Objectivity is a gift used seldom and applied sparingly.
By nature, our mind forms opinions quickly, and immediately it creates a moat of defenses around our opinion to support our position.
Human nature has an innate desire to be right. When the mind takes a position, it is important to our ego that the position is well protected with believable arguments.
The ego takes great pride in manufacturing arguments of support, even in the face of facts that dispute the arrived-at position.
When it becomes more important to be right than to be accurate, objectivity has been overruled by ego. No facts, regardless of importance, can change a mind that is made up.
The result is a closed mind.
In the selection of judges for any court, you can understand the importance of objectivity.
While the law provides specific guidelines for decisions, the law must be applied evenly to all, objectively.
Elected leaders like our City Council Members also have an inherent responsibility to maintain their objectivity. There are many issues impacting our City. The ultimate decision process and power to decide resides in our Council. The importance of impartiality is reflected in those decisions, or it’s not.
While law dictates guidelines for our elected leaders, Council decisions can be more fluid than in our courts. This creates an atmosphere of uncertainty.
One case in point is the recent withdrawal of a development application by John Moss, V.P. of Prometheus. This was a planned development at the former Moonlite Lanes. While the project was technically within the guidelines of the General Plan, had been vetted by the City Planning Department, and was ready for Council review, Moss pulled it.
The neighborhood response was immense and they considered the project to be out of place for the community. Now, this has happened before, and past Councils have approved prior projects in the face of resident opposition.
However, this project never made it to Council.
Moss did an admirable job in objectively describing the development process. His company complied with the letter of the law. They spent millions in preparation and planning to bring this project before the Council for approval. However, he became very aware his project faced enormous community opposition and in turn, the Council may not support it. This was the first time in 20 years he has pulled a project application.
There is a hostile element of thought in Santa Clara, that of recent, scorns development.
Objectivity has been replaced with bias and conflicting ideology.
It is not possible that all development is bad, ugly and unnecessary. Especially when the facts indicate otherwise.
Council members will soon be tested as to their objectivity on development applicants currently in process.