|All bets are off.
Actually, the better analogy in this craps game they call the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative is “Seven, line away.” That’s because with one big swoop of the croupier’s stick Blue Ribbon Task Force Chairman Don Benninghoven and MLPAI Executive Director Ken Wiseman have swept away all the trust and hard work that has been brought to the table so far in the South Coast Regional Stakeholders Working Group.
Wouldn’t it be nice in life if whenever you made a mistake you didn’t have to pay the consequences? Just kind of say, oops, didn’t mean to do that, so this is the way it’s going to be instead?
Well that’s what happened when the MLPA I-Team called for a vote to eliminate one proposal at the end of the May 19-21 stakeholder meetings. As they handed out the ballots, the realization dawned that external Proposal C, which is an environmental wish list of massive reserves, was the most likely to be eliminated.
But hey, rules are rules right? Here’s the simple truth — if one of the external fisherman’s proposals had been eliminated, it would be case closed, done deal.
Well, here’s the vote:
Straw Vote Tally from May 21, 2009 SCRSG Meeting (Note: All 64 SCRSG members participated in the voting)
Opal and Topaz reached a unified proposal and will automatically move forward for evaluation.
Lapis 1 = 63
Lapis 2 = 61
External A = 64
External B = 39
External C = 29
Here’s the reaction from the powers that be:
“Everyone worked hard last week to respond to the task force guidance to achieve no more than six draft proposals. In our effort to achieve that goal, many of you contend there was not sufficient opportunity to contribute additional, valid, cross-interest ideas, and that our promise to avoid duplicative proposals has fallen short. I have consulted with Chair Benninghoven on how best to respond to these concerns,” wrote Wiseman in a letter to all the stakeholders.
“We have decided that all seven proposals will move forward for analysis and review as part of the Round 2 evaluation process. This decision was made in the interest of maintaining the maximum confidence in an open and inclusive process, maximizing the amount of information available from the various evaluations, and acknowledging that with the significant stratification of the votes, acting on the vote would have led to the elimination of two draft proposals.”
External C doesn’t even get 50 percent of the stakeholders’ votes, yet will move forward into the next round “in the interest of maintaining the maximum confidence in an open and inclusive process?”
That’s the biggest load of crap I have ever read and I’m not talking about a dice game. It’s the most bogus move yet in a process tainted from the beginning.
The Blue Ribbon Task Force meets next Thursday, June 4 and you need to be there, as one stakeholder told me “with pitchforks in hand.” Why not throw in a few torches, too?
It’s time to burn the castle down.
UPSET? HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE
What: Blue Ribbon Task Force Meeting
When: Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. Public comment period for non-agenda items begins at approximately 9:40 a.m.
Where: Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel
6101 West Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045
While the non-agenda comment period is scheduled for 9:40 a.m., the BRTF has been known to shift comment periods and limit the amount of time for individual speakers when there is a heavy turnout, so if you go, be prepared to spend some time.
More information at www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/meetings.asp