Monday, Monday

solar tube 0720
With nothing to illustrate today’s ramblings, here is what my camera saw when I stuffed it up my solar tube in an attempt to diagnose why it isn’t shining light on my bathroom. This didn’t help, by the way.

Yes, you’re right: it’s not Monday, it’s Tuesday. I meant this to “air” yesterday, but somehow my intentions are never well-matched by my efforts on Mondays. If I had posted yesterday, it might have been a discussion of how you probably ought not to look for posts on Mondays.

I feel like I’m going to stop short of an assurance that you won’t be hearing from me on Mondays, because you just never know, but it might be more of a regular thing, if it isn’t already, that I don’t put in a Monday appearance.

I can’t tell you why it’s harder to squeeze a post into a Monday morning than other days — and I’m wondering how far we’ll get today, because people, places, all that. But Mondays seem to be more of a challenge.

Maybe it’s because the news feels like it hits me harder — we go from soft over the weekend, although that wasn’t so much the case this past weekend, right into about three days’ worth of the hard stuff, and that seems a dreary way to start the week. But there are also lots of plants to water, and I never hit the ground running on Mondays . . . this is the long-winded way of saying, if you don’t hear from me at the first of the week, try not to hold it against me.

Today may be truncated because I have my 9 a.m. Zoom with the “all industry” business meeting hosted by the county. Last week the meeting lasted 12 minutes, which coincidentally was the number of participants, including official types, suggesting that perhaps the meeting’s time has come and gone.

I didn’t follow all the pieces, but there have been several shifts among meeting hosts, and we seem to shed participants with every iteration.

We started with the director of the Crested Butte chamber and the assistant director of the ICELab. The chamber director, Ashley, had planned to leave the valley in May, plans that fell through with the virus, but she had already given notice and had a replacement scheduled.

But even as she left the chamber she was still working on these meetings, and so was Darcie, the assistant director who suddenly was no longer affiliated with ICE (not the immigration entity; this is yet another in the very long road littered by economic development engines here in the county). She never said anything about it, and I noticed her former boss sitting quietly on the Zoom that week, perhaps to make sure she never said anything.

The official line was that the position of assistant director had been eliminated, but one week later ICE started advertising for a “manager.” There are endless changes of personnel and assorted semantics with this lab, and ownership of ICE gets batted around like a tetherball that’s not tethered very well. It mostly strikes me as a money pit, as so many economic development iterations are, but I’m sure someone somewhere thinks it’s worthwhile.

At any rate, there were Ashley and Darcie, both out of jobs but both still leading the industry sub-group meetings set up by the county to navigate covid. And then they suddenly vanished. The only explanation I saw came from Ashley, who took exception to something the CB News said about her and sent a short letter attesting to her dedication to area businesses and that she would still be helping but there was no money to keep paying her.

[Na Ki’o is helping write this like he hasn’t in a long time — typos are his responsibility.]

The county has created an “economic task force,” with many members coming from existing government staffs. They used to just be the “building department”; now the positions are all about economic development as well.

The City of Gunnison’s development director has taken charge of the last couple of meetings. I have yet to meet him in person, and he seems like a nice enough fellow, but I can tell you, he’s no Ashley when it comes to running a business meeting. He seemed eminently relieved last week when no one had any questions or input and the meeting could be ended so prematurely.

This week there might be more action, though — or at least objection.

On Friday the team in charge of public health had the chambers, municipalities and the county’s covid website disseminate two different letters to businesses. Both of them delineated the steps businesses are supposed to be taking to remain open and keep employees and customers safe. But one of them also says/threatens/warns that people — from Health and Human Services, law enforcement, and/or municipal workers — are going to come into our businesses and “grade” our efforts.

My most immediate and continuing thought on this is: are they really going to do ALL businesses, or just the easy pickings of two blocks of downtown Gunnison? I’m guessing no one is going to go anywhere near a grocery store despite a constant litany from any shopper I know of safe practices not being followed: maskless customers who go the wrong way down the aisles and crowd other shoppers.

I thought we were being careful at Pat’s, but if a grader were to come in this morning, we are going to get several “does not meet expectation” demerits.

I don’t really want a grader coming in, and I’m fairly bought in to most of the safety measures. I can only imagine how this plan is going over in other quarters, and I can’t see how this is going to endear public health to anyone.

Even as a consumer who isn’t consuming at a whole lot of places because of the obvious points of carelessness, I don’t feel this is a productive step forward. A better bet might be to have just sent out the letter that clearly specifies what businesses are supposed to be doing — like the bathroom cleaning logs we don’t have, the temperature checks we only implemented this week because we didn’t realize this was a requirement, the customer sanitizing station we set up without knowing it was mandatory — and give us some time to see if we implement the list before sending in the long arm of the law.

The question now is if businesses actually read the letter, the one which tells us we’re going to be visited and graded, and whether this is going to motivate owners to attend this morning’s Zoom.

I’ll be there, anyway, meetings junkie that I am, and I’m going to hope it’s more worth my while than last week’s. And I managed to fit an entire blog post in my morning, which is better than I manage on Mondays. That’s Tuesday for you.

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