I got word of a community meeting that was held tonight at the Loyola Park Fieldhouse concerning the Parks budget. Thanks Don.
I attended and heard an earful of wish lists (lots of stuff needing doing and never enough $$ to go around), along with statements regarding the current Gale Park Community Center controversy. (Go here for the RPVoter viewpoint.)
This was not a huge group, but it was energized, and I spoke up as well, although not enough folks heard me. My issue was the obvious lack of information from Brian Loll and Matt Marino on the matter. Couple that with the apparent effort to outsource a community asset and the controversy is inevitable, although it could have been prevented. Brian's head appeared to nod in assent, but I wouldn't swear to it.
Hugh asked some questions that clearly backed Matt into a corner. He either wouldn't or couldn't answer some of them. We can say that a superintendent had been hired and that the BGCC got a tour of the center, which the Advisory Council still seeks. The SEIU rep weighed in, and they are standing tall with the opponents.
The only real sour note of the evening occurred when Jim Ginderske stood up to speak and I was quite put out by it. Consider what follows as a personal editorial on meeting etiquette.
I will say that Jim's comments sounded for all the world like a stock stump speech, but this is an issue near and dear to his heart. I also realize that he is not much beloved by those who consider him Joe's sock puppet. It comes with the territory and he knows it. It does not justify the behavior that was exhibited when he started talking. Snarkiness leading to outright rude behavior manifested. So much so that Matt Marino had to chastise the perpetrator. He should not have needed to do that. Interestingly, the folks sitting near the perp, self included, kept telling him to muzzle it. When politeness failed he was quietly told to "shut up." He either didn't hear or didn't care. I mention this because Matt pointed out, and he is correct on this, that such behavior undercuts the power of your message. It diminishes the perpetrator more than the target, if s/he manages to keep their wits and humor. I prefer the moral high ground to slumming in the ditch, however we don't always get to choose the players in our alliances. I guess this means I'll need to be more aggressive when encountering churlishness.
Other than that, an interesting and insightful meeting.