Park Theater or Political Theater
Original post made by Inside Analyst, Menlo Park: Fair Oaks, on Nov 2, 2007
The Parks & Recreation Commission, at least two members of which, including the chair, are deep insiders to the out-of-power party, held a "special" meeting, (i.e. at an irregular time), without the benefit of any factual information, namely a staff report.
They formed an opinion on behalf of the public to oppose a deal currently under negotiation that is not final and whose terms were unknown to them, in part because the terms don't yet exist.
Two of the remaining three resolutions are reasonable sounding statements of values. A third, though well-meaning, trips over itself by trying to limit council's ability to consider public vs private service providers.
Had the Parks & Rec Commission waited for a complete deal, or had it simply asked to be consulted once the deal was negotiated, and had it *then* evaluated the actual terms of such a deal in light of the values stated in its resolution, I might be more persuaded into thinking this was something other than a PR ploy.
But since they met, straight-faced, without a single piece of factual information, to form an opinion against a deal whose terms are not yet defined, its pretty hard to take them very seriously.
In fact its down right scary.
And all this political entertainment happens coincidentally after a half-hearted recall effort begins over the same issue.
Hmmmmmmm. Let's see. I guess its just a coincidence that the Chairman of the Parks & Recs commission is the sister in law of the premier grey eminence of the out of power party in Menlo Park, and I guess its just a coincidence that an effort to recall the newly elected Council is happening at the same time as a hastily scheduled, ill-informed Park's and Rec meeting to oppose the deal.
The only thing sillier than the recall is the P&R commissions "resolution." And the only thing sillier than that is Council's in-graceful handling of the Park & Rec "report" during the council meeting.
Because Council shot itself in the foot, everybody is missing Ms. Maurano's transparent political theater.
Personally, I can't imagine that Menlo Park will negotiate a contract that I would be willing to support, but I'm smart enough to look at a deal before I say no.
I dont think disagreeing with a decision-making body is grounds for impeachment, but I dont doubt for a minute that Ms. Maurano's activities were political theater that were directly or indirectly coordinated with those behind the recall.