Parks and Recreation Season 1 Episode 2 (04/16/09)
The park project was the main focus of this episode, as Leslie came up with a supposedly surefire plan of attack: plan a public forum and precede it by canvassing the neighboor. It was sort of good, in theory...
The day before the forum, Leslie gathers the crew and explains to them the idea behind the canvass: speak to as many people as possible and sell them on the park. Then, they will attend the meeting, voice their support and the project can begin! There was just one problem: Leslie.
Going around to houses alongside Anne, she was either awkward or downright rude. Even when a resident said he/she was behind the idea, Leslie continued to read from her thick binder of notes, not exactly a top sales trick. Then, there was the woman swinging her daughter in her backyard, who said she didn't like parks. Leslie's reply: That must mean you don't love your child.
Oops. This offended lady said she would now attend the forum the following night. But it wasn't exactly the sort of opinion Leslie was hoping to be expressed there.
Meanwhile, Tom was hilariously lining up contractors to attend the meeting, despite a lack of town approval for the project.
Let's go to the (disastrous) forum: Leslie's mom - who we met earlier in the episode, who lacks any confidence in her daughter and who is an important member of the school board - actually shows up. This just makes Leslie much more nervous. She barely gets a few words out at the forum when the aforementioned, insulted lady speaks out. She says she's against the park and certainly against it being built without an environmental study.
The crowd applauds. This is going badly. Leslie takes a break.
She's told by Ron backstage that, whatever she does, she MUST avoid a vote. Ron's boss, for reasons unknown, is actually supportive of the park and, as a result, he needs this meeting to go well. At the very least, there can't be a vote that shoots down the idea already.
So, what does Leslie do? She filibusters. Her own meeting. She kills time by explaining the history behind Pawnee, by reading a book and by having everyone in attendance speak at the microphone. Finally, 9 p.m. rolls around and she adjourns the forum without a vote.
Even though pretty much everyone at the forum was against the plan, and voiced his/her hatred for Leslie, our optimistic government employee considered it a success because, hey, it was democracy in action!