Our Friend Joe Sipowicz has added a great insight to a recent post on Dick Jones and Redevelopment about the way staff placates city councilpersons who ask questions. We’ll just let Joe say it in his own words:
“Staff also has another trick that may have been part of this little play, especially if it wasn’t rehearsed after all. That is answering the question that nobody has asked. In this tactic the question that was asked is dodged through answering some other question. The answer given is true, but non-responsive. It’s amazing how many people fall for this.
“BTW, this is also a tactic that our old friend Matthew Cunningham keeps using although it doesn’t appear to fool anyone in the blogosphere. It’s amazing how much more capable of critical thought bloggers are than city councilpersons!”
Joe, we know just what you mean. Former Planning staffer Joel Rosen is a master of this technique. You appear to be responsive and ever-so forthcoming, but in reality you give away nothing, and most of the time the councilperson is to too afraid of looking stupid to persist in getting a real answer. It’s like asking someone what time it is and having them tell you they live in a green house with red shutters in the 300 block of East Wilshire Avenue. It may be true, but it’s completely irrelevant!