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.
It's a deadlock, alright. Miss P. calls for a compromise, but the business-averse Progressives are so convinced that they're in the right, they've become deaf (excuse, hearing challenged) to any disagreement. And why shouldn't they believe this? Liberal pundits have been writing since the mid-60's that any point of view other than theirs is ignorant, illegal or insane. Whatever else they may believe, the the "so-called" pro-development bloc understands that new construction can be taxed, as can completed buildings, sales, employment and other forms of commerce...and that commerce (not just taxes) are the life blood of communities.
Thanks the foot-dragging, log-rolling, perma-stall tactics so popular among local Progressives, and abetted by the City Mothers and Fathers, the long-awaited target store is not likely to open before fall 2012. The mayor's prediction that "Revenues will come," apparently didn't mean, "any time soon." I think it's safe to say that the proposed Deer Creek development will be held back by the same tactics. The result is that local folks will continue to drive north and south to spend their household budgets for food, clothes and other necessities...for the foreseeable future.
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.
To hear the so-called progressive faction tell it, their opposition on the board are a homogeneous group of shills for developers. Well, I know all three and I see a lot of difference between them, their experience with, and their goals for Petaluma. If there's any predictability among board members it's with the gang of three and their perpetual, unrepentant anti-business agenda. Oh yes, I can hear the voices. "The council approved Regency. See! They're not anti-business." Yah, yah...after (what) seven years of log rolling, stalling, repeated reports, and a fraudulent lawsuit. That's some record. So given their intransigence, I'm guessing the only candidate they'll consider for the seventh seat is a dyed-in-the wool NIMBY.
Gee. We were so hopeful too. Then came Monday night's City Council Meeting and the attempt to shoehorn Jason Davies into the still-vacant seventh Council seat by claiming their proposed action to be an expression of the will of the people. How charming for the Progressive bloc to claim to channel the "will of the people." As usual, they are high on their own gas.
Now that the sewer rate rollback has been put to rest for the second, and hopefully last, time, the malcontents who hang around (and populate parts of) City Hall will need another goomswoggle to waste our time and eat up precious city resources. I'm speaking of course of the inevitable special election that we'll need to fill the seventh City Council seat, once the two diametrically-opposed camps of council members have exhausted their invective and our patience with the bickering over who best to fill the "swing" seat.
Good luck to all those who won, whether I voted for you or not. Before the election you had supporters and you had opponents. Once you've won your opponents haven't changed much, but your supporters are another case entirely. If they don't get what they think you promised in about...a week...they'll start whining, back-biting, and nay-saying. Before you know it, you're former cheerleaders will be asking for your head.
Voters roundly approved the Rainier over-/under-(whatever)pass and it's still years away. Voters roundly rejected Measure K and now it's back as Measure U. I can understand why so many rational folks have given up on the electoral process. Unfortunately, that leaves the field open for the irrational folks to control the outcome of elections. Zombie witch doctor Bryant Moynihan, who loves to pander to the irrational fringe, has revived a measure thought dead just two years ago. It's purpose was to to "roll back" water and sewer rates just far enough to bankrupt Petaluma. Now, it's called Measure U and despite a fresh coat of undertakers makeup it's just as a foul. Don't be fooled. I would never call Mr Moynihan a liar. His numbers do it for me.
Councilwoman Renée referred to her comments about the international threat to Petaluma posed by a decommissioned WW2 gunboat as "pithy," and averred that they were made in reaction to a request she deemed irresponsible in light of the City's financial distress. Well, okay. Since the definition of "pithy" is: brief, forceful, and meaningful in expression; full of vigor, substance, or meaning, I guess we can surmise from her comment that Ms Renée is substantially, vigorously and meaningfully ignorant of both international relations and economic opportunities. At present, North Korea is a direct military threat to only South Korea. And since the gunboat is currently financially self-sustaining at it's Mare Island berth, one can only assume that it would pose little drain on River City's treasury and might even bring in some needed tourist dollars.