It’s been more than 2 months since the City Council selected Dave Bass to fill the seat vacated by Peter Herzog. The Council didn’t have a good record of making selections. In less than a year, they managed to fill the Planning Commission (PC) and the Parks and Recreation Commission (PRC) with people who, for whatever the multiple reasons, caused both Commissions to stop working effectively. Just to review –
In less than a year, the PC had more appeals and more decisions overturned than in their previous 20 year history.
For the first time ever, a sitting chairperson of the PC resigned, citing the conduct of the new appointees as a reason.
Then, within a few months, his replacement as chairman, another veteran, resigned.
Meeting cancellations at the PC exceeded more than 20% and in addition absences were high.
The PRC spent more than a year looking for a location for a dog park and came up empty handed.
Then the PRC spent more than half a year trying to come up with a plan to solve the problems at Village Pond Park, and again, came up empty handed, managing to violate the Brown Act in the process.
Not exactly a stellar record for showcasing the selection skills of the Council members. Of course, talent selection is not a kid’s game – it’s a serious business, and it takes years to develop and maintain the skills to do a good job. Not only do all the Council members lack sufficient skills in selecting talent, there were many other issues that reared their ugly heads in the selection process, not the least of which was the trail of money and influence that led from the doors of the “Trumark Twins” (Scott Voigts and Dwight Robinson) to the doors of most of the people who were selected.
Hence, one might not have expected their selection of a new council member to be effective. Some of you will recall that I also applied for that position, so my opinions may not be entirely neutral no matter how hard I try. However, I’m far more interested in seeing the new Council member succeed because with his success the City succeeds.
Dave Bass didn’t promise much when he applied. He admitted that his sole reason for applying was to save the City the costs of having a special election, and he had no particular interests and no particular projects he wanted to push. He further admitted that he hadn’t been involved much in any activities in the City, nor was he familiar with any of the current issues facing the Council. He did have the benefit of having worked for the City a few years ago, however many of us wondered if decades of working as a municipal employee was the kind of experience that would make for a good Council member.
Tomorrow we'll take a look at Bass' record. Is he still standing at the dock or has he gone fishing, and if he has, what exactly did he catch?