Email exchange: Roger Kemble & Frank Murphy on blogging, decorum, preaching to the choir and more.

Frank,

Run it verbatim and see where it goes . . .

. . . R :-))

On 15-Apr-10, at 1:06 PM, Frank Murphy wrote:

Thanks for this Roger. I’m glad to have your interest in the blog and I knew you wouldn’t like me stepping in to hack something out of your comment but bear with me here a minute –

A lasting bit of wisdom working with you a couple of years back was this – I said as I looked around at the various incestuous self-satisfied advisory panels we had to deal with (with the exception of the theatreone board and later I did a turn on the board and worked with the brilliant and Nanaimo-bruised-and-abused Burton Lancaster — did you meet him? worked with Joan Littlewood at the Theatre Workshop — ) and I said everywhere I look I see arrogance. You thought a second and said everywhere I look I see fear. Revelation: I rescanned the scene and saw the important difference with fear being the far more prevalent.

Here’s what you can’t deny you know first hand (no matter how conveniently it allows you your superior self-righteous dismissiveness) whatever is motivating me here is neither fear nor “a sense of decorum”. So come on. What else might it be?

Let’s explore this possibility: the polarized status quo environment here suits the conservative old institution that is City Hall just fine. The politicians and senior staff have rationalized that they don’t have to come out and engage because when they do they only meet — what they are eager to identify as — the rabid venting of the malcontents.

I want Andrew Tucker challenged. I don’t want him given an excuse to retreat to his peaceful private cubicle. But he deserves the same courtesy that I insist I’m entitled to participating in the public life of this fine and frustrating little city.

I think it’s a fair and constructive criticism of the Friends of Plan Nanaimo that a similar culture of preaching-to-the-choir isolated them and limited the broader public appeal that would have resulted in a much more progressive and no doubt younger council. Personally I think Fred Pattje’s election is among FPN’s achievement and the initiative to gather enough signatures against the City’s offensive reverse-referendum on the extension of the city boundaries to accommodate the Cable Bay Resort project is the finest piece of citizen activism I’ve seen anywhere in many years. This stemmed from FPN efforts I believe and Fred and Ron Bolin did a lot of the grunt work face to face with thousands of Nanaimoites recording their abhorrence at a manipulative arrogant City Hall.

A calm insightful review of the FPN, it successes and its failures would probably be of great value as the next municipal election approaches.

So spread the word about Nanaimo City Hall Blog. We’re actively seeking people to write for it. With your ok, I’d run this conversation as a post on the blog — word for word of course. OK?

– Frank

On 15/04/2010 4:33 AM, Roger Kemble wrote:

Thems was thu daze . . .

Frank,

“I cannot understand councillor Kipp’s vote for Sandstone and Cable Bay”!

Answer: on civvy street Jim runs a developer drafting service: he was also part time city emergency director. He needs the dough!

1999 I was on the planning and development committee. Jim proposed a small shopping centre on Hammond Bay @ Norasea: his proposal was rejected and the site remains fallow.

Despite appearances his mind is sprawl.

One other caution.  Don’t put too much hope in FPN. Essentially FPN’ers are hypnotised by academia. Under the illusion a Ph.D spells wisdom in practice it is quite the opposite: the result of 10 years passive obedience . . . and believe me FPN’ers are passively obedient!

Had FPN demonstrated modicum of flexibly listening to the public we would not be wasting C$800 g’s annually on 101 Gordon Street. Had you been present, watching them genuflecting and standing to ovation, at the Heyward Sanders love in you would have burst your buttons . . .

Nanaimo is arrested in a 1950’s mind set and it will take more than a few old men sitting on all the King’s horses to bring us up to date.

I hope Nanaimo blog takes off but so long as it is bogged down in a few who have neither the courage or wisdom to make incisive comment, and a moderator whose sense of decorum gratuitously edits out real comment (Tucker is a burnt umber proboscis, and you know it) then . . . I dunno . . . I hope we find the courage to be real people . . .

. . . R :-))

Roger Kemble ma (planning) rca maibc

ARCHITECT/PLANNER ROGER KEMBLE
1005 – 1 Chapel Street
NANAIMO BC
V9R 5H1
http://members.shaw.ca/urbanismo/DTES/DTES.charrette.html
rogerkemble@shaw.ca
250.616.8405
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