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What we have here, is a failure to communicate

We know that’s a dated wisecrack – and maybe a little too snarky for the circumstances – but it remains a perfect crystallization of what just happened as the city commission was about to approve a development contract.

It also, unfortunately, describes the culture of civic engagement between government and the governed that has been infected by disinterest and detachment and has disabled the essence of citizenship and its representatives.

Communication is a two-party event.

Both of us have failed.

But we have a moment to take advantage of, in which we can bring our voices to the conversation, and be considered by the officials we have elected and the city management they are responsible for.

After a three-and-a-half hour exchange, the commission – in a 4-3 decision – postponed the vote for two weeks to invite fresh citizen feedback on the project or the process or both. Some have found fault with the timing, referring to it as the “eleventh hour” and saying it like it’s a bad thing. The “eleventh hour” is precisely the best time to make sure a major decision will serve a good outcome because by then it will have been almost completely formed. It isn’t always useful to critique an unfinished plan too early in its development.

So, gather information, consider it, and then send your notes to City Manager Tony Delgado – who will collect and compile them for presentation to the commissioners and the affected city staff.

Watch Video highlights of Monday’s commission meeting

Review The complete record of the public workshop held in October of last year

Please note that, as requested, CRA Director Nicole Travis provided an access path for the public comments along with all the documents associated with the workshop.

Now, let’s do our part. Engage your citizenship.

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