You’re All Fired, Including Me

The City Clerk published a document listing all the members of Oakland’s boards and commissions with notes about the duration of their terms. I reviewed the Cultural Arts Commission page and am delighted to announce:

Many of us can go home now.

We’ll do so because we’ve been assigned to terms that began before we arrived, and end (or ended) soon thereafter. Others are enjoying their terms beyond the legal limit of two consecutive three-year runs. This was, as a City Hall Gadfly alleges, because of two things:

  1. Early on in its administration (about the time we began celebrating the arts) the Mayor’s Office was keenly interested in politically emasculating one or two commissions, and so set the City Clerk on revising the approach to all of them to obscure the emasculating activity. Instead of appointing someone and having them live a three-year term from the moment of appointment, the appointments were fixed. You entered them like you would a photo booth. If you were there for all four flashes, eggselent. It could happen that you were there for only the last flash.
  2. The City Clerk’s office dutifully realigned, something that took them a kerjillion years because it involved the big things like time and space. Then they kept the rosters on a floppy disk that was
    infected with a boot virus, so all the work was foobared. In order to restore the data it has been
    suggested that it was simply… made up. I like this idea. Floppies are so nineteen eighty sixteen. It has a “And I realized I had stepped on a butterfly” feeling to it. Just add Kafka.

I think we should also step down because we’ve been a collective sack of potatoes, unclear on our mission and might, captivated by responsbilities outside the scope of public service, and engaged in either self-serving or self-loathing behavior. It’s not all disconnect. A large cross-section of the commission has a point of commonality: an ability to drink at the same bars as the Mayor’s staff, something we institutionalized on our agenda for a time.

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