Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Transparency, "Other Side" Style

First, a lyrical introduction, from the musical Chicago:

Mister cellophane
Should have been my name !!!!
Mister cellophane
'cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I'm there!

The reader who has followed this blog from the start (thanks, Daughter!) knows from the opening preambles that this reporter is "transparent," in whatever sense you choose to interpret that term.

I have never, ever been called "nuanced," "inscrutable," or otherwise a conundrum.

The polar opposite is what I am, actually. You know what WYSIWIG means? That's me, unless you choose to modify it to mean what you get is less than what you see.

I am, in many ways, childlike, although others might call me childish. Take your pick.

The one thing I am sure I'm not is a "political insider" or a dealer in volatile and privileged information. If you haven't figured me out yet, you're trying too hard.

OK, I'm tired of reading the fine print on my belly button. At my age, and with my body, it's a challenge no one should have to face.

So, now that you've had to wade through this opening, let's grab the bull by the tail and face the situation.

The point of this post is "full disclosure" in the Other Side's way of looking at things.

The events of the last few days have stimulated "lively discussion" with a town official or two, including some suggestions on how I could improve my public countenance. Cue the broken record. It's too late to put lipstick on this hippo.

The discussion resulted in some suggestions and comments from our editorial offices, and it is only fair and responsible that such suggestions receive full public disclosure. So, here you are:


Negligence implies "neglect." If we haven't been neglecting this issue, then either I am the least informed citizen in town, or I don't understand what the word means, or both.

More suggestions:

- Spend some time with the Town Attorney, and if he doesn't have the right skill set, find one who does, to discuss the legal issues regarding base closure and transition and how it will/could effect the town in the short and long terms. It occurs to me that we put more effort and dollars into "land for Brunswick's future" than we do for getting our arms around the base issue.

- Think in terms of performing a "worst case analysis" to understand what the upper bounds on town/area challenges will be. It's nice to hear all the rosy talk of "global leadership" and such, but it shouldn't distract us from being aware of what the worst outcome could be. Remember Pease, Loring, and Dow. Keep in mind that the economic climate is arguably worse than what they faced for their transitions.

- Immediately schedule meetings with every official in Sanford who will meet with you. Understand what their experiences were. They got so far as to have Baldacci, Richardson, and Bailey there for a gala groundbreaking. I'm not sure Sanford officials, including local Chamber types, will want to meet with you, but you should try your best to pick their brains, not only on Oxford, but on what the implications were for the Airport. You should also include their state delegation in this, as they were likely in the mix.

- Immediately schedule a meeting with Oxford Town/Airport officials to gain the benefit of their experience base.

- Come to think of it, you should schedule meetings with the appropriate authorities, both base and town, in the Pease, Dow, and Loring areas. What have you got to lose by sitting down to talk about their experiences?

- Going this alone as "first timers" with support and advice only from politicians seems like the worst possible approach.

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