Serendipitously, Maureen Dowd wrote an essay on niceness in the New York Times just days after the council's shared-mayor love-in meeting. Dowd's argument that there's a duty to be honest rather than nice in book reviews would seem to apply even more strongly to matters of public policy.
The road maintenance backlog is still underfunded and getting worse. The pension liabilities are still underfunded and growing. The council continues to take on additional debt with no discussion of how to service it. We haven't had any progress on the General Plan Update. The new council hasn't followed through on promises to enact a sunshine ordinance or to find ways to mitigate the density bonus. Public trust in the council is still badly damaged by the council's unambiguously dishonest ballot arguments against Proposition A. City contractors, under lax city oversight, continue to violate environmental regulations both with respect to protecting trees at construction projects and to preventing toxic waste runoff into the lagoon.
But the council members are nice to each other.
Somehow, we suspect the residents who voted for change in 2012 had more in mind than the council's interpersonal bickering.
All quarrels are not petty. Sometimes quarrels are about big things, and it’s an actual privilege to take a side in them.