|A resident not seen at public comment lately|
The three minute clock, which was just about the only thing our previous Mayor appeared to care about when people were sharing their concerns with the City Council, seems to have now fallen into disuse. Not to mention the three minute cutoff button that Joe Mosca enjoyed using when he was Mayor. Another complex individual who had an undue amount of complicated problems with the public's demands.
However, the truce we presently enjoy could end someday. Nothing lasts forever, you know. And it certainly doesn't exist everywhere in Southern California. As proof of that I have now received some pretty troubling information from our good friend George Edwardz.
George, who has the good fortune to reside in a city with politics as interesting as ours, had this for us. It appears that in La Habra Heights things have gotten so edgy for certain members of their City Council that they are attempting to remove all public comment from television rebroadcasts of their meetings.
All I can say is it's a good thing Nancy Walsh never thought of that one. Think of all the public comment that would have ended up on the cutting room floor had she gotten out the scissors. Outside of Gene Goss, and perhaps Paulie Goosebumps, there would have been nothing left.
George sent me the following Agenda Report, which deals with that City Council's efforts to censor and gag public comment in his town. Here is a portion of it.
I am not going to repost this entire agenda report here. A lot of it is pretty standard government-speak, and Lord knows we get plenty of that here. But what follows has got to be two of the most astonishing paragraphs I have ever read in a City Council Agenda Report. Anywhere. See if you don't agree.
Needless to say I am more than a little jealous. And I would never have suspected that public comment at a City Council meeting could drive down property values. You learn something new everyday. Is there a consultant we can hire to look into this? Maybe we can get a big fat C.A.R. grant?
However, there is a distinct possibility that a sinister motive is behind all of this. La Habra Heights exists in that portion of Los Angeles County known to have oil deposits. And certain petroleum companies are now jockeying to set up fracking operations there. Not exactly the kind of thing anyone would want to see in their backyard. Being a proud card carrying NIMBY myself, I can easily understand why people there might be upset about such a thing, and cussing out their slacker City Council because of it.
And honestly, where would do you find the water to do such a thing these days? Fracking is the ultimate water hog. Even modern families don't consume that much.
George forwarded me the following statement, which was issued by an organization called Heights Oil Watch. Or HOW. They have a pretty good blog, and you can access it here.
I think we can all figure out how this one goes. The oil companies want to dummy up the citizenry as much as possible, and the highly suspect City government in La Habra Heights is more than happy to assist them. After all, there is financial gain in this.
So which is worse for a small city? Having a frackable oil patch, or having a bunch of godforsaken McMansion developers lurking about?
I'll let you mull that one over.