Saturday, September 29, 2012

"DOTS on Walls"---A riduculous way to plan that weakens citizens

DOTS For Dolts
by Bruce Wood

Bruce Wood
Computer Power Point presentations replaced actual research papers for public officials years ago. My first memory of this was when the Council met in the old West Library.

Public decision making has never recovered. Now, we go to Planning meetings, sit at tables, and talk earnestly to our random table mates before sticking the dots expressing our 'votes' on sheets of paper. I know where I would like to stick the dots but it is not worth a felony

A classic example of the weakness of "DOTS"---a few years ago during Fair Ground Planning 4--6 people from all over middle Tennessee committed to racing came to every session. They tilted the results.

This seems democratic and a full expression of citizen views. Baloney. The only people
who talk to the body of the whole are the pay check officials and they are fully committed
to the status quo and getting home. Really, this is a vanilla homogenization of view points---I
want to hear the people who know the most, are the most angry, who have a point of view.

Counting and sticking "DOTS" is for "DOLTS". Look at the Fair Ground---they are killing this
event by sabotage.
Why was it moved to the back away from the flat area? Why the uphill
hike to to the Mid-Way?

Let's ask for honesty: (A) The Fair is going to be killed off in its present location for one
reason---because the people who have the power can do it. (B) As an alternative to total death---look at businesses which can co-exist with the 2--3 week Fair and go in that direction .

Bruce Wood

The above was posted in a neighborhood chat group and I am taking the liberty of reposting.  Bruce Wood is a long time citizen activist and Chairman of the environmental group B.U.R.N.T. I agree with Bruce's observation. 

I often feel like public meeting by consultants and planning department and TDOT and most government agencies are a ruse to create the impression that the agency is gathering citizen input. I believe that most of the time, decisions have been reached before the meetings ever take place. There is never a place to put a dot that says, "strike the whole damn thing and start over," or "do nothing."  When an agency talks about all the meetings they had and all the citizen input they incorporated into their plan, it does not convince me. The means by which government agencies conduct meetings is really an attempt to placate the public and claim that the process is democratic but control the outcome. Bureaucrats are arrogant. Rod

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