Friday, May 07, 2010

Peter DeCrescenzo, a neighbor and a professional photographer, brought his camera to Wednesday's sharply divided Hillsdale Neighborhood Association meeting.

The object of debate was a traffic island that is either:

a) an ugly, unsafe nuisance


b) a brilliant solution, which makes a complex, confusing intersection safe.

Peter's camera caught opponents and proponents in the throes of argument. His photos are portraits of dissention.

The opponents of the island saw their motion to have it removed defeated 27 to 18.

Before the final vote, your Red Electric correspondent introduced a motion that would have formed a four-person committee with two representatives from each side. Their charge was to come back in four months with a consensus recommendation. My idea, a page taken from Daniel Kemmis's "Community and the Politics of Place ," was to shift the energy in the room to constructive, conciliatory problem-solving.

But the attendees had packed the room to win or lose in a nose count. Not surprisingly, they rejected my efforts to unite opponents in consensus. The vote was 36 to 4.

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