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Do not shoot the messenger

Robert Clear Berkeley
Tuesday August 14, 2001


I attended the Community Environmental Advisory Commission meeting where the toxins manager, Nabil Al-Hadithy, released the preliminary results of the Harrison Park air study. Nabil was criticized by one of the commissioners at the meeting for not releasing the preliminary report earlier.  

Now Doug Fielding (8/8/01) is criticizing him for releasing it at all.  

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. 

Nabil reported on the initial study results, and he also arranged a conference call with the report’s author so that commissioners could ask questions and make comments.  

Mr. Fielding was one of the major proponents of the Harrison field park so I can understand him being disappointed by the initial results, but the impulse to shoot the messenger is not a useful one.  

With regards to timing, Mr. Fielding does not seem to realize that this is a public safety issue. Analysis and response goes hand in hand with the measurements. Waiting, would make the study less useful, and if there is in fact a hazard, would be irresponsible. 

Mr. Fielding also attacked Nabil for the skate park debacle and general mismanagement. I have attended almost all the CEAC meetings for the last three years, and Mr. Fielding has not.  

Mr. Fielding shows no appreciation for the difficulties under which Nabil works. I have been consistently impressed by his responsiveness to commission and public requests.  

To the best of my knowledge he has performed his duties in a professional manner. I think the city of Berkeley is lucky to have him. 

Most of the more technical points Fielding raises were discussed at the last CEAC meeting. If he has anything more to add, I am sure Nabil and CEAC would be interesting in hearing it. 


Robert Clear