The maxim that "all politics is local" is truest at the local level. I applaud anyone with the guption to run for local office. They certainly don't do it for the pay, or the fame & glory. A council person needs a thick skin, a quick mind, and a clear vision. It helps if they can articulate their thoughts, speak persuasively and - conversely - know when to keep quiet. For those who chose to run in order to scratch a blooming ego, I offer my condolences...and my thanks, because they provide some of the best material for cartoons.
At about the same time as Petaluma is batting his metaphorical eyes at Google, Sonic - the local Internet/broadband wizards up in Santa Rosa - announced plans to install an "ultra-fast" network in Sebastopol. Perhaps, if Google spurns Petaluma, we can appeal to Sonic.
Don't be surprised if, the next time you dial 911, a lawyer answers. Among others responsible for the City's escallating legal bills, you can thank Bryant Moynihan and his wanton water rate rollback initiative.
I'm told that Councilwoman Renée brought her knitting to the meeting because she anticipated a rancorous discussion and needed the calming influence that knitting provides her. Moreover, that she is able to listen while knitting. In other words, she was multi-tasking. Personally, I think the task of managing a City confronting the enormous challenges that Petaluma faces deserves her undivided attention.
I really can't join the chorus of lament about 2009. My family's well, I live in a beautiful town in the best country in the world...that is when viewed by any standard other than the progressive backwards telescope. Still, like any ordeal, 2009 isn't a year I hope to repeat any time soon.
It was only a matter of time - in this case over five years - but the Dutra asphalt plant inquisition was bound to attact the attention of folks whose profession involves running around looking for issues to wade into. You know, our elected ambulance chasers. Only their case, the accident generally happens after they get involved. Whether or not the plant gets built, the air will always be thick with irony. The citizens of a town with perpetually crumbling roads reject a business on the grounds that it makes the very product their roads clearly lack. Supporters of a beloved tidal slough, that functions as a river only because the government regularly dredges it to support the ever-dwindling river commerce, reject additional river commerce.
Thanks to a couple of local businesses, this year's Veterans Day Parade was rescued from the knee-jerk disregard that so many local progressives have for all things military. In my opinion, these self-proclaimed "enlighted" folk seem to miss the point that celebrating veterans is not the same as condoning war. Veterans are men and women who sacrified years of their lives, and often a lot more, to serve their country, which means you and me. Full disclosure: I'm a vet, and, no, I'm not looking for any special gratitude. I enlisted 45 years ago looking for adventure, for an opportunity to see the world, and - if asked - to stand up for America. I got to do all of that, which for me is thanks enough for my service.
Could it be? After all the sturm und drang Petaluma will get its Target store after all. And the person responsible - the queen of no growth. Perhaps our fair city's withered tax base with the consequent cut backs in city services finally made an impression on Her Majesty. Or, perhaps she was reviewing her resume' in preparation for a run at County Supervisor and realized that Petaluma's fiscal collapse is on her watch. Who cares? I'm looking forward to not having to drive to Rohnert Park.