Dave Meserve: Karate Chopped, Tenderized, Respectful And Ready – October 28, 2010

Looking at the Arcata City Council race, it seems clear that Alex Stillman is going to win one of the open seats.  I believe the council needs the change and the new energy that I can offer, and I am working hard to secure the second seat in this election.  I look forward to working with Alex and the rest of the council, as we move forward to address the challenges facing the City of Arcata.

One concern that I have heard among voters who like my platform and are tending to support me is that, if elected, I will find it difficult to work with Alex and the rest of the council.

This is a valid concern, because it is very important that councilmembers share mutual respect and are able to bridge differences for the good of the City.

I wish to assure voters that, although I am somewhat of a starry-eyed idealist, I am also a pragmatist and a team player.

City Council candidate Dave Meserve. TMc | Eye

I have cordial relationships with all of the other councilmembers, and I respect them all as people who sacrifice a great deal of time to the job of responsibly running city government.

Of course we may have differing priorities or styles, but our task is to work together to build consensus around good municipal policy.

At a recent non-profit event, I approached Alex, saying, “Well, Alex, you know it could just be you and me elected to the council.”

I wish to assure voters that, although I am somewhat of a starry-eyed idealist, I am also a pragmatist and a team player.

She acknowledged that as a possible outcome, and then surprised me with three swift karate chops to my shoulder, saying, “Just remember, keep (chop)… it (chop)… local (chop)!”

I assured her that my focus is definitely on the local and mentioned some of the projects that I intend to work on, including the Arcata to Eureka bike trail, restrooms near the Plaza and a revolving loan fund for residential solar installations.

When Alex said, “and that charter city thing, you have to just drop that,” I replied that I thought it was important to at least investigate becoming a charter city, because it allows for greater local control than “general law” status and facilitates instant runoff voting and more flexibility in local decision making.

Besides, it won’t cost us anything to talk about it and see if there is community interest in pursuing it.

I then said to her, “Look Alex, of course we are not going to agree on everything, and if we did, that would not be healthy for democracy.  But I assure you that I will always be open to civil discussion of the issues, with mutual respect for each other’s point of view.”

She nodded agreement with my statement, and we parted with a friendly hug.

How much more “Arcata” can you get?

I believe that, in the past four years, Arcata has wavered somewhat from its leadership among environmentally conscious and ecologically sustainable cities.

I also think that, on social justice issues, we have become more reactive, rather than proactive in seeking long-term solutions.

If elected, I pledge to work with the community and with other council members to craft imaginative and workable policies to address today’s challenges.  More details on my platform are available at davemeserve.org.

Please trust me with your vote on November 2.


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One Comment;

  1. Daniel Wasserman said:

    Something important was left out of the statement, “Looking at the Arcata City Council race, it seems clear that Alex Stillman is going to win one of the open seats.” Mr. Meserve excluded that Mark Wheetly is also going to win one of the open seats.

    Mr. Meserve can say he wants to work with whomever he wants, but when he was on the Council before he dictated to City Staff and monopolized council time. I for one am glad to hear the HSU poll results.

    Being starry-eyed is all fine and well. It is great that Dave Meserve has the environmentally friendly ideas he has. Without a practical and realistic means of accomplishing the Meserve desires, it does not help the City of Arcata one bit.

    Claiming to be a pragmatic person in the same sentence as the one where an admission of the aforementioned starry-eyed condition is made is just, well not very pragmatic at all.

    As to the team player related claim, I say, “BUll!” Dave Meserve bullied and micromanaged City employees in a near violation of the Brown Act. He seemingly forgot that a democracy consisted of the votes of the Council and not just the will and whim of Dave Meserve.

    Idealist are a treasure to any community WHEN THEY ARE NOT POLITICIANS. It is grand that Dave Meserve went to Washington for such a worthy cause. It was not so good that he did it when he was supposedly serving Arcata. I know, I know; he did it on his own dime, etc. It was not what a mayor or council person should be doing as a mayor or councilperson. Idealists are by their very nature free agents and as such should act as such. I believe Dave Meserve would, with his far-reaching and lofty aspirations, be a better Senator or Congressman. Wanting solar panels on every roof or bio-diesel powered buses or all city streets converted to bicycle and pedestrian pathways seems just dandy until you face the realities of cost, function, maintenance, and oh, say the will of the entire population.

    Voters, I heartily suggest that you ask city employees how there time as employees went when Dave Meserve was on the Council and how it improved after he left. Ask older residents what it was like Pre-Dave During-Dave and Post-Dave. Exclude the issues of his National Politics endeavors if you so desire. But please pay attention to the actual function of the City and the manner in which businesses suffered when we had Dave.

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