Monday, March 20, 2017

Leadership doesn’t require a PhD.

Remember when critics of City’s street lighting project said 2700kV LED lights would make you sick? One of those critics and naysayers was soon-to-be-former Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD.

When the program first began to roll out others wrote (see image below) these new LED lights would be a “road hazard”, drivers would careen off the road causing all sorts of terror. Of course, this was all totally baseless nonsense.

The parallels between the tactics used to confuse the public about street lighting are eerily similar to those used against the Neighborhood Road Improvement referendum last November: this time dust and noise while constructing new roads will ruin everyone’s quality of life. Nonsense. What about the quality-of-life now?

When the first LED lights were installed some began suggesting drivers would careen out of control and wantonly crash all over the City.

This nonsense was another attempt to scuttle yet another infrastructure improvement. The critics, true to form, came up with a bevy of objections.

Just as the City’s street lighting project began to roll out. . . Comm. McVoy, PhD, used his Critical Thinking skills and suggested the new LED streetlights would make you and your family sick.

Do you remember the meme about ‘Critical Thinking’ (CT)? What does CT mean? It can mean anything you want it to. What the CTers suggest is something has been missed or has to be thought out even more. The result is delay after delay as a topic or issue gets the CT review. Decision after decision is analyzed, turned upside down, examined piece by piece until any possibility or future outcome is predicted, which is impossible to predict.

A good way to describe CT is “paralysis by analysis”. Take the street lighting issue, for example. The City was faced with a problem: many neighborhoods don’t have adequate lighting. So the City comes up with an idea and starting in 2014 goes through the process considering different proposals. As the City begins rolling out the project in 2016 some like McVoy then suggest more thinking is needed?

The suggestion is it might be shrewd to hold off and let the CTers do their work. And what if they succeed? The project gets delayed. Again. For months if not years.

Probably the grandest example of CT is Amendment 4 in 2010. If Amendment 4 had passed virtually any decision a City tries to move forward with would be subject to CT review. Analyzed from every angle, delayed for months or even years, and then put on the ballot.

Below is an example of CTers at work (see if you recognize anyone in the video)
Fortunately only 33% of voters statewide voted for Amendment 4. It needed over 60% to pass into law. Once again, I applaud the City for moving forward with the street lighting project and the Neighborhood Road Bond. The public has demanded these problems be fixed and our leaders, the majority of them, listened.

That’s what elected leaders are supposed to do: Lead.