Monday, October 19, 2009

In the case of Veldeer v. Rogers, it comes down to attitude

It makes total sense that most of the people who weighed in on this question did so in private. Because in the case of the two Karens up for one seat on the city council, its all about personality.

Instead of responding to the post, most people found some other way to contact me that was less public. Most likely because it isn't very polite to say "well, that one is a jerk (Rogers) and the other doesn't know very much (Veldeer)." While people I like and respect didn't want to say that in public, its still worth knowing so you can decide who you're going to vote for.

Back to the original post quickly, Thad Curtz puts up a lot of good information (some rather inside baseball), but worth reading. Darkwaterkate and Chad360 also had illustrative reasons why they support Karen Veldeer as well, which both in a way speak to my broader point below.

So, here is the collected knowledge of the larger number of people who responded in private to me:
  • The knock on Karen Veldeer is that's she's very nice, but not so well versed in city government. But, people say, she'll learn on the job and make nice with other council members and citizens.
  • The knock on Karen Rogers it that she isn't very nice at all, and while she may be better versed on the issues, may not be willing to learn on the job or get along with people.
And, on the issues, they're about the same, so when it comes down to it, its about whether you want someone who doesn't know how to treat people (Rogers) to someone who may be a way more humble, but will work to fill her role on the council (Veldeer).

In my final analysis, I'd rather see where the nice person ends up than see where the not so nice person fits themselves. So, I'm voting for Karen Veldeer.


Anonymous said...

1) Either Karen is a BIG step down from Karen M, who put in countless hours per week (enough to make her resign) AND who had YEARS of policy/city government background info from serving on planning commission etc. Really wish Karen M could have stuck around.

2) Karen R can be off-putting; she is from the East Coast, and that in itself generally leads to being more blunt, direct. Here on the West Coast, blunt and direct is often interpreted as rude, stubborn, arrogant, confrontational. I believe that complicates the personality assessment significantly. (Hard to separate perceived rude/arrogant from genuine rude/arrogant on limited interactions). I am unsure myself how much is perception, how much genuine. But - she has significant background in environmental issues, public works, policy formation/rules and some in planning and government budgetary issues, garnered over many years. Could be a matter of wrong person/right time.

3) Unsure now (extremely serious budget issues, numerous hot topics) is the right time to go for the candidate who has a tremendous amount of catch-up work to understand areas of city budget/government. Ask a council member how long it really takes to 'get it' enough to thoughtfully contribute; ask Karen M how many hours per week she put in reading materials etc. even WITH her extensive background. Could be a matter of right person/wrong time.

Hard call. Either choice is not optimal.

Emmett said...

on #2, I always think that "oh, they're from the east coast, you're only interpreting it at being rude" is such a line of crap.

People from the east coast actually are just rude. That they're rude in groups and to each other, making it the common way of acting doesn't make it not rude.

See my original notes on this topic:

YLlama said...

I'm from the East Coast--New Jersey, mostly. And I'm not exactly in agreement with you, Emmett, about people from the East Coast being actually rude, as a rule. Nor am I on board with Anonymous's suggestion that people from the East Coast are only fake rude. The real takeaway is some people are rude, regardless of where they're from, and some people are not rude. And that Karen Rogers is rude.

Jim Anderson said...

Veldheer. That "h" is killing you, Emmett.

Emmett said...

@Lama: Yes, I probably generalize too much regarding the mythic east coast attitude. That said, I don't like using it as an excuse. Mean people are just mean, regardless of geography.

Elaine said...

Maybe it's just that I almost always give people the benefit of the doubt, but I've had a hunch for a while that Rogers is mostly just shy. Smart shy people can often come off as abrupt or even rude if they don't feel comfortable interacting with others.

Then again, I have no idea, having only just met her twice very briefly. As my blog post said, I'm pretty much in flip-a-coin territory. (Chad and I have had a few discussions; in general I'm just more indecisive.)