This post is an attempt to point out how information gets skewed. It concerns a letter to the editor of the Coeur d'Alene Press this past Sunday from Bill McCrory and an answer to it in today's Press from LCDC director Tony Berns. It is neither pro or con Planning and Zoning nor LCDC. It is neither pro or con the authors.
It is an example of how the intent of one is interpreted by the other and the impression with which you are left. Let me make an assumption here. The subject of both letters is Brad Jordan, the vice chair of Planning and Zoning and a board member of the LCDC. The current chair of P&Z has recently been elected to city council. The assumption is that Mr. Jordan, as vice chair, is the heir apparent to the chair of P&Z.
Should this assumption be correct, Mr. McCrory brings to our attention the fact that Mr. Jordan's attendance record has been less than stellar over the past several years - on either commission. He cites from minutes from both P&Z and LCDC. Planning commission minutes show that from October 2005 to October 2007 Mr. Jordan missed 12 of 29 meetings; a 41% absentee rate. The LCDC minutes show he missed 12 of 30 meetings, a 40% absentee rate.
Suggested in this letter is that due to his high absenteeism and tardiness rate, he has not lived up to responsibilities he assumed by accepting the appointments and therefore has not served either commission as intended and may not be the best choice for either the positions he now holds nor an elevation to a higher one.
Mr. Bern's letter takes Mr. McCrory to task by "paraphrasing" the opening paragraph of his letter. It changed the entire meaning.
Had he quoted it, it would have read, "As responsible adults we are expected to regularly and consistently participate in organizations and activities for which we have volunteered. If we can't fulfill our commitment by regularly attending meetings and performing the duties required, we should resign so our position can be filled by someone who can. The value of our contribution is directly proportional to the amount of time we spend preparing for and attending meetings and participating in activities. If we are not preparing, if we're not attending, if we are not participating, we are not contributing."
The paraphrased text reads, and I quote, "...if volunteers of an organization are not prepared, if they do not attend meetings, if they are not participating in the organization, then they are not contributing to the community".
Mr. Berns implies that Mr. McCrory asserts Mr. Jordan is not contributing to the community. It could be read that Mr. McCrory was referring to lack of contribution due to the duel absentee records as a member, specifically, of both P&Z and LCDC.
Mr. Berns goes on to list a plethora of meetings Mr. Jordan has attended and activities in which he has participated though he verifies none of them. Mr. McCrory has verification of his claims, the minutes from the meetings.
If one has a job here and now one should be judged on doing that job, not what may have happened throughout ones life. That may be important on a resume; indeed it is. But the question here is job preformance; it applies to how well Mr. Jordon is doing in the jobs he now holds. Nothing more, nothing less. Not what he may or may not have done in the past.
Boiler plate versus statistical fact.
Two takes on a single issue. Actually, three. I guess I've put myself in the mix.