Aurora Restoration Project Part 17
by Christopher Wilson - Published February 26, 2016
There have been many volunteers aboard the Aurora and some of them were great others not so much.
The council meeting was coming up soon. I had to go in front of this group to defend my lease and explain just what we had been doing on the City's property. I was of course nervous. I contacted Indy to see if he wanted to go and he said yes.
The meeting was set for early evening. We all went to the meeting. Indy, myself and members of my crew. We all sat near the front and the room. It seemed very cold in the council chambers that night. Not so much temperature wise but the people were certainly not on our side.
We just happened to be the final agenda. We all sat patient.
A member of the council then read off all of the concerns. He talked about the recent home burglary. He talked about the crew member being locked out and emergencies onboard. He further talked about pollution that was reported.
Earlier that day the local newspaper came out and we were on the front page. Timing couldn't have been worse. Of course the newspaper reporter didn't mention anything about the City Manager coming out immediately after the report of pollution. He just focused on the report that Rod had made and did everything in his power to make us look like criminals.
On the top of the list for the council was my posting ads on Craigslist. When the member of the council spoke of this concern he made it sound dirty. Like Craigslist was a new criminal website.
It was time for a response. Both myself and Indy had our hands raised. Indy was chosen first to speak. He stood up and walked to the podium and took off his hat.
He began apologizing for anything that went wrong during our stay. He told them that we would correct everything and make sure we didn't make more mistakes in the future. He held his hat with both hands and looked at the floor the entire time. Almost like he was asking for forgiveness from the council.
I was grinding my teeth.
One of the female council members asked him about the ads on Craigslist. Indy responded by saying, We will never post ads on Craigslist again and were very very sorry for the trouble this caused.
I had enough. I was not happy by his acting like a dog that had been beaten down. I stood up and walked to the podium and whispered to Indy to sit down. He continued to babble for a few more moments so I told him again to sit down. Finally he sat.
It was my turn to speak. I thought at first upon entering the council chambers that I would be nervous and trip up on my speech but not anymore, I had a new speech. I was on fire because of Indy's wimp approach that I didn't exactly agree with.
I stood at the podium. I had no interest in apologizing and I looked each council member in the eyes when I spoke. I started by saying that my project is separate from Indy's projects and only I will speak for the Aurora.
I was asked about the recent home burglary. The City Manager stepped in and said that this was an isolated incident. Almost like he was defending us a bit. I couldn't have been more happy about him speaking for us.
Rods incidents came up about pollution and I addressed that very sternly. I told them what this guy had done onboard and that he had been asked to leave prior and his time had ran out. This was him retaliating and making damaging claims in the presence of media.
Half of the newspaper article was completely false and proven to be false before it was even published. The council agreed that the local reporter was indeed a jackass who was trying to make a name for himself.
There is always an arrogant turd council member and she asked me about my Craigslist ad. I looked at her and told her with conviction that there was nothing wrong with posting on Craigslist and I would continue to do so in the future. I gave her some history behind Craigslist and made sure that she knew that I stood firmly on my decision.
I apologized for nothing. She felt it necessary to bring up the home theft again. I was on edge. Really someone elected this idiot woman? I thought to myself. I looked at her and told her that we decided to bring people in from your local community not mine. This thief belonged to your town not to us. I went much further into this speech to her. Let's just say after this she asked no further questions.
The council asked for a tour of the Aurora on the next morning to have a look for themselves what the situation was. I agreed. They wanted to do this early the next morning so that I had no time to prepare. This was very much on purpose.
The next morning early a few of the senior council members arrived at the dock with the City Manager. All with looks of concern still on there faces. I welcomed them and was ready for questions.
From the moment that they walked in the door I heard talk like wow, that's great, I can't believe it. and the one that touched me the most was , we should put this in town and make it an attraction and convention center.
Council opinion changed quickly. No longer was the council out to get me. They were on my side, or at least the ones that mattered were.
The current problems were over but don't worry there are much bigger problems coming soon....
At this time I had some friends in Santa Cruz that heard about the ship and decided to pitch in and help. This was great timing and all were very skilled. My friends acting as part of my crew would change things dramatically. Things started to move fast.
More to come....