Post #300: Let’s change tradition tonight

Posted on June 17, 2019

Tonight, I’m going to have to drag myself to yet one more Town Council meeting on a MAC project.  Really not sure I have the spine for it.

But I can tell you the one thing that, by far, is the most objectionable part of the meetings where they pass judgment on MAC projects:  The pre-vote bloviation.  (If you have somehow managed to live in the DC area and are not familiar with the term, you can see bloviate defined here.)

In the Town of Vienna, the pre-vote blovation apparently is a tradition for such occasions.  Once all the arguments have been made, when everything meaningful has been said, before the vote occurs, they set aside time for each Town Council member to make a little speech.  Typically, it’s some form of C-Y-A, oh-this-is-for-the-greater-good, change-is-hard pap.  Mixed in with the occasional in-your-face remark.  Or the truly bizarre, such as quoting from the preamble of the MAC statute.

And we, the citizens, have no choice but to sit through this self-aggrandizing crap, in order to hear what the vote is.  As if anyone but the Town Council members themselves care what their particular rationale is.

Given that Town Council may have two votes tonight, I suggest that this may be a good time to break with tradition:  Skip the pre-vote bloviation.  It’s a fair bet that Town Council members have already decided how they will vote before the meeting even starts.  So we already know that 99% of what will happen tonight is purely theater.  And that particular theatrical tradition — the pre-vote bloviation — is truly annoying to those whose neighborhoods are affected by these projects.

So, what say we just skip that tonight, and if there is going to be a vote, just vote.  We really don’t need to hear the self-justification.  We just need to hear the vote.