It started at 3:00pm and I was sure it was going to be opened and closed within half an hour, but life is always full of surprises.
I'd checked the agenda and it had 4 basic items on it.
Hint, all were dealing with trails.
The only one that was newsworthy was item 4, which was an update on the Grand Avenue Project.
This project is still on schedule and after the meeting I asked Public Works Director/City Engineer Dan York about it.
They hope to encumber the monies by the end of December and work should be starting in the first quarter of 2017.
A traffic signal at the middle school is still part of the project, funding not coming from the city, and the roundabout at Sheila and Grand is still part of the project.
So what made a ho hum Trails Subcommittee last 90+ minutes?
Public Comments of course.
Now don't get me wrong, public comments are the backbone of our democracy. What isn't the backbone of our democracy is the same people speaking on every topic.
Some with borrowed time - upping their filibusters to 6 minutes.
You know, most of the city council is adept with email, and you can very easily get your views to them ahead of time... but I'm guessing that would take half the fun out of it.
The only thing missing from this matinee of horror was Wildomar's renowned warbler, Miss Miller. Had she attended, the meeting could have eclipsed two hours and with nary a difference for the trouble.
As it was, the constant cat calls from the audience more than made up for her absence. They must think they are smarter than the elected officials and the educated professionals too.
The funny thing is that none of them, well almost none of them, ever think to actually represent the city from the other side of the dais.
Is it because they'd have NO CHANCE at ever winning, or being appointed? Or is it that they love the power of wagging their finger in other people's faces? Who knows, who cares.
Though subcommittee meetings are less formal than regularly scheduled city council, and planning commission meetings, is it too much to ask for at least a modicum of decorum from the peanut gallery in the future?
My favorite part of the meeting was when a public speaker would go up to speak, and demonstrate that they weren't listening in the first place.
One instance had a former trail czar think that bike lanes had been proposed on the Justin Hunt Memorial Trail.
Which had Dan York remind those in attendance, "No one ever mentioned, or intimated, that the Justin Hunt Memorial Trail was going to be anything more than a multipurpose trail; the bikes will stay on grand avenue."
|The Justin Hunt Memorial Trail is behind the development known as Windstone Ranch.|
The same guy then lamented that if the trails aren't wide enough in spots that the city would probably get sued in the future.
Which led to this response from Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walker, "If it comes down to people sueing I'll tell you one thing right now, this city council —or at least I will vote— to close some of the trails that [have] pinch points. If I'm afraid that people are going to sue [us] on a pinch point because they went from ten feet down to seven, because that's all we had, and it was a trail and it was designated a trail, I will vote to close the thing, and it'll be that simple."
Another example of this was when a person went up to the podium to ask who was going to pay to maintain a future set of parks that are due to come in with some anticipated developments off of McVicar.
|4.6 and 6.6 acre future parks that will also work as trailheads.|
Had that person been listening to Dan York's presentation, they would have heard him say that it was going to be taken care of by CFDs (Community Facilities Districts) with each development paying the city to maintain them.
Although I don't think the staff would agree with me, I found it to be very entertaining... and the air conditioning was set lower than I have at home so it was a win-win no matter how silly it got.
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Fate is the friend of the good, the guide of the wise, the tyrant of the foolish, the enemy of the bad.
—William R. Alger, 1822-1905
—William R. Alger, 1822-1905