Last week I picked up my massive binders containing the almost-final version of the Title 21 re-write. Assembly approval is one of the few major tasks facing us this spring so I’m slogging through it and will wrestle over inevitable final amendments but, in the end, I doubt I’ll vote for the darn thing. My problem with this work product which, depending on your point of view, may or may not be a worthy one, is the process by which it was arrived at.
I know, the holidays are here, you’re either receiving or visiting family and the last thing in the world you could possibly need is something else to do, right? But this one’s kind of fun – here’s how my neighbor put it (as slightly abridged by yours truly):
Everyone makes mistakes. Indeed, if humans were on some sort of mistake quota system I’d likely be cadging ducats from friends in order to keep myself within limits. And I’ll let someone else tell you about the “negative example” marketing plan once proffered on my behalf. But the important thing about making mistakes is learning from them and doing better the next time.
One of the advantages of representing neighborhoods in which I grew up (no snide remarks about my maturity, please) is the opportunity to address issues in different ways. Here’s an example:
Welcome to yet another installment of what is sometimes referred to, not so fondly, as the “silly season,” the period preceding even relatively minor elections like Anchorage’s municipal contests. It’s a place where, all too often, hyperbole shines and facts whither. Nevertheless, we’ll ferret out a fact or two just to keep in practice.
Readers may have noted a recent article in the local paper discussing neighborhood concerns surrounding the realignment of Chester Creek near Muldoon and DeBarr roads. Unsurprisingly, this was the most time-intensive matter at our February 28 meeting.
The Assembly will hear the most recent iteration of the mayor’s “sidewalk sitting” ordinance on Tuesday, November 22. It’s been intriguing to view the e-mails on this subject with the vast majority opposing the measure as an affront to free speech. Meanwhile the administration contends they’re trying to head off a larger problem and that the law is modeled after a court-tested version in place in Seattle.
For those who might be considering a visit to tomorrow evening’s Assembly meeting with the intent of voicing your opinion about the administration’s sidewalk ordinance, you may be interested to know the administration now intends to ask the Assembly not to act on the matter. The plan, I am told, is to send the measure to the Public Safety Advisory Commission for further review.
Let’s start with the basics. I live close to downtown, I work downtown, I frequently patronize a wide variety of downtown establishments, I’m part-owner of a downtown business and I support (and have worked in) our visitor industry. Under no circumstances would I ever want the image of downtown Anchorage to be that of John William Martin III.
As I mentioned in my previous post, we’ve seen a steady flow of e-mail traffic regarding the re-write of Title 21, the section of municipal code that governs land use and planning. Over the past several years citizens, developers, planners and the Assembly worked together (and occasionally at odds with one another) to write new ”provisionally adopted” chapters. With most of the heavy lifting complete the primary remaining task was reconciliation of that work to address inconsistencies and gaps, which is where we are today. And because that’s the same place we’ve been for about a year some folks are getting understandably antsy.
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