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

Thursday, 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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