The Editor's Back Fence

Is the Mayor Composting His Downtown Plan?

Tuesday June 15, 2010 - 03:20:00 PM

So, it looks like Mayor Bates is planning to substitute a Green Waffle, or perhaps a Trojan Horse, for the draft of the Downtown Plan which he and staff fronted in February. Slipped into Monday’s agenda for the Agenda Committee Meeting [for non-insiders: this is where the pre-council-meeting deals go down] was this peculiarly bifurcated item: 

New 2010 Downtown Area Plan
a. From: City Manager Recommendation: Provide direction to staff as to any modifications to the draft of the New 2010 Downtown Area Plan, potentially incorporating Planning Commission recommendations or other changes desired by the Council. Staff will return in July for further Council discussion and action. 

Financial Implications: See report 

Contact: Dan Marks, Planning and Development, 981-7400 

b. From: Mayor Bates 

Recommendation: Place on the 2010 Ballot a Measure for voter approval adopting a Green Vision for the downtown, designating the Downtown Plan Area, adopting certain policies for the downtown, and stating the voters' intention that the Council adopt a Downtown Area Plan that implements that green vision and voter-adopted policies. 

Financial Implications: Unknown 

Contact: Tom Bates, Mayor, 981-7100 

It’s not just the financial implications that would be unknown if the Mayor manages to fool the electorate into voting for this Green Vision scam in November. 

The resolution text as placed on the agenda was a peculiar mixture of vague generalizations and chilling specifics.Some early readers thought it might be the Newest New Draft of the Downtown Plan, but legally it wouldn’t qualify as such.It’s more of a blank check with a few of the blanks filled in with indelible ink. 

It’s no wonder the staff is asking for direction.The Mayor’s proposal was pulled from the June 22 agenda at the last minute to reappear on June 29, probably because the City Attorney would be tearing his hair if he had any, trying to figure out what strange beast was slouching toward City Council to be born. 

What it appears is that the initiative for an actual Downtown Plan which the Mayor has threatened to put on the November ballot is out, with this greenwashed faux plan slated to be put in its place. It’s Measure G all over again: a feelgood expression of opinion that no one could possibly vote against. 

It seems that the threat by the DAPAC majority members to put their own initiative up against the Mayor’s version found its mark, and the mayor blinked first.The DAPAC people are still working on theirs. 

If you want to see the full text of the resolution, go here.