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Thursday, January 22, 2015

When 90% is simply just not good enough.

Okay, so another post in a much shorter time than anticipated.  Perhaps prior resolutions relative to the same should be lumped in with the oft failed "New Year's" category.  

It does become apparent to me that the only sure way to truly build the resolve to stop posting is to also stop watching meetings. I was actually going to attend a meeting a couple of Monday nights ago, and resisted that temptation.  If only the cable television signal had gone out.

Who would have thunk last May that if we passed the TA article, and the special legislation was passed, and the STM in December reaffirmed the TA act, that the provision in the new act providing that it become effectively immediately after re-passage by TM would essentially become meaningless? 

Now, the reasoning for the delay seems to be two fold.

First, no money to hire a consultant to hire a TA.

Secondly, well we still have to have to take a vote on the BPW article after all.  Implementing the TA article now would result in inconsistencies until the BPW article vote. That begs the question of what to do if the BPW article doesn't pass in April?

Butchering Mr. Mencken's quote just a tad perhaps, "every complex problem has a simple answer, which is usually wrong."

Of course the complexity of the present problem isn't all that complex, at least not to this observer. So the simple answer wouldn't be all that wrong.

Conversely however it also could be the obvious solution is just too simple, and therefore may by definition be wrong. Would it be any more wrong however than simply choosing to ignore not only the intent of the act, but the actual provisions of the act?

Whatever perceived turf war that may arise because we haven't had the vote to deal with the BPW, and won't have the vote until April is not a valid reason.  Certainly an excuse, but not a reason.

While I would certainly agree that the way the TA and BPW acts were written appear just a tad short of consistent, and failed to provide for proper timing and contingencies which could have been easily dealt with, the acts do not present insurmountable difficulties.

Indeed there is sufficient other language within the special legislation to deal with the issues that would arise, and current structure and law would help decide the points, assuming one might bother to attempt to understand current structure and adhere to current law.

To be perfectly content with delaying implementation of the act under the mantra of "it is best to get it right" shows just how wrong some of the act was/is. If the act was good enough, what is the delay? If the act was good enough, we shouldn't be subject to a delay. If the act was good enough, we wouldn't have to worry about the vote in April. 

The present little difficulties, as to "money", which seem to be causing the "excused" delay should have been just as easily foreseen, at the time of writing up the act, or last May when voting the act, or last December when re-affirming the vote.

As to getting a TA in place, dates certain for a few things should have been inserted. Of course in fairness, one could also argue the "take effect immediately" language was a date certain; and, further argue how much clearer could it be than to say "take effect immediately"; and, go on to argue ... well a whole lot.  

It would be a fairly valid argument.

The other oversight presently causing the delay however (i.e. lack of money for a consultant), is a matter that people knowledgeable about town affairs should have been knowledgeable enough to anticipate exactly what is presently going on; and, they are joined by the people responsible for hiring who should have realized, in a timely manner what would be needed to get it done.

We should be use to delay by now though.  Oversights are everyday occurrences. Assumptions that someone else was going to do it are now SOP.

Procrastination, for whatever reason, is not the exception to any rule in our fair haven. Especially when there is motivation to procrastinate.

How any one on any side could not have in any way anticipated perhaps the actual need for an appropriation to conduct a search, at least money for advertising and a few miscellaneous things, is a bit perplexing.  Perhaps one might argue last May would have been jumping the gun a bit, however proponents always seemed very confident of approval by the legislature for sometime this year, and seemed to always been in favor of the consultant concept, so where they thought the money was going to come for that one might be interesting enough to hear. The selectmen should have realized after the May vote what was coming down the road. 

Having a STM in December might have lit a light bulb for someone, in a timely manner that is. I know the light did flash at one point, but after a deadline.  Heck, I know I was waiting for the article to be submitted. The fact that it wasn't should shed a bit of light on the matter all by itself.

When the light did shine a bit late though, it didn't shine bright enough. Sometimes, something so very important needs to be fought for.  I get there being a bit of trepidation.  In concept there should be.

Yet there has been a policy in this town that the policy of a deadline means little or nothing.  There certainly has been a backlash to that policy recently and there also have been a few recent votes to make it clear that exceptions should not become the rule. Never forget though there are times when a very real exception does in fact comes along. 

But I digress a bit ...

What should be even more enlightening is all the ramped up activity for certain things since last May.

One can blame Town Meeting all one wants for failing to give an appropriation to do something that should have been done year in and year out. But when you really do the math for some things, the why you need it and what you are going to get for it is simply paying someone else to do exactly what you are suppose to do, and getting little more done than keeping you from having to do it.

And all of a sudden there seems to a a big rush to get the job done before we hire someone for another job as voted on, which would relieve a certain board of its existence and having to do what it should have done; and, quite sincerely stated, probably shouldn't be doing at this point because there has been a vote to essentially stop them from doing it.

As to the herculean tasks faced argument, the perceived heavy lifting is not a result of the tasks but the neglect of the tasks. Plain and simple. Truth be told though, I cannot fathom how difficult a task this is. Nor acknowledge the need for any heavy lifting here.

When you cut the chaff from the wheat, ain't no big numbers as far as tasks that have to be dealt with. Not if you really look at what actually has to been done.

Yes I know some may find this bit a bit cryptic.  I assume I am writing to knowledgeable people so ...

Lots of heavy lifting? I suppose it might be if you are completely out of shape.  

If one removes the politics from it all, the tasks are actually fairly easy.

Sorry, but one has to wonder why the rush to do certain things at this point, and the need to delay doing a certain other thing.

One of our leaders commented about the domino affect of of something recently. Truthfully, in isolation the present game of dominoes being played isn't much of a concern. Don't get me wrong, one should not ignore the "procedural" things going on here.

What everyone should be worried about is not the present game of dominoes, but the very large tournament that will start soon afterward the current on going game ends. 

And just what does all of that have to do with whether 90% was good enough?

Because today while we have a TA act, we have no TA.  We have no incentive to implement the act. We have people running around to get things done that the TA has been empowered to do, and has been directed to do. We have a vote saying so and presumably voted so the things going on would be handled by a TA.

There certainly seems to be a huge disincentive to with  hold even a temporary appointment until various things are accomplished so as not to be thwarted by the act, including but not limited to the above alluded to stuff and more to come.  Other policies and procedures and protocols, the lack of which seemingly drove the bus to get an act so we could get our act together, and which now we seem to be attempting to do by written, adopted and implemented stuff in the same manner as most everything else has been in the past. Reaction to a situation. 

Argue all you want about needing to know the outcome of the BPW vote yet to come.  It is a superfluous argument.  A better written TA article in the first place would have dealt with the "timing" issues. It would have created the need to act.

And again, what is the intent to to implement the act if the BPW vote doesn't pass?

Not implementing it presently makes it a bit more convenient for many reasons, a little less contentious during the waiting period of the vote, but truly accomplishes what?

If you don't want a temporary TA running willy-nilly, condition the appointment.  But everyone else running willy-nilly  is going to be effective in the long run how?

Hey could be I have this all wrong.  I certainly hope I do.

Time. Time determines right in wrong in many instances.

Enough.

Be safe.