Missing Meds - The Schizophrenic Discussion on Elk Grove’s Ball Fields and Swimming Pools

Normal compared to recent sports complex process? During the Wednesday night meeting of the Elk Grove City Council there were two items ...

Normal compared to recent sports complex process?
During the Wednesday night meeting of the Elk Grove City Council there were two items on the agenda that were discussed ad nauseam – whether or not to build a baseball-sports complex and an aquatics center.

By the time the discussion was over, the council kind of made some decisions – yes, a baseball sports complex should be build but they were not sure when or where or who should operate it. And yes, the city would go forward and put out a request for proposal to build an aquatics center at the planned civic center (see video in post directly below this.).

Before the council could reach that point, the discussion can only be described as schizophrenic in nature. Just about every participant in the discussion, save two groups of people in attendance, was all over the map.

To start with, the people who came to testify in favor of one the proposed ballpark vendors not only appeared to be reading from a script, a few seemingly didn’t understand the what is was they were speaking in favor of. Not really sure how these “proponents” of this vendor were recruited.

Then there were the two competing ballpark vendors who traded some-not-so-subtle barbs with each other.

If that wasn’t enough, during council deliberations, which on the whole really didn’t appear to be contemplative at all, they seemed to wander all over the place. Something that once resembled rational, albeit self promoting deliberation, gave way to schizophrenic garble that no one can follow much less comment on.

Then at one point a city staffer started questioning the council as if they were a member of the council and directing questions to the council like they were staff.

Although there have been some pretty acrimonious council meetings in the past, from our perspective, they at least had a resemblance of coherency. This discussion and perhaps the whole process for the sports complex have developed into schizophrenic experiment in governance. The process is so muddled and form less it is not likely to progress into anything meaningful under its current condition.

As for the two groups who mostly sat silent for the most part and displayed a degree of calm and sanity, it was the handful of swimmer mothers with young well-behaved children and representatives from the CSD. At least there were a few rational stakeholders.

Perhaps the whole process for the sports complex ought to be reset and as a few of the council members said in fleeting moments of lucidness, take a step back and get this thing done right. If the process continues under the current fog of schizophrenia, we may end up with a sports complex that makes the crazy cat lady look normal.

And yes, to all the schizo stakeholders, don’t forget to take your meds if you start up this process again.

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Bill said...

Let's not use mental illness for comedic purposes. It is a serious illness. Opinions can be put forward without such references. Thanks!

Colonel Walter E. Kurtz said...

The more they walk around dazed and confused, the better my wallet feels, because I fear they are eventually going to foolishly float a bond, craft up another creatively-written tax measure (i.e. cell phone tax), or devise some other creative financing to pay for these "playgrounds on steriods".

Anonymous said...

As satire goes, no harm was intended here. But the truth is, the council was all over the place on a very important agenda item.

When it comes to the deliberative process, the council should do their homework and be prepared to give reasoned statements as to why they voting a certain way. Democratic citizens expect better of their elected officials.

However, expecting better, especially when watching public comment of late, has only led to constant frustration when those expectations have gone consistently unmet.

Bill said...

Thanks, anonymous...I took it personal...nothing wrong with opinions...but when you have a family member with such an illness, it is easy to take it personal...!

EGN said...

Bill, there is no disrespect intended towards those with mental illness. The analogy is being used to describe the process. Not unlike describing an ill-tempered person as be childish.

Anonymous said...

"ad nauseam" would be putting it lightly! After public meetings, a five member city council, city manager + her cohorts, several trips here by the two sports complex teams and even going so far as issuing RFP's and now it was actually a mistake, we don't have room for that, let's put that on hold....we've changed our minds...we need an Aquatic Complex. Sounds as if we, the citizens were just sold a bill of goods worth zero. How do you explain that to the two companies who spent hours in travel time & presenting RFP's? That's not counting the communities time spent after work attending meetings, etc. The Aquatic Center......hate to even think where they'll take us on that one. $$$$, no doubt and for years to come.

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