Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Capricious Gods of the Senator’s Fate

Sarcasm is the last refuge of the frustrated citizen, and I’m afraid after a bit of up-front apology, this may devolve into a sarcastic post. I hope my friend and City Councilman Bill Henry will forgive me for my frustration, but it seems we differ, which I believe he already knows. Bill, if you’re reading this, it’s nothing personal. I know your job isn’t easy.

I gather that the fate of the Senator Theatre is already being decided behind closed doors by a mysterious steering committee, without seeking direct public input at this time. I understand they’ll seek public input after the future non-profit is formed, if that is the outcome. That outcome may not be guaranteed.

Bill Henry assures me that it is his job to represent all the various stakeholders in the 4th district, and that he cares deeply about the outcome not just as a councilman, but as a resident. I’m sure that’s true. He also assures me the unknown (to me, at least) members of the steering committee have the best interests of the community in mind. I guess we simply differ on the level of public involvement that should be there from the start.

Sometimes, you just have to trust the capricious gods of fate. I have little more to say at this time about the unknown future of the Senator, which may or may not be being decided right now by an unnamed committee in an undisclosed location. After all, without public meetings, I have limited information.

There are approximately four things I think I know for sure, though the situation is evolving:

  1. Our intrepid City Councilman is on the case.

  2. Some of the people I personally would consider key stakeholders, including leaders of some of the nearby neighborhood associations and the Senator’s devoted advocate and current owner, Tom Kiefaber, have apparently not been invited to be on the committee. (I suspected this last part, and Bill confirmed it.)

  3. The public hasn’t been asked to give input, although we can certainly give indirect input through our city officials.

  4. Whatever organization evolves from this, their mission, whatever it is exactly, won’t be easy. It’s abundantly clear there are huge challenges to making the Senator self-supporting.

Maybe I’ll just let the Senator speak for itself now.

The wise words of the Grateful Dead come to mind:

Abraham and Isaac sitting on a fence,
You’d get right to work if you had any sense,
You know the one thing we need is a left hand monkey wrench.

But then, I never knew quite what that meant. Something about the cruel whims of capricious gods, no doubt.

Thank you, Tom, for all your sacrifices and hard work.

11th hour angels, now is your cue. Frank Capra, if you’re sitting up there by God’s right or left hand, make this a good one.

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OpenID Friends of The Senator Theatre said...

Great post, Laura!
I think you've voiced what I've dreaded (but am not surprised) to hear: The politicians want to decide The Senator's future before allowing the citizens to have a say.

Same ole, same ole, "We're doing what's best for you, whether you believe it or not". Gives you the feeling of being talked down to, like a child, doesn't it?

February 03, 2009

Blogger Laura Serena said...

Hey friends!

Yes, and regardless of whether I like Bill Henry or anyone else in city government, I can't completely trust them with something as important as the future of the Senator, without knowing what's going on.

The fact that they apparently don't want to involve the local neighborhood associations and Tom Kiefaber just sends up huge red flags for me. That can't be good.

February 03, 2009


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