We've reached another year marked by the sense that we're stuck in a rut. We can blame politicians, people with different political or religious beliefs, or Wall Street, but in truth we must heed the words of that timeless sage, Pogo, who famously said, "I have met the enemy and [...]
Yes, I know that in many parts of oh-so-Progressive Petaluma, the Christian practice of celebrating the birth of Jesus is politically incorrect, if not openly frowned upon. To which I say, Merry Christmas. As to whether a cultural construct such Santa will bring Petaluma solutions to it's perennial problems, I [...]
There are many great people who work for the City of Petaluma and labor mightily to serve its citizens. Unfortunately, there are others who seem to view Petaluma's inhabitants, aka the people who's taxes pay their salary, as the enemy to be foiled at every opportunity. Ellis Creek Water Project's new Master of the Universe appears to fall into that latter group.
After seven years of wooing Petaluma, Lowes threw in the towel. I guess the additional and unnecessary EIR's required by the city in the hopes of forestalling the blackmail, I mean frivolous litigation, threatened by the anti-growth gang finally wore Lowes down. So, who do you think is publicly chortling that Lowe's departure gives us "time to rethink the project?" The same bunch who will obstruct the next iteration of the project, and the one after that. And in the process, these self-righteous bullies continue to cost the city sorely needed tax revenues, and the citizens jobs.
Stop the presses. Petaluma leaps into the forefront of eco-piety. Great idea if you're a single person picking up the evening's dinner, but if you're a working mom who goes to the store once a week to feed three kids you'd better bring a whole bunch of cloth bags. BTW -the bags will have to be washed, mended and replaced when worn out. Good thing those working mom's have so much extra time and money to tend to someting that used to be free.
I've observed a feature common to local citizens oversight groups: a significant portion of the membership is there not to add value, offer creative input, or support the stated purpose of the group. These participants join the group just so they can veto whatever irks them or their cronies. I suggest renaming the Planning Comission to the Planning Omission.
Sonoma County's K-12 schools are struggling. Some are failing. The reasons include the declining birth rate, the changing demographics, the poor economy, or our dysfunctional state government. But I lay the fault squarely in the lap of the social visionaries - those high-minded folk who think that the rest of us are too stupid to run things and so they want to (oh so gently, mind you) take the tiller from our hands, so that the ship of state (county, city) is steered in the right direction. In the light of the struggling county schools, one outstanding example of social re-engineering run amok came to mind - S.M.A.R.T., which has already raised taxes and squandered tens of millions of dollars which could have been put to better use. Or, since the size and function of the still-proposed rail system seems to dwindle by the week - use, period. Oh heck, let's call it what it is - another Progressive Boondoggle. When the economy was booming, these sorts of hair-brained fantasies could slide through. I suppose a silver lining to the current economic storm clouds is that tight times make people re-think their economic priorities. I sure hope that people who don't have their heads in the clouds - or in the sand - will take another look at the "train to nowhere."
Despite all the foot-dragging, long-rolling, hand-wringing, buck-passing and frivolous litigation (to date, anyway), it looks as if Petaluma is one step closer to having it's own Target store. Despite the hysterical efforts of the anti-big-box, Keep Petaluma Egregious (erroneous, execrable...whatever) bunch, many who are forced to burn up fossil fuels and abrade their rubber tires driving out of town to shop at the nearest Target, may soon be able to stay in town and reduce their carbon footprint. And let's not forget that sales taxe revenue. Not that the city needs it, of course.
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."