the brief discussion of the possibility of having an Archery venue in the Northwest Quadrant of the park. He said, "Where are the Indians when you need them?" Sensitive guy, huh?