Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Word Smith Hell - Day Three

Tucson, Arizona. I am unfortunately unable to provide a full report on today's Town Hall because I could not stay for all of it. I made it to about 11:30.

We started in our groups at 7 AM sharp, most folks arriving earlier to read the draft 46 page document assembled from the 40+ hours aggregate discussion of the five groups over the previous two days. We burned through 85 minutes going over the document in our groups before everyone converged into the big room, all five groups together, to align on the document. This started at 8:40 AM. At 10:10 AM, we were still on page 8. At 10:15 AM, Steve Lynn addressed us all, "If we keep going like this, we will be here until Tuesday."

(Steve Lynn) Then we continued at the same pace, arriving at page 12 by 10:45.

The document is 46 pages long.

At 10:55 AM, your humble blogger could restrain himself no more and stood to address the group, "I have done the math, and if we take no breaks, skip lunch and skip dinner, we will finish this document at 9:00 to 9:30 PM tonight."

This was duly noted, and we kept going. When I left around 11:30 or so, the room had progressed to page 16 or so, but you could tell folks were running out of patience. Hopefully someone stayed and can let us know, but I would speculate they started to discard "picking nits" and managed to finish before too late in the afternoon. Then again, perhaps they are still going.

Lest this appear critical, the reader does not understand. Imagine the commitment and the concern involved when people painstakingly struggle together to produce what is best for the community. Some names I did not know, so I am missing certain people, but a few that stood out as willing to stand up and take the heat were Duff Hearon for his group, Ann Day, Francie Merryman, Mike Proctor, and I am missing several. I believe that city elected officials intentionally stayed away from the microphones except for a rare remark here or there.

Obviously this document will be published for all and rather soon.

Well, your humble blogger's commitment to the eradication of buffel grass in our desert did not make it into the Tucson Regional Town Hall Official Report. My reference to George Kozmetsky's Austin version of the Research Triangle Park in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for which he coined the term "Technopolis" apparently resonated with some folks. I left before they could decide whether this word would stay or go.

Perhaps some of my input regarding the training of adult workers will survive. No doubt there will be critics of this event, but I can promise the reader this: the folks involved worked and worked hard. Very sharp people were involved.

The draft version titled "Realizing the Possibilities" has been supplied to the media, and Teya Vitu's remarks are here. I don't present details of the report because all of these are coming soon. Ernesto Portillo echoes earlier criticisms about the selection of the attendees in his opinion today. Not sure what I think about this.

I consider it a privilege to have been able to interact with the Hedgehog group, a very sharp set of folks highly committed to our community. I don't know who is running against Regina Romero for the Ward 1 seat, but she is serious about making a difference. The list of this group is at a prior post, and they taught me a great deal. It was the "fire hose training" those in my trade know all too well.


Anonymous An optimist said...

Hi Matt - I have enjoyed reading your blog re the town hall, and I think that you got it right when you wrote that "well meaning and intelligent people are trying to make a difference." The critics are simply being mean-spirited, and are taking cheap shots. It truly is easier to sit back and lob bombs than roll up your sleeves and actually do some work to make our world better.

But, sorry that the buffel grass issue did not find wider support. Maybe at the next gathering ???

5/11/2007 2:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt ..Thanks for providing an excellent insight into the Town Hall in your blog's ..While I agree that there were many intelligent people committed to our community at this Town Hall..I thought they were going to invite at least 75 citizens from the community who did not hold office or represent major businesses. The results may have been different if new input was pursued ..Instead the leaders selected all the same people they know .. I'm not sure there is a value to the next meeting at Fox on June 6..

6/05/2007 1:24 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...


Thanks and I appreciate your sentiments completely. For a much deeper dose and some history, check back here 07/07/07.

I am skipping tomorrow's event. While I like and respect many of them, there are a few in the crowd I don't ever wish to see again.

6/05/2007 10:53 AM  

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