This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

Search This Blog

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Master Plan Masterpiece: Bound For Glory on Coffee Tables and in Hotel Rooms Citywide.

The Master Plan The Final Edition, a touched up and tweaked version of Master Plan draft number six, which had survived 63  days of  state government scrutiny and critique,debuted to rave reviews Spring of 2009.

A prettier book couldn't have been imagined.The photography  had a National Geographic feel to it.  The Maps of the city are among the best available and the writing combining demographics, graphics, and concise prose make reading  the Master Plan easy and enjoyable. While not exactly beach reading, it wasn't  the dreary sort of  government report that everyone first imagines when they here the words "Master Plan..In fact the knee jerk "sounds boring" reaction the plan's  title evokes may have kept more than a few elected and appointed city officials away from it as well. Besides there was no special urgency to reading the plan. It was done and not going anywhere,.Regardless of when one got around to it actually reading it  everyone agreed  the Master Plan  was special and deserved better placement in the community than a pull down tap on the city website,  At one point the City considered mailing a  Master Plan to all residents but the price was prohibitive. On an individual basis  if  properly printed and bound The Master Plan  would make an excellent coffee table book. Throw in some Jewelry or Fashion advertising  and perhaps an article on fine dining  or Cranbrook and you'd have  a rather cerebral City Book that inn keepers like put in their hotel rooms. You know the the ones that ask, "Please don't take this book, " and features a response card asking which advertisers you visited during your stay.

The most remarkable aspect of the Master Plan is that the four individuals of very diverse opinions and backgrounds, assigned to  the Master Plan Task Force,  came to together, worked together, and included the residents (via town meetings and  a remarkable survey) in  the process. If the Master Plan never gets read or implemented  in a manner worth of the City the accomplishments of the four individuals and the residents of the city who participated,  will remain.

Pat Hardy and Robert Toohey are the city's biggest  political mavericks. Some love Pat Hardy and some love to hate her. Some love Bob Toohey and some love hate him. The mention of either is enough to polarize any conversation. A less emotional analysis would reveal that both are very similar,  an opinion that both would regard as heresy. John Utley's  city commission career was detailed in a previous post.. On City  commission  Hardy and Utley's voting record indicated  that they  were of the L.David Kellet persuasion..Hardy and Utley supported both the Projects and the Master Plan which is rather unique. Robert Toohey did not support  the Projects.The view points of the fourth member of the Task Force, Virginia Cox are less well known. Her voting record on the Planning commission provides few clues.Sometimes she voted with Robert Toohey. Sometimes not. Once when Toohey suggested a modification to a motion which had just passed, she withdrew her vote pending on what the modification would be. She also served as chair person of The Master Plan Style and Drafting which also included Walter Cueter and Pat  Hardy.

So how could four unique   individuals, include a diverse population,  and produce a Master Plan Masterpiece when the most powerful and important  government body in our city, the  Mayor and city commission,  produce so much squabbling and so little results ?
Maybe it's like a friend once told me on the occasion of his 25th wedding anniversary. It helps to start with low expectations,

No comments: