The People’s Business

From Dave Smith

I admire our meeting-people… those who make democracy work by sitting in endless meetings and engaging in the process of finding common ground among diverse personalities and interests, and then making compromises and decisions that will not make everyone happy, but will make forward progress.

The give and take to find consensus or a majority; the standing firm on principle; the willingness to probe another’s reasons and compare it to one’s own… and then to painfully change one’s mind and accept another’s argument, or stand aside for the betterment of community. This is how progress is made in a democracy, and it requires patience, respect, discipline, civility, dignity, forbearance, and many, many hours of listening with attention and empathy… and when required, passionate defense of what is fair and right.

This is all in good working order and in full display at Ukiah City Council meetings. If only we could simply replace the County of Mendocino Board of Supervisors and County Staff with their counterparts in the City of Ukiah, the county might start working again.

With two new Supervisors coming on board, one can hope.


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