Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Out of a comfort zone and lessons learned

Let me start off by saying that I have a newfound respect for anyone who steps in front of a crowd of (mostly) strangers to speak to them.

A few weeks ago, I wrote of an incident at a meeting of the Scottsdale City Council where a speaker criticized some members of the Council (which while poorly done in this instance, is part of a public official's lot) and the wife of a Council member (family members = off limits under most circumstances).

As this wasn't the first time such things have happened with the Scottsdale City Council and the fact that the Mayor issued a very tepid response (perhaps not-so-coincidentally, the targets of the speaker's ire were the Mayor's adversaries on the Council), I felt it was necessary to step up and say something, to let folks know that this behavior was not representative of Scottsdale's residents as a whole.

So, at Tuesday's Council meeting I did so.

And have never been so scared in my life.

I've spoken in front of small groups of people that I've known (friends, coworkers, etc.) but never in front of strangers, much less a group where I knew going in that most of them were not going to be receptive to what I had to say.

This was definitely out of my comfort zone.

So, as it was a rookie outing for me, it could best be described as "inartful."

Still, it could have been worse - at least I didn't drool on my notes or break into Pig Latin when I got nervous. :)

Among the lessons learned - the three minutes alloted to each speaker that can seem interminable for listeners just flies by for speakers. Even though I tried to keep my remarks brief and on point, the Mayor still cut me off before I finished. To be fair to the Mayor, I got my three minutes, so I am not criticizing him...for this. There will be other occasions for that.

Plenty of them.

In other news: the Council appointed current Deputy City Attorney Bruce Washburn to the vacant City Attorney's job. The initial over/under on his job tenure will be set at 16 months (April 2011) unless Lane's faction remains in the majority after next year's elections.

In other, other news: the Council failed to reappoint an associate city judge (or at least was well on their way to not reappointing - I had to leave for the D17 holiday party) because they didn't feel they didn't have enough info to make the reappointment..but not before they gave the floor to one of Mayor Lane's allies to engage in an off-topic diatribe against photo radar.

Which I thought was rather ironic because on Tuesday evening, one of the City's photo radar vans was situated on Civic Center Boulevard near Scottsdale Stadium, perhaps 1000 feet from City Hall.


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