Covering the County - Part Two
As I mentioned in my last post , there are challenges to reporting on the county supervisors. The only place to record what goes on at a county supervisors' meeting is a bank of audio outlets inconveniently close to the dais, from where board members can conveniently keep an eye on the media. The seats near this outlet are often taken, leaving TV and radio journalists to stand awkwardly in the aisle.
At the State of the County address, the audio feed was, again conveniently, made available on a loading dock outside of the Balboa Theatre, where it was impossible to see anything. (The city provided numerous audio outlets inside the theater for Mayor Jerry Sanders' State of the City address.)
The committee rooms, where the county's much vaunted Regional Fire Protection Committee meets, have an audio outlet the likes of which I have not seen in years. I happen to have a dinosaur connector to fit, but it turned out the audio feed only picked up half the mics in the room, not including the podium or the chairman's microphone!
Gregory John Duch from Centre City
April 27, 2008 at 11:41 PM
Alison: It has appeared that for the longest time that the San Diego County Board of Lords and Ladies prefer to operate in a collegial style;--collegial, as in the Catholic College of Cardinals. They would prefer to alert the news media by use of smoke signals, as the Roman Catholic College of Cardinals does, when finished with papal conclaves. The Catholic College of Cardinals claim that they are given Divine inspiration to arrive at their decision as to whom should be named pope. Likewise, the Bored of Supervisors must be imbued with some infallible ability to make crucial decisions for a county of three million without consulting anyone outside of their "Gang of Five". Their secret deliberations remain secret. The five supes act as if they were talso the Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court, as well as the GAO; all combined into an infallible, unquestioned five-headed oligarchy. I DO NOT SAY IT LIGHTLY++++ THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ACT EXTREMELY SIMILARLY TO THE SOVIET UNION'S COMMUNIST PARTY POLITBURO. In the Soviet Union, public ignorance and absolute rule by the Party went hand in hand. Absolute rule by the Communist Party was accepted gleefully by the vast majority of citizens of the Soviet Union. Fortunately, for the County Bored of Supes, the citizens of San Diego seem to bear a great deal of similarity to the proletariat masses of the Soviet Union. They value secret, strong centralized power, concentrated in the hands of a few. Passivity and apathy are civic virtues in the San Diegan polity. Civic participation and discussion are frowned upon as too demanding and time-consuming. HOWEVER, as in the Soviet Union, San Diegans are deluded into thinking that by having the ability to WHINE, that they are actually making any difference in how the county is governed. San Diegans are also distracted by the oligarchy with truly trivial concerns, in order to camouflage the truly important issues and decuisions. IGNORANCE IS BLISS is the San Diego County motto. Isn't it engraved up above the entrance to the County Administration Bldg? As a test case of citizen awareness, I wonder how many San Diegans would know the answer to:- "Who is Walt Ekhard?" Of course, we know that Walt is the County's Director of Symbiotic Technical Resource Management and Design. Oops, i gave the answer away! "Reality is just a state of mind." Greg of the Gaslamp I wonder how many would know the answer.
Greg Duch from Centre City
April 28, 2008 at 12:50 AM
Alison: Putting all hyperbole aside, I have never understood the local aversion to democracy in local government. In a most basic sense, we DO NOT have a representative democracy in County government institutions and political processes. Why Not? Aren't we as a nation, under the leadership of George W. Bush, trying to help the Iraqis and most everyone else in the world to create democratic institutions of self-government? Yet, we eschew and reject democracy at the local level here in San Diego County. Are San Diegans really mere automatons? I have likened them in to the peoples of the late Soviet Union. That isn't an exaggeration, from all available evidence. We seem afflicted with terminal apathy and inertia. This is an enigma beyond my understanding. "Taxation without representation" is the chief characteristic of San Diego. Greg.
Alison St John from San Diego
May 03, 2008 at 01:08 AM
At the last Regional Fire Protection meeting this week, I was offered access to the only audio outlet in the committee room, which actually provided nice clean audio and picked up every mike in the room! Good thing I was the only reporter trying to collect audio on the County's doings. (Perhaps this says something about the shrinking state of radio news media in our region!)
Gregory Duch from Centre City
May 11, 2008 at 03:32 AM
Alison: You were THE ONLY REPORTER trying to collect audio on the County's doing???!!!! Oh come on! --This is an expression of horror, and not doubt of your veracity. It is no wonder that the members of the Board of Supervisors feel that they can rule by decree and not get called on it. I reiterate that the Bored of Supes act with all of the citizen oversight that the Soviet Union's politburo had to "endure". This situation is a public disgrace of the greatest magnitude. No, I take that back. I guess here in San Diego, government is perhaps of least importance to most of the public, a public which sleepwalks through life here in paradise. Were the peoples of Scotland and Mozambique as terminally apathetic as San Diegans? Greg