grizzlyand other days, the bear gets you.

At our City Council meeting last night I allowed the bear to get me.  The bear in this case was the fact that a few slides I had wanted to show during public comment did not load properly onto the computer displaying my PowerPoint and so no one could see them.  This in turn got me a bit flustered and so I utterly failed to communicate my message.

This was embarrassing to me.  Significant IV-, if you know what I mean.

And yet, as I tossed and turned in bed after the meeting, I came to a realization.

Richard Bach once wrote “Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.”  This is at times a difficult belief to hold but if Bach is right, this problem should have a gift for me.  After some time, I recognized at least one gift:

Public Comment is a very poor way to try to share what is a very complex message.

Our City Council in Woodinville offers two public comment opportunities at each meeting.  I applaud them for this policy.  As near as I can tell, our adjoining cities only offer one public comment opportunities per meeting.

A public comment opportunity allows you three minutes to speak (for individuals) and five minutes (for groups.)  The criteria that defines a group is unclear and sometimes people seem to take advantage of this in order to gain more speaking time.  This is in my eyes just evidence of an underlying problem.

At any rate, while I was flaming out last night, one of the things I did do was distribute a copy of an article that was given to me when I was in Las Vegas last month, at the TOCICO conference.  I will write more about why I distributed that article in my next post.