One of the things I have really enjoyed about our Friday Morning Group is that it is not a very structured affair. People attend, or not, as the spirit moves them. There is no written agenda. It has just been a place where people could float ideas and get feedback from their peers.
That is not to say that nothing constructive has come out of the Friday Morning Group meetings. That is far, far from the truth. It has just sort of worked that individuals or small groups have taken ideas bounced around on Friday Morning and gone out and made something of them. You know who you are and what you have done.
The change started a couple of weeks ago. Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch and St. Petersburg City Council Member Leslie Curran joined us on the same day. Ken solicited our ideas for improving the community for artists. He got an ear load (or two). Fortunately for Ken, he couldn't stay long, he had a dentist appointment. But he did ask the Group to provide him something concrete that we would like to see happen.
This spawned a group of volunteers (a committee?) to do a little visioning to see what they might come up with in response to Ken's request. The response was a "concept paper" that included the Pinellas Prize as a major component. We talked a little about the Pinellas Prize last week ( http://localpoliticsisall.blogspot.com/2007/02/pinellas-prize.html ) . I don't have the position paper in front of me, and I don't want to do it an injustice by trying to paraphrase off the top of my weary head. Suffice it to say, it is an extremely intriguing idea.
Well, this past week, the Friday Morning Group subjected the "concept paper" to a more or less formal view. And the we did something really astounding - we took a vote! Those in attendance voted unanimously to support the "concept paper" and present it to Commissioner Welch. More than that, we agreed to go back to our various places in the world and try to get support for the provisions put forth in the "concept paper". Our hardy band of volunteers (our committee?) agreed to present the paper to Ken and to be available to him to respond to the questions he would surely have.
Now, I don't know about you, but all that sounds like we are getting awfully formal to me. It also sounds like progress.