Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Meanwhile, Back On The Beltline . . .

Just as I call every Monday evening "Monday Night Zazen," I might as well just call every Tuesday "Civic Duty Tuesday." The local Neighborhood Planning Unit meets the first Tuesday of each month. My neighborhood association, when it used to meet, met on the second Tuesday of each month, although now I've been meeting with the alliance of local neighborhood associations on the second Tuesdays. Sometimes, though, the two meetings occur simultaneously. The Beltline advisory committee meetings are always on Tuesdays, although the week of the month varies between the third and the fourth Tuesday. And then there are the irregular meetings of various ad hoc committees, associations, municipal entities, and so on and so forth.

Today, the fourth Tuesday of September, after a 9:00 am appointment to have my teeth cleaned, I had an afternoon meeting scheduled with my City Councilperson to discuss the impasse that the Beltline advisory committee has come to with the Beltline planners. It's a long story and I don't want to get into it here, but suffice it to say that like a great many things it comes down to a lack of communication. Anyway, the advisory committee issued an advisory report critical of the Beltline's public outreach and community involvement, and the Beltline planners reacted by issuing a counter-report (karma, anyone?) misinterpreting our issues and responding to questions and issues that weren't what we had brought up. We also felt that they had mischaracterized our position to the City Council, so we decided to contact individual Councilpersons directly on a one-on-one basis to explain our positions, starting with me, starting today.

The meeting went well, and in the evening I had an off-cycle meeting of the alliance of neighborhood associations, many of whom are still upset with me for pointing out last July that the urban planner they had selected to prepare a Master Plan for our area had a conflict of interest, in that he had previously consulted for the development community in direct opposition to zoning changes we had proposed. I didn't get home from that meeting until nearly 10 pm.

With all of these extra-curricular meetings, I didn't have a chance to go to the office, although I did find some time to work on-line from home and deal with some things over the telephone.

Oh and by the way, despite all of this, I did find time to sit in zazen in the very early morning, before sunrise and prior to my dentist's appointment.

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