Oct 14

Umumhum Speech

The pivotal meeting on the fate of the Cube on Mt. Umunhum is this Wednesday night. I hope you can attend!

During the Public Comment period before the Board votes, anyone wishing to address the Board may do so, probably for 2 minutes. I plan to make a short speech…as I’m sure many others will as well.

Several people have asked me what message I would recommend that other speakers give to the Board on Wednesday. I figured the best way to do that is to share the remarks I intend to present.

Here’s what I’m planning to say to the Mid-Pen Board on Wednesday, more or less.

I’d like to take a minute to walk through the decisions that I think you need to make tonight.

First and foremost, the Board needs to unambiguously take a position on the Cube. Assuming for the moment that money isn’t an issue … do you want to keep the Cube on Mt. Umunhum? Or do you want to tear it down? You need to vote separately to clearly answer this question tonight, separate from the other alternatives before you.

If you think your open space charter requires you to tear it down, then I urge you to reconsider whether Mid-Pen is the proper organization to control the summit of Umunhum. Vote instead to divest it to a group with a more appropriate mission than yours, who can appreciate it within their charter.

If you’re comfortable that the Cube fits into your charter, and if you WANT the Cube to remain on the mountaintop, then you can make all of this end tonight by voting for Option 3. I hope this is your choice.

If you WANT to keep the Cube, but want outside help in finding funding for it, then you have some work to do.

Options A or B as proposed by Staff won’t do it. They need a couple of additional actions.

1. The Board needs to be on the record as saying they WANT to keep the Cube.
2. The General Manager needs to be on the record as saying HE wants to keep the Cube.

Frankly nobody is going to spend 5 years trying to find funds for this project unless you are all publicly on board. If the Board and GM can’t – or won’t – do that, then Mid-Pen isn’t a viable PARTNER in that project.

In short, both the Board and Staff need to be invested in the Cube – personally as well as financially. Because it lacks any credible financial involvement, Option B is not a viable option.

If you’re willing to take those additional actions tonight – plus including any necessary repairs to prevent damage to the Cube itself in the first 5 years – then Option A might be a reasonable way forward. If that happens then I can envision a productive partnership between Mid-Pen and the other proponents of the Cube going forward, and would personally help with that effort.

…Sam Drake

1 comment

  1. Basim

    Nicely written, Sam. See you Wednesday night.

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