But let's face it, just because the people of this town might want such a medical facility is no guarantee they'll get it. The usual suspects could be doing all they can to keep this from happening. Why? Because they and their patrons would make a lot more money building stores and condos on the SNF site. Besides, if you're not throwing millions of dollars at a problem, they just don't seem to get it.
Look, isn't it at least a possibility that the guy who owns the Skilled Nursing Facility property believes that if he holds out long enough he'll finally get the City Council he wants? Which could enable him to build whatever it is he wanted to when he bought the place? And could two of our City Councilmen be encouraging him to think that this could happen in 2010? Certainly seems possible to me.
And is a solution now really in their interest? The urge to resort to political demagoguery here has got to be strong for them. Blame the Sierra Madre Boulevard blight on the people actually trying to do something about it, then praise those obstructing this economical and useful solution - namely themselves - as being the saviors. With high-density development being the solution, of course. Dirty politics? Naturally. But as anyone who lived through the Measure V election can tell you, that would be nothing new.
Just the way things are around here. We have some elected officials who work for the people of Sierra Madre, and then we have those who are little more than messenger boys for developers.
So look, maybe the problem here is that we're just being too nice about this. Perhaps we should roll up our sleeves and play a little hardball for a change.
So here is my modest proposal. If the current owner is refusing to do anything with the Skilled Nursing Facility property because he thinks he'll get a better deal after the next election, then he is for all intents and purposes contributing to a serious blight condition on Sierra Madre Boulevard. One that he is pretty much responsible for already. Blight, of course, being the term used to describe decrepit properties that need to be taken over so that the condition can be remedied.
So let's make this work for us. The Skilled Nursing Facility should be declared for what it really is, a blighted property. We have a redevelopment agency in town that could, if used properly, seize this property as blight under eminent domain. Property values are very low right now, and we could pick it up at a good price.
What do we do with it then? Well, with the current owner out of the way, and the obstructionists left to do little more than wonder what happened, I suspect we'll have no trouble finding a reputable medical concern willing to step in and bring to this community something we actually need. And when they do we should throw them a parade.