The underlying philosophy behind the foot dragging and / or outright objection to building the Rainier crossing and, for that matter expanding 101, was something like "if we expand the existing roads or build new ones, civilization will overwhelm our precious utopia." Translation: "It's mine. You can't have any." Fast-forward: [...]
Don’t you just love “Progressives?” Well, in Petaluma they actually do love Progressives, but I digress. Perhaps the most salient feature of a Progressive is his or her desire to tell everyone else how to live, without them actually having to do whatever they recommend. Occasionally, when they do walk the talk, they are shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, to discover that their theoretical mandates for social (ecological, political, economic) behavior come with real-world consequences. Witness the complaints by some progressives living in Petaluma’s much touted mixed-use neighborhoods about the noise created by...the mixed-use. One problem that Progressives have with prescribing behavior for others is that most progressives (as self-anointed intellectuals, philosophers, artists. spiritualists, healers, poets and freelance Internet marketing consultants) have only a glancing awareness with what it’s like to live in the real world of feeding a large family on a small paycheck, keeping a business in the black, building a structure, running a farm, or working two jobs while going to school to get a degree in something more practical than Post-Modern Feminist Environmental Philosophy. Or, for that matter, running an ice cream company.
Petaluma's self-annointed Progressives elected the mayor to represent their heartfelt goals and achieve their most profound purposes. In short (no pun intended), the mayor is the living embodiment of a Petaluma Progressive - abusing subordinates, aiding a trespasser who interferes with legally-mandated activities, claiming ownership of projects that have survived despite his determined opposition. On one hand, you can say that he's no worse than most politicians, e.g., people who do whatever they have to do to get their own way, which (in my view) perfectly characterizes our local brand of "Progressive."
The Regency Center (Target) is still being delayed after years of stalling, foot-dragging, and outright obfuscation on the part of the City abetted by a tiny (but vocal) cohort of NIMBY activists who cloak their selfishness in civic pride. Now the Deer Creek project (Lowes) is entering into that same ever-mutating cycle of abuse, e.g., the review and (dis)approval process. Why any business person would want to engage with a community that so-reviles commerce is beyond me. Maybe the City mothers and fathers could hire the Disney folks to run the City as an amusement park called NIMBYLAND. Think of the rides: The Road to Nowhere, Legal Limbo, The Incredible Expanding Fee...
City Manager John Brown is yelling from the rooftops that the City has about a year before fiscal Armageddon. Is anyone listening? Last year, Mayor Glass-Half-Full promised that, "Revenues will come," without actually saying from where. Since then, when he's not intimidating City staff, his "revenue-generating-efforts seem to have focused on stalling the Deercreek shopping center, now that that the Regency Center is has been delayed yet another year, if not longer.
You know, folks who are born in a town and lived there all their lives, or others who move to place because they appreciate it's qualities have a right to feel strongly about the future of their town and express these feelings strongly. No problem there. Of course, that group I just mentioned includes pretty much everyone in Petaluma, not just the "no-growth-ers" Oh, excuse me, the politically correct term for "build-nothing-that-we-don't-like-or-we'll-sue" is Smart Growth. The problem with the Smart/No Growth gang, is that they've forgotten their biology. In EVERY living organism, growth and change MUST happen. When an entity ceases to grow and adapt it starts to die. I don't want my town to die and I don't want to live in a town that's radically changed from the town I love. However, I'm willing to listen with an open mind, accept new ideas that can benefit others (not just me), abide by the rules I voted to approve, and not to sue when things don't go my way. That's what make me - and a lot of others in town - different from the so-called Progressive / Smart Growth gang.
I pity any developer, businessperson, or entrepreneur who wants to build anything in Sonoma County that is useful to anyone other than Martha Stewart or George Soros. The progressive bloc is so committed to advancing their pet fantasy of carbon-free, low-impact, sustainable perfection that the region that it risks turning into an members-only enclave for rich liberals who express their environmental piety with solar panels, electric cars, wind power, and GMO-free Sauvignon Blanc.
I attended the Candidates Forum last night and was awed by a spectacular display of populist demogogery worthy of the great Huey Long. This candidate laid claim to every good deed and positive action that has occurred in our fair city since before he was born. A repeat winner of the Janice Cader Thompson Award for repeatedly stonewalling development, he nonetheless claims be solely responsible an economic revival in P-town, the benefits of which (he promises) WILL come. A vote for this individual is evidence that the particular voter... A) has amnesia, B) lacks the basic cognitive skills required to participate in electoral politics, C) would really prefer to live in Venezuela.
It's fascinating the way that political movements hide their agendas under a smokescreen of euphemistic or outright fraudulent terminology. This is true of all shades of the political spectrum so spare me are outraged polemic about how I'm always teeing off on the Progressives, though they make it so hard not to.
Some folks just don't seem to be happy unless they can rain on someone else's parade. The El Rose and Oak Park neighborhoods seem to have a disproportionate share of these busybodies, spoilsports and sour grapes types. Unfortunately for those who just want to get on with their lives, these crankpots seem to have ample time and resources to inflict pain on anybody with the gaul to intrude in their proscribed zones of perfection.