Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Advice and No Consent

One of the tough parts of volunteering happens when the chairperson of the public organization to whom you have devoted the last sixteen months of work makes the following remarks.

"Well, Planning has nothing to do with the council, does it?  I mean twenty-five pages? You need twenty-five pages? And your committee isn't involved in city government, is it? Why should we pay for twenty-five pages?"

Makes you want to hang up the phone.  The group of which she is chairperson had adopted the policies created by the Planning group thirteen months previously with a unanimous vote after we had donated many hours of service, the cost of myriad ink cartridges and reams of paper to the process.  We had researched for days and days and days to find the most complete, appropriate city ordinances from the entire nation to offer to the decision makers on this Planning body.  We organized, wrote, rewrote, presented, explained, and patiently waited for the group to make choices that would enhance the community in which we lived.

And here one of us was reduced to begging to have the Chairman unlock a door so that twentyfive pages of data could be printed out for the use of the Committee.  Why?  Because our own printer had hiccupped, called it quits, refused to print any color but bright red, the wrong color for the downloaded documents we needed for decision making tonight.

And we were being told that the City really couldn't afford nor did it need the advice of this Committee. Sigh!