Well, OK, maybe it isn't quite that bad. But then again, you don't have to go to all of them, and thank God neither do I. Next week there are City Council meetings three days in a row. And with the second two coming within about ten hours of each other, I think this must officially be considered some sort of a marathon. Kind of like the dance endurance contests in the movie "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" Except that maybe what is going on here is more painful.
It is an onerous burst of activity. Even Gene Goss must be wondering if this is what he went door to door for during the City Council election campaign last spring. Here is a screen shot from the City of Sierra Madre website (link), which might or might not be run out of the Library now. I'm not sure.
That seems like a lot, and I am afraid it could promote things like alcoholism in the community. Maybe somebody should ask Chief Giannone if he's noticed any uptick in public inebriation this week.
Personally, if I ruled the world I'd do it a far safer way. On Wednesday have the City Council walk in, do all the rituals and whatever else they need to do to establish the specialness of the event, then vote to approve the new General Plan. Just do it. It is complete anyway, so why not just finally stop the madness? You'd help spare the city a lot of McMansions that way as well.
Then I would hold a vote to skip the Friday meeting and take everyone bowling instead. It is a healthy sport that everyone enjoys, plus it's a good team builder as well. Especially if everyone is wearing cool team bowling shirts with a funny name. "The Fab Five" would be a good one. Or maybe the "Pin Pushers."
Besides, those Strategic Planning Retreats are little more than the City Manager and staff attempting to make a lot more of City Hall's importance here in town than is actually justified. Nothing they do is really that vital.
Honestly, I doubt it will make any difference whether that meeting happens or not. Besides, won't this "Strategic Planning Retreat" eventually become little more than a series of final items on City Council meeting agendas, the ones most likely to get cut in favor of extended conversations about far more germane topics like leaky antiquated sewers and new Police Department physical fitness regimens?
Yes, I do believe that is true.
But then again, should that happen none of it would be a process, right? And if you believe in the process, as some most fervently claim to do, then obviously this just wouldn't be government getting done correctly. And isn't the process how things like government (and cheese for that matter) gets made?
So next week's City Council meeting marathon is on. As Jane Fonda used to put it, "Feel the burn."
Finally, an election result we can all celebrate
This from the Pasadena Star News (link):
Election 2014: Proposition P failure leaves Los Angeles County parks funding in the lurch - Voters rejected a ballot measure that would’ve continued paying for park maintenance and capital projects throughout Los Angeles County, a decision that now leaves the future of such long-term funding murky.
Proposition P needed the high threshold of a two-thirds vote to pass but has so far only reached 62 percent, according to unofficial results released by the Los Angeles County Registrar on Wednesday.
The measure sought to set a flat tax on landowners in the county — a $23 assessment — to continue a revenue stream of $54 million annually for developing and keeping up trails, park maintenance, beach clean-up and park construction in low-income areas. It was the only countywide measure on the ballot.
The current tax that supported this was passed in 1992 and a supplementary one added in 1996 are set to expire next year and in 2018, respectively. Both were based on a weighted tax system that used a complicated formula tied to a location’s proximity to parks.
Parks and Recreation commissioner Russ Guiney said with the loss of revenue next year, the department would look at where to scale back on park maintenance covered by the expiring tax money.
I know, it is real painful and all. At least until you read this part:
He said no decisions had been made on where reductions would be taken and that officials may try and find money in the general reserve to keep funding at current levels. The department also has $134 million in the coffers from which it could draw to fill the $26 million hole created by the expiring 2015 tax.
Do you recall hearing anything about the parkies having $134 million dollars in the bank in the run up to this Prop P vote?
I don't. Maybe they just forgot to tell us.