Thursday, December 05, 2013

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.
(Click on image to enlarge)
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:
(Click on the image to enlarge the list)
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.
 (Dennis Popp, Lee Ramos and David Stiller)
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

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.

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.
(Terry Cummings and Brett Eckles)
As has been the case recently, Barry Friedland - the official videographer of the power elite via his Costa Mesa Brief YouTube site - was on hand to record the proceedings.  I expect you'll be able to view this two-hour meeting sometime in the next few days.  Go HERE and look for it.
(Barry Friedland)
Among the many interested observers last night were Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Byron de Arakal and fellow commissioner Bob Graham.  And, there was the usual cadre of folks on both sides of the development/non-development equation, too.  During a short break I saw these members of the power elite cabal huddled together.  You'll recognize, clockwise from the left, Popp, Chuck Perry, Ron Amburgey, Fred Bockmiller (Mesa Water District Director), Friedland, Ramos and that blur is activist Chris Blank.  Bockmiller was just saying howdy...
Based on how this meeting went, and considering that this quadrant is probably the least controversial of the four that will be discussed, I suspect the meetings beginning in February will be a little more animated and contentious.  Chairman Dr. Richard Mehren has his hands full managing this group and it won't get any easier in coming months.  We'll see how it goes on February 5, 2014 - their next meeting date.

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?

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Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Committee needs a parliamentarian, or at least someone who's read Roberts' Rules of Order. Seems to me they could also use a systems analyst, or at least someone with the common sense not to make assumptions about what Bart Mejia was promulgating without asking him first. Or Bart could have just interrupted on a Point of Information and said, "We are not now considering these items, people, we are just selecting ones that make sense for further research and winnowing out the rest." Dennis apparently had the idea that the whole process could be handled immediately if item 12 was selected, and this was the basic misunderstanding.

I think there were several of us in the audience who saw and could have resolved the problem, but we were enjoined not to speak.

That's the way the Mercedes bends.

12/05/2013 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

We're getting Geoff the "Riggy Toolbox" for Christmas!

You get a large metal box containing Mensy, Gary, Popp, Fitzy, Fisler, and Barry!

12/06/2013 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Joe, if you can throw in Hull, the city would be greatly appreciative.

Hey, just out of curiosity, I have not heard mention of the park flyers. Are they destined to be booted from the park? The park commission is (or at least one nut) considering an archery range, that maybe 3 people a year will use, but they want to get rid of the flyers, who number at least a couple hundred?

Absolutely no sense.

12/07/2013 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

" The Wheels on the bus go roun' n roun'
Roun' n' Roun"
Roun' n' roun'

The Wheels on the bus go roun'n roun'
All through the town"

That soft sickening thud heard often is the sound of that bus running over the residents,....again, and again, and again.

12/08/2013 09:51:00 AM  

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