Claremont Insider: Tempest in a Teapot

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tempest in a Teapot

Late Tuesday afternoon, just hours before the 5:15 Claremont City Council closed session, the Affordable Housing agenda item that suddenly had appeared, just as suddenly disappeared. Here is the notice of cancellation.

The reason give was that there was a "Notice Problem".

Well, yeah.

We alluded to it in our post of yesterday, pointing out that unless you inhabited City Hall or the City website or--we suppose--had garrulous and informed friends, there'd be no way to know about it. (Without getting too self-referential, we suppose you also would have known if you had read the "Claremont Insider" assiduously--always a good idea.)

There was a bit of confusing discussion of the timing of the Affordable Housing issue. Mayor Yao thought it had come up Saturday; Acting City Manager Ramos said it had come up Friday. Our question: if it had come up Friday, why hadn't it been included in the closed session agenda posted on Friday? Inquiring minds want to know.

On the matter of substance, we also wonder what the issue was. We posed three possibilities yesterday, and our reader posed another. Somehow, we doubt that we are on the mark and suspect that there was some $$$$ issue that somehow came up. After all, the agenda item did list Mr. Marc Gelman, the developer from Enhanced Affordable Development, in a way that implied he was to be a participant. We don't think that Council would have needed him to help discuss air quality issues.

We also don't think the "Notice Problem" had to do with not adequately informing the community about the meeting. Why accept a simple explanation when a more complicated conspiratorial one will do?

All of this is like reading tea leaves or chicken entrails, we realize. Or maybe it's more like Kremlin-watching. Still, when the City fails to provide detailed information, it leaves a vacuum that can best be filled by wild irresponsible speculation.