Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ross Mirkarimi outside his cocoon

Supervisor Mirkarimi's performance at last night's debate was odd. I of course attacked his record of support for huge developments---Rincon Hill, the Market/Octavia Plan, UC's hijacking of the old extension property---and the bicycle fantasy in general and his support for Critical Mass and the Bicycle Plan in particular. Ross's responses were muted. He even seemed to be a little stunned, which is odd, since I've been writing about him and these issues for years. He could only be surprised if he doesn't read my blog, which he probably doesn't, since it would surely be a painful experience for him. If he doesn't read it himself, he should get one of his assistants or supporters to perform that painful task, since I'm evidently the only media critic he has.

At one point, Mirkarimi said with an aggrieved tone, "Is anyone recording this? I hope so..." The implication was that something out of line was happening, and that therefore a record needed to be made. That's fine with me, since all it will show is how lamely he responded to my fact-based, issue-based criticism. There was a young fellow with a laptop who seemed to be transcribing our comments, and later in the evening there was a fellow with a camera on a tripod in the back of the room.

But what exactly was Ross's beef? Whence the put-upon whine in his question? At the end of the event, each candidate was specifically assigned a few minutes to respond to the comments of the others. Instead of responding to any of my criticisms about the Bicycle Plan, Rincon Hill, the M/O Plan, or the UC proposal, Ross riffed blandly on something else. My suspicion: Mirkarimi lives in a cocoon of staff and like-minded supporters and hasn't been tracking my ongoing critique that started at the beginning of his term. Hence, he wasn't at all ready to respond to my informed criticism of him on these important---and I think, awful for the city---projects he supports.

Maybe he'll be better prepared to engage on the issues at our next encounter, which is scheduled for Thursday, October 16, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at St. Mary's Hospital Morrisey Hall Auditorium (enter from Hayes Street, north side, mid-block between Shrader and Stanyan Streets).

For earlier posts on Mirkarimi, click on "Ross Mirkarimi" below.