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Some Insight
A friend with many years of experience in local politics sent an email offering the following wise words about the workings of our city government and the efforts of those who try to keep an eye on them:

"I know that things are discouraging on the local public scene.  I remember years ago that I noticed that when citizen watch dogs were successful, they were never given credit and praised.  Instead they were seen as annoying trouble-makers, and their contributions were either forgotten or credited to somebody else.  We saw this recently when we were insistent that the Council should be praised for dropping the conference center LOI.  Of course the Council didn't praise us for doggedly following the issue, and giving them the information they should have been seeking on their own.  We know they would be much happier if we just shut up and went away.  But there's something in us that won't let us do that.  In the end, we know that we help to shape the city.  It's not just the property of a few who consider themselves the rightful visionaries."