OPC: October 17, 2011 Regular Meeting Agenda

The agenda is here.

Two major items, both deliberations: 2012 Capital Facilities Plan, (this meeting with emphasis on the Olympia School District) and Shoreline Master Program. Most of the latter will be voting on the issues (setbacks) that were not consensual at previous SMP Subcommittee meetings.

It also appears that the commission leadership is contemplating another retreat. If I were giving awards for corporate euphemisms, I’d put “retreat” right up near the top. Its military connotation is second only to rout in undesirability, but it’s used in this context as though it were something inherently desirable. I suppose I can understand the desire to attempt to bridge gaps among the commissioners, but I don’t know that a structured discussion even with a free lunch or light snacks is going to do that.

I’m not left to guess however, the staff report includes a proposal. The retreat’s intended focus is “to determine what is needed to have a rewarding and effective Commission experience in 2012.”

It appears the city will pay for a facilitator to conduct anonymous interviews with commissioners to allow us to speak freely about how we think we’ll be able to get through the comprehensive plan. More specifically, these are our goals:

  • Thank the Commission for their hard work and dedication.
  • Facilitate a positive transition from the SMP to the Comp Plan.
  • Reflect on past work as a way to continuously improve.
  • Understand what is needed in 2012, and establish a clear framework for success.

I don’t know how much the facilitator will cost, but I have a hard time believing that the expense will be worth it (except perhaps that if the facilitator is an Olympian, some of our local businesses might benefit secondarily). Furthermore, it really depresses me that we would have to speak anonymously to a facilitator. I’d rather have this out in the open where we can all talk about it without guessing who said whatever that inflammatory remark happens to be. (I said it.) I know that can create a contentious environment, but we would also grow as a deliberative body that way.

As a group of people responsible for quasi-judicial decision making, we should be safe in the knowledge that when someone says something we don’t agree with, we can still express our opinions. Even when we disagree (perhaps more than ever), we give the city council a diversity of views and considerations that are representative of our community.

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2 Responses to OPC: October 17, 2011 Regular Meeting Agenda

  1. I’ve had a question rolling around in my head for the last day or so about the OSD, impact fees, capital facility plans and capital levies.

    Last night there was a public hearing about a possible levy in February. That levy would, in part, fund a new east side middle school. But, last year the district dropped their impact fees by a substantial amount (over 80 percent) because no new schools were part of their CFP.

    I remember there being some dissension from city on their impact fee decrease. So, where did the need come, if the new school wasn’t listed in their 2011-16 CFP?

  2. Mark Derricott says:

    The OSD 2012-2017 CFP is available here: http://tinyurl.com/3db5b6u

    Page 26 of the pdf details the new middle school plans. I compared both documents over the two years a couple of weeks ago (so I may have forgotten), but as I recall the only change was a drop in a new high school but the other new building projects, middle schools included, did not change from last year to this one.

    We’re supposed to get information on the impact fees within a week or two. In some ways, I feel like one leg the three legged stool was kick out from underneath us without the impact fee discussion, but I am not very sanguine about how much other governance organs actually pay attention to the OPC analysis anyway.

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