This is how my friend responded at first. "I read your post and can see why people hate you." "I read the discussion and you all sounded like a bunch of dicks." (To be continued.)
I realized that I failed in not fulling explaining how I came about to write my blog post when doing so: Fishtown Zoning Meetings: Part IV
It's not good to fill in the gaps or in this case gaffe during the discussion. It wouldn't surprise me if someone responds to say it was a "gaff."
It's never the less than true that I was drawn into a concern by neighbors that something just didn't seem right regarding the public posted zoning notice signs. None of us completely understood the full procedural purpose which led to some serious questions. I decided to raise these questions and public concerns on my blog in a public forum and was met with an overwhelming negative response and spin: http://fishtown.us/content/forum/fishtown-zoning-meeting-part-iv
I admit, in retrospect, my post was awkward. I also admit that I'm still learning and also keenly aware that many others are also learning as we go. This lack of knowledge shaped my approach but it did not exclude the benefit of the doubt. I was clearly aware to include passage for such benefits of doubt like "if it actually exit", "or something that so happened" and question marks.
That wasn't good and reasonable enough and totally ignored. It got twisted into an attack on the character and motive of the representing lawyer, Leo Mulhvihill Esq. (aka Leo). My responses most often tends to be humorous wit but this twisted attack now on my character was met head on in no uncertain terms. Thus a battle of words ensued and escalated. This resulted in a site moderator having the final word and not allowing any further postings. (re-read the first paragraph)
(Back to my friend) My friend phoned me the next day with a different point of view. He read every last word in my blog and the responses that followed. He saw that my writing was provocative but it bothered him that people went crazy over question marks. He even saw that there was passage for the benefit of the doubt. His question to me was "Why are these people so angry and don't want people to learn about zoning?" Why, as I saw it, do question marks make some people run for cover?
There was some hope that this matter reached its conclusion: http://fishtown.us/content/forum/dear-jill
I was wrong to think that because this is what came next: http://fishtown.us/content/forum/fishtown-zoning-meeting-part-v-storyboarding It, at first, made me wonder why Chris Swayer (aka Kenzo) who's a city government candidate running for the office of Sheriff would do this. Why continue or re-escalation the previous battle? It specifically was an effort, as I see it, to re-frame or twist the quest for public discussion and hopefully learning: dissuade public discussion to private. I'll admit that there is some merit to this. (different previous private attempts were non-responsive as illustrated later in this post) This time my responses were formed in humorous wit. I suppose, that in the end, it's better to take Chris Swayer's provocative post as a form of humor and just say touche'.
The most provocative and unwarranted action continued into the Community Zoning meeting by Matt Karp (aka Karp) who heads the Fishtown Zoning Committee. I had stated during the meeting my disappointment, in the form of a question, that the Fishtown Neighbor's Association Zoning Committee omitted two (2) of the three (3) variances being requested. These omissions appeared on the Internet and in a community newspaper. (The next day I found that the public notice distributed to neighbors who live with in the project's 200 feet radius had totally omitted all three (3) variances: Variance: unknown. The omission of these variances could make the zoning request more attractive to the immediate public than what it appears to be.)
I'll cut Matt some slack here: benefit of the doubt. The private issue was first raised and continuously ignored (non-responsive) by a trusted board member for over a year. That's how long I kept this matter private.
I found the following statement by Leo Mulhvihill Esq. (aka Leo) on 2015-08-12, 12:49 PM very appropriate: " I resigned from ORCA (Olde Richmond Civic Association) zoning years ago because there were too many conflicts (e.g. My clients having projects in the area) for me to continue administering the board without the appearance of impropriety."
Here comes the rub. I personally praised Leo for publicly announcing at the Fishtown community zoning meeting on Tuesday, June 16. 2015 that he cut all ties to the Fishtown Neighbors Association: July 5, 2015: "At the last zoning meeting, in your own way, made it clear that your character is beyond reproach." "Removing yourself from the FNA (Fishtown Neighbors Association) was the right thing to do." "I respect you for doing the honorable thing and not courting controversy."
I'm hopeful that all important matters are resolved with unmistakable clarity that is void of any "Do the Hokey Pokey" legalese that could foster or allow circumvention of the intent and spirit of legislation. I'm also hopeful that floating concerns of possible cronyism quickly dissipate.
I'd rather get back to doing photo essays than this.
opinion pov by roman blazic_all rights reserved