1. It’s OK to spend some of that $20-plus million in the bank
But oh Lord we pay the price
With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice
Ah yeah you pay your fare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there
~ George Harrison
Do it over. Spend some of that $23 million-plus in the bank. Hire a facilitator, engage the community beforehand. Map a plan. Report on the progress every 6 months. Be accountable. Set goals. Tackle tasks that are reachable. Make this town better. And while you’re at it, hire a local restaurant – say the Garlic City Cafe downtown – to bring in your meals.
That’s our advice to the City Council which, sadly, again held “a retreat to nowhere” last weekend.
The agenda items were so broad and as overarching as the sweeping multi-colored arches on a full-sky rainbow. The accountability as fleeting as those colors.
2. What’s in place is not working, it’s not dynamic, it’s not creative
“Where’s the beef?,” a resident might ask. But there were only a few residents there. That’s because they aren’t engaged.
The process needs to change. A paid facilitator needs to be brought in to make this a serious effort at mapping a direction for this community.
What’s in place and what’s been in place is not working. It’s not dynamic, it’s not productive, it’s not imaginative, it’s not helping Gilroy become a better place to live.
That is, after all, what a City Council retreat should be about.
3. Choose a consultant or a firm that will challenge the Council
Gilroyans deserve vision, accountability and communication. They deserve what Aristotle termed “a good life” and defined as “conviviality, citizenship, art, intellect, and spiritual growth.”
Toward that goal, there is work to be done. If we have to spend a few dollars of the millions being stored in the bank, do it.
A process that provides hope for the future is not something to skimp on when there are piles of cash in the closet.
Pick a consultant or firm unafraid to challenge the status quo. Seek a process that’s not simplistic. Find an independent person or firm with proven results that can make this work. Spend the time to do it over, soon.
Otherwise, Gilroy will just keep heading down the proverbial road to nowhere.