Thinking Local

If ever there was an example of how we can’t seem to all get along these days it would be our infamous Silver Lake Neighborhood Council. Considering the organization is only advisory, has no power and a tiny budget, it’s remarkable how deep its potentates have gone into Machiavellian maneuvers and the minutia of Robert’s Rules of Order. The Council’s drama has involved everything from threats of physical violence to false flag operations to virtuosic Orwellian double speak. If you’d like to see just how bad and petty things can get at a meeting of an organization with no actual power just take a look at this or these stunning meeting minutes. If I didn’t have better things to do I’d leverage my music degree to write a five hour opera about the council, mostly recitative, mostly from text from the afore mentioned Robert’s Rules of Order. Even less would happen than in the first part of Das Rheingold–my Silver Lake opera would just be endless meetings.

For the locals that read this blog I urge you to come out and vote tomorrow, Saturday April 6th from 12 to 6pm at St. Francis of Assissi 1523 Golden Gate Ave. Anyone who lives, works or belongs to an organization in Silver Lake is eligible to vote and I urge you to vote for the new Progressive Slate of candidates who promise to, so to speak, drain the reservoir of its current swamp creatures.

For those of you not in Silver Lake, the problems with our council, I think, are at least in part part of a general inability to work in groups, a byproduct of the triumph of individualism and consumerism. In the past most people belonged to some sort of community group such as a club, synagogue, church, lodge etc. In those groups we used to see each other socially outside the closed domains of our homes, making the kind of meanness and dissension we’ve seen here in Silver Lake less likely to happen. This is not to say that things were perfect when we had more affiliations. You could also get groups like the KKK. And the demands of households where both partners must work means that we have less time to gather in the evening. But these are not a reasons to live lives of lonely desperation playing video games and waiting for the next Amazon package to arrive. If we’re to get out of the mess we’re in here in Silver Lake and everywhere else in the world it’s going to be a team effort.

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  1. I couldn’t agree more!

    We live in the old company Townsite district of Powell River, British Columbia. We currently have two organizations that claim to represent the local ratepayers. The Townsite Ratepayers ASSOCIATION is a fairly loose organization that tries to reach agreement through consensus. The Townsite Ratepayers SOCIETY is a far more formal organization that is registered with the Province as a non-profit society, reaches agreement by voting and adheres to Robert’s Rules of Order. As far as the City Council is concerned, neither organization has any official status and both are merely groups of individuals.

    In attempt to expose this rather silly situation, I am founding a third organization – The Worshipful Company of Townsite Ratepayers – that is organized on the lines of the Knights Templar and strictly follows Marquess of Queensberry Rules in its meetings. It will have a Military Wing that we can use to influence the City Council when necessary.

  2. Thank you, Cindy and Peter – I desperately needed a good laugh today and your comments have provided me with one!~

  3. The meeting minutes are 15 pages long? TL:DR.
    And there are twenty-one board members? Good grief. I hope that if the new progressive board gets elected, the first order of business is to change the bylaws to halve (at least) the number of board members, then schedule a dance-off to see which ones get to resign.

    • There was a huge turnout which, I think, is a good sign. The police were called to break up a fight, of course. Won’t know the results for a few days.

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