Before I issued the invites, I checked with City Attorney Maren Swanson to determine if Alice, Suzie, and I could be at the same place and even [gasp] potentially discuss items of substance. Ms. Swanson confirmed that since the three of us are less than a quorum, it’s permissible under state law. (Since none of the newly elected officials have been sworn in yet, there were no issues related to notice, open meeting law, etc. as far as they were concerned.)
When I informed the current Planning Commission chair and former city councillor Greg Colby of what we were up to behind his hairy back, he responded:
OBJECTION>>>> This sounds like fun and I resent being excluded because of my gender. Nonetheless, I thank you for the heads up and I will try not to be too male by holding a grudge.
In addition to discussing the Comprehensive Plan and a bit about City processes, the event yielded the following crucial information:
- Erica Zweifel grew up surrounded by exotic animals. (Her father was a zoo veterinarian.)
- Suzie Nakasian sings jazz in the shower and says she’s better than her professional-jazz-singer sister.
- Mary Rossing has a secret wish to sell everything she has to live in a van and travel around at will.
- Alice Thomas went to school in a one-room schoolhouse through the eighth grade.
- Rhonda Pownell has palpitated the internal organs of a cow.
- Betsey Buckheit has a thing for circus music.
- I left home at 17 to live on a commune in Oregon.
I wanted to put something in there about how Rhonda’s experience being up to her shoulder in manure was particularly good preparation for service on the City Council, but she’s so kind-hearted that I took it out. Sort of.
In short, the seven of us had a great time at the first and last gathering of this group. I think we were all a bit sorry that we won’t be able to do it again; however, we all understand and affirm the need to protect the integrity of our local democracy. I told everyone involved that I planned to blog about it, in the interest of transparency between city officials and citizens. That’s one of my pet issues, and I hope we can establish some new trends in that arena.