Daily Bread for 3.27.24: “Nice Person, But…”

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be windy with a high of 39. Sunrise is 6:42 and sunset 7:16 for 12h 33m 37s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 95.1 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1975, construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins.

Yesterday’s post, These Aren’t the MAGA Claims You Were Looking For,  seemed clear to me. While opinions on local issues differ, residents should be able to discern plainly-stated views. (Opinions in Whitewater — and even basic accounts of events — vary among residents now more than at any time since FREE WHITEWATER began publication in 2007. See Rashomon-upon-Cravath.) 

Of that post, summarized:

(1) The post was about open government1.

(2) A more detailed series on the district and proposals to improve governance can wait until after the election.

(3) Too many people in this town have election fever, and it’s left them dehydrated and decomposed. Their malady is not mine.

(4) The claims and proposals that boardmember (and whistleblower) Maryann Zimmerman has made since December are not conservative populist claims. They are claims of no single ideology or partisan view.

(5) I’ve never met Mrs. Zimmerman and it’s not as though we’re in a knitting club together2.

(6) The current board president has done no better than to beg off every question with the false, self-protective claim that he cannot speak for legal reasons and the district has a superintendent who not only won’t speak but has tried to prevent others from speaking.

That’s yesterday’s post in a nutshell. 

And yet, and yet, a community leader wrote me last night to explain to me that, thirteen months ago, Mrs. Zimmerman voted not to deny a petition to alter district boundaries regarding a taxed property, concluding from her vote that Mrs. Zimerman was a “[n]ice person, but she does not know what she is doing.” (I responded bluntly via email.)

This emailer’s claim might as well have been a parody of whataboutism3.

The overall policy competency of this boardmember wasn’t the point of my post.  (It’s evident that she’s as capable as others on the board. Practically, whether intentional or not, this boardmember alone has been able to knock the board president and the district administration back on their heels. It’s much easier to paint a single boardmember as ignorant than it is to admit — or perhaps grasp — that official responses to that boardmember have been strategically and tactically inept. That’s not the fault of students, parents, or residents. It’s the responsibility of boardmembers and administrators who’ve exacerbated the issue through their own responses.)  

A tax issue from thirteen months ago matters not at all now. The insular frustration that’s come to district officials from more recent events, the excuse-making and rationalization of fumbled and self-injurious responses, evidently grips them.

What matters most is a better path than the one that overreaching and underthinking officials have taken. 

Other district officials made that mess.

Nice people, but they do not know what they’re doing.

Belgian farmers spray manure towards police who respond with water cannon4:

1. Of limited, responsible, open government with individual rights, of progressive theology through traditional liturgy, and of cats, this libertarian blogger is, it happens, a true believer.

2. It’s not as though Boardmember Zimmerman and I are in a knitting club together. I don’t knit, and have no idea if she does. Nonetheless, all my best to the knitters of Whitewater and the sheep who’ve supplied their yarn. I have only love in my bleeding-libertarian heart for all of them.

3. The emailer pointed me to the minutes of the year-ago discussion, but in any event, the minutes are not the first place to look. A recording of the meeting would be the first, best place to look. Again and again: no record like a recording. After reviewing the recording, it seems to me that there were issues that no one considered fully. It certainly wasn’t obvious — except to those of narrow and motivated reasoning — that there was one only way to vote on items. 

4. Does anyone know if some of these district officials have visited a Belgian farm lately?

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17 days ago

Yeah that’s par for the course isn’t it? (Laughing out loud at what your reply must have been)

It’s totally crazy to think that you are a champion of Zimmerman overall. Totally crazy. For anyone NOT stuck in the district feedback loop some vote from before means nothing/proves nothing about THIS issue. If you are in that loop it’s all you can think about. For a perosn like that it all makes sense that he/she has proved the case.

See? Zimmerman is clueless. The person who wrote doesn’t understand why OTHERS don’t see it that way and wants to FILL OTHERS IN. So he/she offers what seems like proof. It looks like proof to him/her but seems weak to people not caught up.

The fuss is about emotion now. It’s about saying someone is bad or dumb to feel better through all this. Most don’t think someone is bad or dumb so that way is not going to work with them.

Your post wants people to address an issue apart from election or personality.

These guys don’t want to do that.

17 days ago

Cannot believe someone wrote to you that way except I do believe it.Nice to see high quality email is alive and well in this community!!! They really want to minimize her.

Talk about desperate.

They don’t get it but think they do.

A Town Squire
17 days ago

Good reply. So sad she’s not up to the standards of the scientists on the board. I guess I forgot these guys are busy building atomic power during the day.

That’s some brass they got.

careful observer
17 days ago

really sad that someone thinks this is all about maryann

really funny about belgian farmers and atomic energy though