Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My six million dollar memo

I wish I always generated an economic return of $3 million per page.

The above is gross oversimplification and credit-hogging that should be shared.  The somewhat more accurate summary is that my Water District may go to the voters to request an extension of a property tax that will otherwise expire.  I've pushed on the contents of the tax in the past, like getting more money to deal with sea level rise along San Francisco Bay, and on Tuesday I tried to redirect and increase the funding for environmental programs.  I wrote a two-page memo to convince staff and especially the directors to make the changes.  I didn't get redirection, but I did get $6 million more for to help our streams, and that seems like a good outcome.

A longer version of this post, including the memo in all its glory is here at my Water District blog.  The main reason I'm writing here is just to comment on how useful it's been that I'm willing to make my arguments in writing.  Not many of my fellow directors seem to want to do that, but I think it's been essential in helping me change policies that I'm willing to put down on paper exactly what I think they should say.  I might not get that exact change, but I get something.

I taught an undergrad class some years back where I emphasized the importance of writing well, or at least writing adequately.  I'll stand by that claim.