Vogon poet Marc Vandenplas

24 Sep

I have to say something about new airport Commissioner Marc Vandenplas. If you read “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” you already get it.

This man was recently appointed to fill a position left vacant when another commissioner ran away screaming. Just kidding – but I know, I couldn’t sit through those vapid, ridiculous airport commission meetings, where anybody who brought up anything truly important was drowned  out by a chorus of snores.

This Vandenplas guy is going to do well – he has the gift of gab. In fact, this man is a human cobra – he can hypnotize an audience just by talking. Nobody can understand his yadda, or figure out where it is going, so they all just sit by politely, going into a stupor.

I don’t have time to recount what he said at the meeting last night, but reading the ER this morning, I found a comment he’d made on one of Dave Little’s clueless editorials regarding the “bum” problem:

Spending a great deal of my time between Chico and San Francisco, I observe that “bums” do leave a mess, while “the mentally ill” also leave a mess. The use of quotes are not meant to be scary – rather to aid delineation; it’s difficult to tell the bums from the ill and each require different responses. The most immediate response is enforcement: move the bums along and out and the mentally ill into treatment. Unfortunately, we don’t have treatments available to the ill and we can’t readily distinguish the bums.

In San Francisco where I maintain an apartment, both the presence and consequences of bums and the ill are chronic and acute. And Chico is certainly getting trashed. However, the Jesus Center is but an upstream tributary contributor to our city’s problem. You can’t close the Jesus Center because it feeds more people than the bums and it’s not in our better nature to have people go hungry; it ain’t decent, if you will.

Toward a solution, I’ve found that engaging bums / ill on the street (to wit, “what kind of a man begs?” and so forth) is a particularly effective approach. Citizens should take up greater responsibility for the solution. Our lax society has contributed greatly to the problem of the disenfranchisement of bums, and “the mentally ill’s” living dissipated and sometimes horrific lives.

What we do about the mentally ill, I don’t know. But the disenfranchisement of the bums and their de facto licenses to sleep in, and trash, our public places is, I put to you sincerely, partially a result of men not holding other men accountable. Good men – and that begs a question – need to challenge bums resolutely – but legally.

So, excuse me Marc, but you just babbled a blob and didn’t offer any specific solution. But David Little, who obviously  checks the comments on his editorials, just thinks the guy is a genius! Great. So now we won’t get any media opposition to what he’s proposing for the airport – spend money on studies and committees, vet, vet, vet!

 Who appointed this guy? 

NOTE: “this guy” has been posting abusive comments unrelated to the subject matter and will therefore be banned from commenting. 

18 Responses to “Vogon poet Marc Vandenplas”

  1. Michael Jones September 24, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    He’s saying us guys need to approach the (male) bums and tell them to be men and get a job. I think I’ll pass on that one, I want to hire someone else to do that. Besides if the men need to man-up, don’t the women need to women-up, too. I actually agree with the point, and that is that shame is an important to the social fabric. Probably, Juanita is pro-shaming too. For example, don’t we say, “Schwab has no shame” in a disapproving way. She (Ann) doesn’t, and she should.

    • mjvandenplas September 5, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

      Hiring people to do that for you is expensive. But I’m glad we agree the main point; I’m just more inclined to do it myself. It’s really a matter of honor, to me.

  2. bob September 24, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    Wow, eons ago I took a history class at CSU Chico and the instructor’s last name was Vandenplas. I think his first name was Jacque. About half way through the semester he bailed out and we got another instructor. I wonder if this guy is his son.

    • mjvandenplas September 5, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

      Yes. That was my father. He was in a terrible auto accident and lost his career.

  3. Juanita Sumner September 26, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    Mr. Vandenblab is a consummate blabocrat. He yaks and yaks around a problem, only proposing more yak. He asks more questions than he answers, just to keep the conversation and the paychecks rolling.

    what the airport needs, is a new manager. Instead of suggesting they move forward post haste in that direction, Vandenplas just kept saying the same things over and over – we need to identify the stakeholders, we need to identify this, we need to identify that…when I was a kid, they called that “The Hamlet Complex” – all talk and no action. That’s what bureaucrats do, it perpetuates the whole system, perpetuates the salaries and the pensions, and blabboblabboblabboblabblabblab.

    He’s a carpetbagger who has everything to gain by getting himself on city commissions. He doesn’t even live in Chico, he said he lives in San Francisco. Who appointed this carpetbagger?

    From his “Linked In” profile:

    Marc Vandenplas is passionate about assisting organizations in formulating and implementing their strategies and policies as value-optimizing sequences of decisions made under uncertainty. He employs tools to calculate expected values and risk curves that facilitate rational planning and approaches that will achieve the desired ends for project and change management.

    Marc has acted as a strategic adviser, program and project manager, and change management consultant for Fortune 100 companies in finance, banking, healthcare, energy and petroleum, technology, manufacturing and supply chain, and other sectors during his 25 year career. He has earned wide-spread respect for his methodologies and processes that help his clients meet their business challenges and is consequently viewed as their trusted adviser.

    Marc is committed to public service and founded a successful public radio station serving the northern California market, has served as an appointed advocate for children in the San Francisco juvenile justice system, and has been twice appointed a city commissioner – and now serves as Commissioner for a municipal airport.

    Marc resides in San Francisco where he enjoys sailing, cold-water scuba diving, participating in various conversation efforts, and the study of language and literature. He is a published author of economics, finance, and project management techniques, and is currently working on a book tentatively titled, “Strategy & Implementation: Reducing the Guesswork.”

    • mjvandenplas September 5, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

      I know what I’m talking about. Pity that some people resort to ad hominem arguments.

      • Juanita Sumner September 7, 2015 at 4:42 am #

        This isn’t an ad hominem argument – I’m complaining about your behavior in a public position, a public position that we all pay to support.

  4. mjvandenplas September 5, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    Actually, I never proposed studies and committees; quite the opposite. I proposed…oh, never mind.

    • Juanita Sumner September 7, 2015 at 5:21 am #

      Yes, you said the city needed to hire a consultant. They did. Here we still are, no dedicated management at the airport, airport fund in the red, businesses have moved away from the airport over the past year. And, city manager Orme finally admitted that there are many repairs needed, the airport has been badly neglected while blabbermouths sit in meetings running up $taff time.

  5. mjvandenplas September 5, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

    I’ve since resigned. I found the situation unworkable. If all of you want to have a real discussion with me, let me know.

    • Juanita Sumner September 7, 2015 at 4:46 am #

      Yes, I know you resigned – as of the last meeting I attended your seat is still vacant. The airport commission almost always has a vacant seat, it’s a stupid commission and should be done away with. A year since I wrote this post and the conversations in these meetings are markedly the same, with no results. 1) “protect commercial air service” has turned to “get it back”, 2) they’re still talking about charging for parking and other penny-anny ways of boosting revenues, and 3) they’re still talking about hiring a manager but have not done so

      The airport needs a regular manager who is trained in managing an airport and reports to council/the public every two weeks like other department heads.

      • Marc Vandenplas September 7, 2015 at 11:59 am #

        First, I appreciate this blog.

        Second, during my brief stint as a volunteer airport commissioner, in the first public meeting, I attempted to suggest that we need more transparency, not less, in addressing the airport’s fiscal woes. I suggested that, rather than simply assuming that air service and outside management were required, we actually think about the possible futures for the airport, given likely scenarios for Chico and it’s environs. I expressed my concern that the City would simply delay this process by hiring a manager and financing a study on air service feasibility. I said that I would participate, gladly, and chair the effort as needed. To my mind, given that the current state of the airport is not very unlike its past states i.e., empty lots, difficult transportation issues, a rapidly changing business climate, etc., this was a prudent course of action.

        I suggested understanding the stakeholders, pulling the financial records, forecasting some possible future-states – all to produce a better consensus as to where we are, what could be done, what can be expected, and what it would cost. This was not “blabber” as you have characterized it. Rather, it was a call to accomplish two important tasks: 1, to financially model the airport (much like a business), and 2, establish concrete measurable criteria for the retention of airport management.

        Neither of those were accomplished, although I did attempt to collect the airport’s financial records and current contracts, to no success. In fairness to the remaining city staff, there was no stonewalling – they just didn’t have the time to assemble the records for me; staff is very over-worked these days.

        Out of a pool of just one applicant, a management company was selected [Chico ER 3/3/15] – and the contract is, as expected, pretty loosely written, consisting of references to studies and fact-finding, and so forth. So, now we have a contract that is superficially loose with few, if any, real performance metrics – other than the Council’s renewal next year.

        Third, and lastly, I’m not surprised about the still-vacant seat. The Commission has no authority, seems to be purely an artifact of the City Charter, could probably be dissolved to no ill, and places those hearty enough (foolish enough?) to serve square in the sites of people who won’t themselves step forward into the public eye.


      • Juanita Sumner September 8, 2015 at 5:19 am #

        Well, that wasn’t the meeting I attended. But, since there are no minutes of the meetings, we don’t have your exact words, too bad.

        You’re talking about the consultant they hired. He’s vying for the manager job, but I haven’t seen a contract yet.

        I’ve been going to these meetings since before you took your temporary position, and this is the same broken record they’ve been stuck on for years. Yes, we can dump the airport commission without any ill, they have no authority, but they cost a lot of money. The staffer attached to their committee, and that’s all she does, is paid over $50,000/year, plus benefits and pension, just to administer to a committee that accomplishes nothing. Staff is not over worked, rather, their efforts are horribly misplaced. They work more at securing money for their own salaries and benefits through federal and state grants than they do to make the airport usable for the taxpayers.

        Who appointed you by the way?

      • mjvandenplas September 8, 2015 at 7:06 am #

        J, we cant be sure that you attended the meeting because there is no attendance record, too bad. If you in fact did attend, you didnt understand what i was saying. You voice general complaints, without specific suggestions. You might suggest detailed policy, or even sit on the Commission. It would take time and work to rehabilitate your standing in the community, but you could do it. /m

  6. Marc Vandenplas September 8, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    I didn’t attend the meeting when the vote was cast, so I don’t know the breakdown of who appointed me, but you must know – did you not attend that particular meeting? And, are you going to publish my reply suggesting you volunteer in order to bring your formidable intellect to bear on the City’s challenges? And will you please explain your understanding of Ad Hominem and how “blabboblabboblabboblabblabblab” (24 Sep, above) is addressing the substance and not the man?

    “Who appointed you by the way?”

    • Juanita Sumner September 9, 2015 at 4:26 am #

      Thanks for proving my point, Mr. Vandenblab.

      • mjvandenplas September 9, 2015 at 7:32 am #

        You are a moron.

      • Juanita Sumner September 9, 2015 at 9:06 am #

        Wow, now that’s an ad hominem attack dude, waaay!

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