Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Keep the Police, Can the Council
Monday afternoon my friend called me to say that a bunch of people were going to show up at the city council meeting that night to support the police and would I like to attend? My first reaction to her was that I could think of no bigger waste of time, since the fix was already in. When I first read the discussions (again) on the blogs about the police being replaced by the sheriff's, and read people's earnest reactions, I thought how niave it was for people not to realize that this administration has wanted to do this for awhile (for strictly political reasons) and now they have the economic situation to justify it. Just try to stop that rolling boulder.
I also assured my friend that I have a habit of jinxing things in Pomona: the tree I spoke out to save at the Historical Commission was promptly chopped down with the City's rubber stamp of approval; the historic block of Second Street I blogged against being torn down was knocked to smithereens -- and let's not rewrite history, the newspaper headlines were already doom and gloom about the economy, and there was ample reason to believe the condo complex would not be built anytime soon. Oh and then there's that crosswalk/stop sign I've been trying to get put in on the west side of the park so that I stop seeing cars flying down Palomares and almost-accidents involving children trying to cross into Lincoln Park.
Somewhere along the way I got very jaded. The three council meetings I attended didn't help much either. I walked away not only suspecting the City government here was dirty, but knowing it beyond a doubt.
My poor friend got an earfull just for asking me to come out to the meeting. She probably thought it was an excuse for me to sit on my butt at home and watch Dancing with the Stars. But of course, after Mr. Big went to bed, now that we have cable, I could not resist finding the city station (#29) and watching the meeting on TV for the first time ever. But when I first turned it on, the sound on the station was not working, which seemed as suspicious as a Pomona election if you ask me. Around 11:30 p.m. I tuned in again, this time I saw the face and heard the voice of Greg Estel, my air conditioning guy, talking in support of the police. And then there was Virginia Madrigal (also in support of the police), and a neighborhood guy named Casey, who called the city council "unimpressive" and "evil" in the sense of their not being creative (Amen, I loved him!) and Kendra who has worked the front desk at the Library for years, who questioned a city who could pit their police dept. against their library. And I found myself loving my wonderful city and the wonderful people in it and thinking that this issue would be different, that the fix wasn't in, and the right thing would prevail.
And then councilmen Steve Atchley started to talk. (And I was back to being jaded and fed up.)
P.S. But I was not alone, the cable station decided to switch to other programming just as Steve launched into his "I have 8 children" bit to justify his predictable- if-you-know-even-a-rudimentary-history-of-Pomona-politics position of being "for" the first phase study (which is, of course, code for supporting the whole darn thing.)
All I can say is in Pomona, sometimes it really hurts to give a damn.
Posted by me at 12:07 AM