Let’s talk about it briefly this morning, and we’ll get back to SandRidge either this afternoon or tomorrow.
To be blunt – city staff have their work cut out for them. The good news, if we use NBA metaphors, this isn’t a raw talented but inexperienced Thunder squad facing its first season (which city staff was in 1993 with the original MAPS). Instead, we’ve got the Celtics and they’re fierce and they know what they’re doing.
But mistakes can still happen, and a lot of unknowns are ahead. It’s in these early days that biggest mistakes can be planted in the ground, unnoticed for months if not years, and then they pop up very ugly later on.
So, what can we learn from history?
- Assemble a blue ribbon worthy citizens’ oversight panel. Ensure that all the council has had input into selections of members or else the group will suffer from a lack of legitimacy later on. Not everyone will like, let’s say, Brian Walters’ pick, but having a critical voice in the midst can be helpful, as was proven during the original MAPS program.
- Figure out a good process to ensure orderly implementation and means of keeping touch with voters.
- DON’T MAKE ANY PROMISES YET ON SCHEDULING! People remember these things and perception can go horribly wrong.
- Be confident, but not arrogant. City staff is damn good. But they’re human. Mistakes can and will be made. People who aren’t always the most likeable sort may point out these mistakes and it may be easy to ignore such voices. Remember always the three-segment canal and the role Moshe Tal played in the ultimate design of the waterway.
Love and kisses and best regard from your history geek downtown reporter, Steve Lackmeyer