Part 1: was the swearing in of our newest Planning Commissioner: Gary Brown
I've met Commissioner Brown several times in the past. First at the David Soto search, and then at the CERT training I took last October, and then at the Breakfast with Santa at the fire station. He's been a long time active member of the community, and perhaps I'll be able to interview him in the near future so we can all learn a bit more about him.
Parts 2 and 4: This is where the wheels came off the tracks for me. There were three items on the agenda. The third item, was bumped from third to first. That wasn't a problem, in and of itself, though I thought it was a total waste of time. It was a Subregional Climate Action Plan presentation by Jennifer Ward of WRCOG (Western Riverside Council of Governments).
I'm sorry, but the whole topic rankles me. She kept bringing up AB 32... you remember that abysmal legislation that The Governator signed back in 2006. Some fantasy driven garbage about trying to get 2020 emissions of "greenhouse gases" down to 1990 levels (about a 30% reduction, though our population of 1990 was 25% fewer people, and our 2020 statewide population is supposed to be well over 40 million by that time.) If you think that's funny, future emissions are supposed to be reduced by 49% by 2035...
Why not legislate having 28 hours in a day while you're at it?
Even if you want to buy whole hog into global warming, li'l ol' WillyMar could be erased from the face of the earth and it wouldn't do anything to global emissions, much less state or county emissions either. To think that more than 20 minutes was wasted on the topic is galling.
I was happy to hear Commissioner Veronica Langworthy ask, "Is there an evidenced based, research proven correlation between greenhouse gases and climate change... or is this just [a] political piece of legislation?"
The answer was pure gobbledegook. I videotaped it, but won't even try to transcribe it as it meandered around in a Valley Girl cadence for 40 seconds. No offense J-Ward, it's probably a cool job, with a nice paycheck attached to it, but talk about a flat out waste of tax payers dollars. Just more proof that we Californians are getting hosed by Sacramento and our other entrenched officials.
If anything should have been bumped up to the top of the list, it should have been the agenda item Murrieta Creek Trail Project Update. Instead, it had to wait until after 9:00PM. I'll write more about that in a different blog... it deserves better than a simple mention.
Part 3: This was sausage making at its mind numbing best.
Commissioner Bobby Swan made strong points about keeping the general plan — general, instead of getting specific. To which planner Mark Teague added, "One of the things we want to be careful of doing, We don't want our general plan to be our zoning ordinance. We have a zoning ordinance, and that's where all of your precision should go."
Though this was supposed to be a "workshop" it felt more like we were sitting in on a private meeting, compared to the first workshop. One part that I'd like to see addressed in the future, is a more even hand when it comes to dealing with audience participation. Some members of the audience were allowed to speak from their seats without being corrected, while others were not allowed the same courtesy. It has to be one way... either everyone can do catcalls from the audience, or no one can. I prefer that people follow the rules, and go to the microphone if they are going to speak.
Mr. Chairman, you have a gavel, and I'd love to start hearing the dulcet tones of its drubbing the moment a person starts chirping out of order... then again, I'm the guy that isn't a fan of people parking their cars on the sidewalk either —I'm just weird that way I guess. Either we enforce the rules, or we need to jettison them.
Other news has it that Council Member Bob Cashman will be nominating a person for the last open Planning Commission seat at the next city council meeting.
John Garret asked if I had the video of Jennifer Ward's presentation. I told him that I did, but it wasn't shot with viewing in mind, just as 'audio notes'. Still, I was happy to upload what I had in the interest in fairness... if you watch it, tell me I was right about her sounding like a Valley Girl... at least un poquito. ☺