Now considering the vast clots of very strange press that I have been on the receiving end of lately from the widely ignored free rags that litter the downtown streets of our fair City, you would think that at least some of this would get to the folks I have been visiting. And that perhaps some of the ugly and untrue things being said about me might work their way into at least a couple of conversations. But I have to tell you something, there hasn't been a single instance where any of that stuff has been brought up. Not one single time. And I've now been out walking 5 weekends in a row. I have often been greeted quite graciously, occasionally with enthusiasm, and the slow growth preservationist message that I'm offering is exactly what people want to hear. This has been a very gratifying experience, and I am now convinced that myself, along with those candidates I respect and support, are going to win.
While the Moscateers do have their supporters, there is very little general opposition presence out there. Even households displaying their signs have agreed with me about the important issues. It's like those candidates have no real message at all, so how can anyone agree with them? It appears that all they want to do is complain about me.
Not that this will come as a surprise, but Sierra Madre does not want high density development, nor does this town have a lot of love for those whose explanations on this important issue seem too clever, contrived, parsed, or complicated. They've heard that kind of talk before. Most want to know that you represent their side, the one that will keep Sierra Madre as it is. And once you've convinced them of that you have won their vote. After several weeks of visiting with people and exchanging views, I can only conclude that as far as my campaign for City Council goes, things are very much on course.
Another issue that comes up quite often is the sad state of the Skilled Nursing Facility. In a lot of ways this has become a source of anxiety for many who love this town, and they are concerned. But when I explain the new Blight Law this City just passed, and my role in its creation, they are happy. The concept that the SNF's owner is the true responsible party for this eyesore, and that the City isn't going to allow the miscreant to get away with it any more, is recognized as the realistic way to view this. Most are relieved to know they won't have to worry about that anymore.
The Eminent Domain Ballot Initiative seems to be confusing for many, and I'm wondering if maybe we should send out some sort of postcard breaking it all down. Everyone believes the taking of private property by government for the monetary benefit of private interests is an unspeakable evil, and all find the whole concept appalling. But the issue here is they want make a correct vote, and people ask if they should cast a 'yes' vote, or a 'no.' I think this could be in part a hangover from the massively funded disinformation campaign that was unleashed during the Measure V election. There are quite a few people in this town who were wrongly convinced that a 'no' vote was actually the preservationist vote, and that is what they did when they went to their polling station. Nobody wants to make that kind of mistake again, and they want to make certain they have that right.
And that is pretty much it. Alverno has come up a few times. Street paving is a concern in some neighborhoods, but almost nobody wants to incur the massive debt that would come with the multi-million dollar "live for today" bond Joe Mosca is pushing. A "take it as we go" approach seems to be favored. Surprisingly, at least for me, are the several mentions of The Stuart, that Transportation Oriented Development project down on Foothill Boulevard in Pasadena. Apparently for some that has become a symbol as well, in this case as the kind of thing people would hate seeing here in our town.
Now I was prepared to write about some of the weird stuff said in the current issue of the Mountain Views "News." The things claimed by its Publisher are not just bizarrely untrue, but are so laughably unbelievable that they are more of a confession of desperation on their author's part than anything else. There is just an unmistakable panic in all that. But do you know what? Having spent a beautiful weekend talking to people about our City government and what I hope to see in the very promising future of this town, I just don't feel like lowering myself into that kind of muck right now. Why bother? If they can't handle the kind of down home truth that was laid out at last Tuesday evening's City Council meeting, well, that is hardly my problem.
Besides, and as my far wiser wife likes to put it, sometimes you just have to let the crazy train go by.