Monday, October 17, 2011

VC tonight! Water (very important!), campaign update, trees, budget

To the left is a photo of the Yellow Spring by an artist named Tom Hock. When the leaves disappear and things become mostly grey, the orange of the spring and the last green moss can seem this intense.

Dear people--VC Meeting tonight and there's quite a bit going on. Our water treatment plant is especially on my mind, so I want to call your attention to that and ask for your response, see below.

Quick Campaign Update:
I know many of you have asked for yard signs, but I think I'm plumb out. Still, check your garage? We've found a few that people pulled off their own property after the last campaign and tucked 'em away. So make sure you don't still have one--and if you find one and you already have a sign, let me or Ona Harshaw or Jen Reich know, and we'll find a place for it.

The best thing you can do for me right now is to write a letter for me to the YS News!
Please consider getting one in TODAY if you have even 15 minutes, a half hour. Can be short! (Short is good!--Just think of the most important reason you support me, and say it in a sentence.)

Key issue tonight: The most important thing that I see on the agenda, and which I'd really love some feedback and thought on over the next few months, is the water feasibility study that we had LJB engineering do for us (John Eastman). It's included in its entirety in this week's packet (the first page of the study is on page 34) and I'd appreciate if a few of you took the time to read it and shared your thoughts--particularly if you have any engineering background.

The suprising finding: I've only read it quickly, but it looks like our cheapest option may be to update our current water treatment plant, cheaper than the status quo or getting water from Xenia / Springfield / Greene County or building a new plant.

YSAC re: Funding
YSAC re: BGSU Economic Impact Study
YSAC re: BGSU Arts Economic Study
Mayor’s Monthly Report
Jon Husted re: Information on Ballot Issues
Colin Altman re: 2010 Annual Report This is a really lovely report--take a look at it if you get a chance--it's at the very end of the electronic packet. The fire department is doing a great job of serving us--nice pictures and graphs that tell a very positive story.
Anne Whitaker re: Barr Project Support

E-Packet Only:
GCCOA re: Newsletter and Invitation
RITA re: State Control of Municipal Income Tax Collection Update: I actually read most of the documents about this (they begin on page 104), and I have a few questions. Kasich is apparently seeking to centralize muncipal tax collection at the state, which strikes me as bizarrely opposed to his normal mode of getting rid of decentralizing (i.e., offloading) state services onto municipalities; some say this is an attack on home rule for municipalities, I don't get it. If anyone does...I'm all ears.
Greene Co. Library re: November Programming
GCCHD re: Grant Obtained
MVRCP re: Going Places

Second Reading and Public Hearing of Ordinance 2011-26 Supplemental Appropriation Securing Funds Necessary for the Third Quarter: Normal housecleaning, for the most part, some due to recent decisions that have altered the budget.
Reading of Resolution 2011-52 Contracting with LSL/KKG for Zoning Code Rewrite: I will vote yes--this group is very professional and down to earth and I believe we will have good results. Their presentation was very concrete--they had already found many nitty gritty places where our zoning code contains out of date rules and contradictions; I believe they'll get us a code we can live with for many years to come.
Reading of Resolution 2011-53 Contracting with Arbor Care for Annual Tree Trimming: I will vote yes--Arbor Care's bid is a little higher than last year, because we are having them trim more. However, I will take the moment ask staff about the pretty egregious trimming that occurred on Spillan Road (perhaps some other places also). I believe that was done, however NOT by Arbor Care, with whom we had a long talk about the kind of trimming we were hoping for, but by the AMP contractors, whom we did not have a careful discussion with. The topped and mutilated trees on my street make me, well, ill.

Water Feasibility Report and Discussion: See my plea above for help and input!

Discussion of Budget Process for 2011 / Discussion of Goals Process for 2011: We are hoping to hit the ground running with the new council, so we are urging the current candidates to come for this discussion where we are hoping to set up a tentative calendar. Judith has written everyone a quick email about this, but if you see Shane, Gerald, or Dan, tell them to come on down tonight if they can!

New Council Orientation: We're hoping that Council can have lunch with the new candidates on the orientation date, which is yet to be established. Again, it would be great to have the candidates attend tonight's meeting.

This poem is the favorite fall poem of one of my favorite bloggers, Ta-Nehisi Coates.
He's a black guy who writes for the Atlantic and he's just a brilliant, wide-ranging reader and thinker. Ok, it's true that he loves a lot of my favorites, Frederick Douglass and Edith Wharton (!!!) for starters, and he was just totally into Jane Austen (of all people) last year, AND he also introduced me to great histories--James McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom and Daniel Walker Howe's What Hath God Wrought and the absolutely devastating Slavery by a Another Name--which is still haunting me--by a Wall Street Journal reporter--seriously!--Douglas Blackmon about the "re-enslavement of black Americans from the Civil War to WWII." I mean, did you know that slavery was not criminalized until 1944! For Real! Ok. So, you should read Ta-Nehisi's blog, linked above, and below, and read anything that Coates recommends.

(Mostly, I just wanted to recommend Coates; I think I'm not quite as enamoured of this poem as he is--it does feel like more of a guy poem maybe to me?--but it may also grow on me. I do love poets who can rhyme and not sound amateurish.)

October by Frederick Seidel

It is time to lose your life,
Even if it isn't over.
It is time to say goodbye and try to die.
It is October.

The mellow cello
Allee of trees is almost lost in sweetness and mist
When you take off your watch at sunrise
To lose your life.

You catch the plane.
You land again.
You arrive in the place.
You speak the language.

You will live in a new house,
Even if it is old.
You will live with a new wife,
Even if she is too young.

Your slender new husband will love you.
He will walk the dog in the cold.
He will cook a meal on the stove.
He will bring you your medication in bed.

Dawn at the city flower market downtown.
The vendors have just opened.
The flowers are so fresh.
The restaurants are there to decorate their tables.

Your husband rollerblades past, whizzing,
Making a whirring sound, winged like an angel--
But stops and spins around and skates back
To buy some cut flowers in the early morning frost.

I am buying them for you.
I am buying them for your blond hair at dawn.
I am buying them for your beautiful breasts.
I am buying them for your beautiful heart.

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