Met another Lurker…

It always comes as a bit of a surprise when I meet a Lurker in real life (IRL): “So, I’ve been meaning to ask, are you the one that writes the Easterday Construction Blog?” Why yes I am!

So few people actually comment, I generally assume I’m talking to myself. This was the second one in the last few months that said they ran across my blog and ended up going down the rabbit hole of Culver commentaries I’ve posted. So far, all of them have been complimentary of my insight and my writing. Since I’m often sitting here banging something out that I have bit my tongue about in some meeting… that’s positive! I think they even used the term “thoughtful analysis” too. That’s flattering and makes sense. That’s often why I don’t say it at the meeting, i.e. I’m more organized in writing and definitely able to put thoughts together better if I have time to let them simmer. For this reason, I don’t think I ever could be a successful politician. It’s not that I can’t think on my feet, it’s more that I have so many thoughts that pulling together a cogent response takes some time. Whatever comes out of my mouth, spur of the moment, probably isn’t the best answer and definitely isn’t properly fleshed out.

It was good to get some feedback and have a back and forth discussion on some things. Culver politics, Esmie, One Marshall County and, of course, The Dunes, where the main topics of conversation. I learned some things from another perspective and shared a few things that I know better than to put in writing! Ha!

Along with this Lurker/new friend, I was talking to some old friends and they were quizzing me about The Dunes. I was a little surprised about some of the misinformation they had. As a follow up, I sent them a couple of blog links. They obviously went down the rabbit hole as well, since they responded back that Culver should hire me for the Czar position. What’s funny about that is I would (and occasionally do) do that for free. But Culver often doesn’t use the resources it has. There are lots of talented and knowledgeable people in the Culver Community that are not residents. I served on the Culver Chamber of Commerce board for years and it was a joke that of the 10 board members at that time, only 3 of them could actually vote in a Town election. The same thing could be said for a large portion of the Chamber membership in those years. Yet we were people with a passion for moving Culver forward. (During that time, the Chamber spearheaded the Charrette, a new Comp Plan and spawned the Second Century Committee.)

Non-resident Culver talent has been called to participate in things like Culver Crossroads and the Comprehensive Plan Committee. These are great uses of that talent and knowledge, but most of those people that stepped up for those one-time committees, are just a phone call away when Culver is looking at the one-off projects too. The one-offs often have large impacts. Sometimes it seems we fall into the fallacy that you have to be located at least an hour away to be an expert. Culver has paid good money to out-of-town consultants, mostly with good results, but they rarely have the whole picture. They are called in for the one-off project without much understanding of how that project will weave into Culver’s tapestry of history, culture and goals for the future.

Winning an election is a form of a popularity contest. The ability to get elected doesn’t make you an expert in all the things you’ll need to make important decisions on as an elected official. But as a politician, you have shown a talent for rallying people. I would suggest that council members put that political talent to work and surround themselves with a cadre of people that fill the gaps in their expertise. If all the council members pooled their individual cadre of human capital resources, their individual advisory committees so to speak, there would be a standing taskforce of diverse talents that could be called on to help the council move Culver forward. But then, I’m mostly talking to myself…

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