Tuesday, September 12, 2006


All Politics is Local...

I attended a meeting of my local civic association tonight. The topic seemed like it should have been interesting (to me anyway, with my urban planning background); a presentation on zoning changes at the county maintenance facility next to my subdivision. The gist is that the facility started off being zoned something that wasn't really appropriate for its decades-old industrial use. In order to avoid problems in the future, the county sensibly decided to rezone it to a more industrial classification. In other words, the zoning changes to reflect the land use, which doesn't change. Simple, right?

Well, first it takes the two county employees 20 minutes or more to manage to convey that point to the civic association officers, some of whom are visibly waiting for a chance to pounce on something--anything. These folks all appear to be retirees with a lot of time on their hands. One goes on about how he can hear backup chimes from trucks all day; another makes the county guy talk at length about issues even he admits aren't a problem to anyone. A third raises his voice slightly to demand that parallel parking spaces on the street next to it be removed in order to have a left turn lane, despite having a drawing right in front of him that clearly shows no parallel parking at the spot he's talking about.

By a narrow margin, the worst one was the lady who alternated between flirting with Irrelevant Man and tossing out silly little gotchas. These included darkly implying that children would be poisoned by playing on a road easement connected to the county facility, which abuts a park and elementary school yard. Nothing is or was built on the easement, it's just a line on a map. But the good citizen is going to Save The Children from death-by-evil-bad-(nonexistent)-pavement!

So much for the civic association. At least now I know that the condo association really is the main political game in my neighborhood. Forget the cranky oldsters.

Hahahaha... I have to ask.. Why bother?

I actually find local politics to be a convenient way to keep most people distracted with petty nuances that don't really make a difference.

When people say "think global, act local", I think, "You're lettnig the world go to handbasket because you're more concerned about that piece of litter that blew across your lawn. You're a tool."

There's so much bigger things to worry about. . . .

[This is not an attack :)]
Actually I'd say it's the other way around. Not saying this applies to you specifically, but the majority of people who think global are thinking some really wrong stuff (example: kill the jews -> all problems solved) I think it's a lot harder to get that separated from reality when you're talking about your own neighborhood, town, the street in front of your house. The tradeoff is that you end up probably paying too much attention to tiny details.
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