Monday, August 20, 2012

Countdown To CAOmageddon: Flaw #18 - No Beginning

The father of Geology, James Hutton, had an expression for describing "deep time." Speaking from his 18th century perspective, he said the earth had "No vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end." Today, thanks to the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem, we have a theoretical proof that the past is finite, and therefore, that the universe had to have had a beginning. We still have no proof that it will end (future infinite), but at least we have proof about a beginning.

Which brings us to today's question and answer.
Question:  How are our CAOs different from the universe?
Answer:  There is no proof that our CAOs ever had a beginning.
As alluded to in a previous post, our CAO review never had a beginning because it was never properly scoped, and we never had any public participation about the scoping. Scoping is supposed to have involved comparison of the existing CAOs to relevant plans (e.g. Land Use Element), laws, and regulations for the purpose of identifying "gaps" that need to be filled in. The "gaps" were to become the scope of the CAO update, and most importantly of all, we were supposed to have had public participation about the scope of the review. That never happened.

Instead, having come to the end of the process, the Council has had consultants and staff compare the new CAOs to the old CAOs. That's not the requirement, and that's the wrong comparison. By its nature, that is something that can only happen as a fait accompli.  You can't compare new to old CAOs until you have the "new" CAOs ready to go, can you? That's too late, and it fails to address the legal requirement for scoping, and the legal requirement to involve the public in scoping.

It's another major fail of our CAO process, which will probably be litigated. Because of the innumerable errors in process, procedure, and content, it may be that James Hutton was talking, not about the earth, but about our CAOs when he said, "No vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end."


  1. Check-mate. Where does the fundamental accountability for scoping lie, then? Hint: There were three of them.

  2. I disagree that the universe has been "proven" to have a beginning. It is possible that it has always existed in some form.

    Some day I hope to understand all of this.

    The CAO, however, I have no hope of ever being able to understand.

  3. So who was responsible for the CAO scoping? Was it the CAO "Not A Subcommittee" Working Group or whatever it was called? Lovel Pratt, Richard Fralick and Patty Miller plus assorted minions: Hale, Cain, Rose, Beliveau and, of course, Ecology--these were the folks who drove the where and why and how behind the scenes. Usually it was Hale calling the tune, but she was publicly chastised for "going rogue" with her own theories based on her own "science" qualifications when it got out to the public that the tidy public participation plan was a ruse to mollify the public and satisfy the courts.

  4. She was publicly chastised back then? A direct quote or anything in the record would be enlightening if you have it, and a lot of us think it is past time to get it all out there.

    Manager Rose was a very good book keeper, not so good with personnel, in fact, in my view, a complete disaster, so it would be of interest if Ms. Hale was seen early on as a conflicted staffer who should have been removed from the process she now has largely turned into a major expense and huge pain for all concerned.

    Still, Rose should get full credit for letting a minor punctuation update effort of a successful document to go completely off the rails.