Does the Wet Suit You

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Be Here Now

By JJ Gaspaarotti

One of the things old folks like to brag about is the fact that they have seen something that young folks can’t. Old folks have seen the past.

Etruscans measured time with a unit called the Saeculum. A Saeculum spanned from the time of a notable event until the last people who lived through that event were dead. This was the extent of first-hand memory. Only those people knew the way being there felt.

Past experience and being there for significant events supports old folks’ claim to gravitas and authority. But these experiences don’t guarantee wisdom. The examination of results can lead to an assessment of the quality of past decisions made. This is a crucial part of future decision making. Were the decisions of the past wise?

Young folks are going to see something old folks can’t. They’re going to see the future. In just a short time, now will be a long time ago. Young folks are going to be the best judge of the wisdom of the decisions being made today. They’re going to be living with the results.

The future isn’t looking too good. We’re planning on spending more money on patio furniture downtown than the sewer system, while the sewer system spews sewage into the sea. The ethos of environmentalism, that was espoused by the Boomer generation, has been submerged in a sea of consumerism generated microplastics. The list of unsolved problems is too long for this column.

The past and the future meet in the present. This present should include young people being appointed to upcoming vacancies on the Recreation Committee, Design Review Board, Parking Traffic and Circulation Committee, Heritage Committee, Environmental Sustainability Committee and View Restoration Committee. These committees and boards are important parts of the process called democracy. These bodies really need to include the voices of all.

The appointed members of these bodies form the farm team for selecting future City Council candidates. This has been the case often before. Performance in a board or committee capacity can be clear indicators of a person’s character and abilities. Past commissioners and board members have run for Council. Some won, while others lost.

The City Council should adopt the appointment practice of each Council member selecting their own member to the boards and committees, on an individual basis. That way folks would be able to decipher both who the idiots are and who’s responsible for putting them there.

This process of encouraging young applicants and transparent appointee accountability could begin with the upcoming February appointments.

J.J. Gasparotti moved to Laguna Beach with his family when he was 11 years old. He has loved it ever since.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I often wonder when reading the various columns and letter to the editor, if the writers ever took a moment to actually read and think aout what they are saying.

    Mr. Gasparotti, the idea of appointing younger people to vital city committees surely make sense, with the off possibility that they may become the Council leaders of the future. Problem is, they may not have the experience necessary to be of real value to the Committee, and we’ve all lived over the last few decades of the negative impacts of that very problem.

    And to believe that their is somehow a glut of young people out there in Laguna Beach, which have already served on a Board of Directors or City Committee, from which to farm from, seems niave at best. Perhaps there’s a disfunctional HOA out there with a20 or 30 year old member, but would we really want the kind of experience in the nonsense so many HOA’s are about, only to mirror what we already have on our City Councils of past and present?

    Many of us have witnessed some of the most qualified, most experienced individuals in our beloved City apply for City committees, only to find out that they were not selected because a Councilman/woman promoted a friend or friend of a friend with little to no experience in the committee’s area of focus.

    So yes, you had me up until you promoted having Council dimwits appointing more dimwits to these vital city committees.

    Makes sense to me… NOT!

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