Friday, December 08, 2006

Community Garden

The protest of the city's Community Garden decision is growing a life of its own. At the Monday commission meeting, 19 speakers gave their views on changing this 11 year garden old site to affordable housing. Much emotion and obvious close ties to the garden plots was expressed. The community that has formed around this endeavor has deep roots indeed!

The latest SHT article about this indicates the city will help look for a suitable alternate site for the garden - not exactly what the gardeners are looking for.

Had the city's plans to convert the property been better communicated before a decision was made, city commissioners don't think there would have been as big an uproar.

"Communication has always been our Achilles' heel," said Commissioner Mary Anne Servian. "That information didn't get out to all the gardeners."
This is exactly the issue that so many citizens have pointed out to commissioners in the last couple years. No plan is in place to help guide decisions, the commissioners react to specific proposals that are "put on the table" with little or no citizen input until after the decision is made. Reaction instead of planning will always be problematic.

This is more than a communication issue, it is a process issue. Lack of a clear process that is followed will result in citizens that react negatively - rightly so.

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