Well folks, the cranky Hobbit-In-Chief has lashed out again - this time at a city employee, which makes him a work-place harasser. He's apologized (after a fashion) saying that "he was scared." Scar-Y is more like it, as Ms Padrovan can attest. I mean, who likes being attacked by a ferocious Chihuahua. And remember, this is the man who was elected to lead our troubled city through difficult negotiations with the very same municipal employees that he publicly yelled at. Time for an anger management class, or perhaps a recall?
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.
Having lived in New York and Los Angeles, and spent time in places with famously congested traffic such as Tokyo, Paris, Bangkok and Manila, I find it difficult to get too exercised about the dangers to pedestrians in our fair burg. Still, nobody likes having his shoes polished by the tires on a Lexus with a preoccupied driver talking on her cell phone.
Fred Wiseman sputtered aloft from Petaluma on February 18th, 1911 only to land with a busted magneto after just 4 miles. The next day he flew a second leg landing just a mile short of his goal of the Santa Rosa fairgrounds. Since he carried authorized US Mail, his became the first official air mail flight. A full-size replica of Wiseman's plane resides in the US Postal Museum in DC. Our own delightful historical museum has a scaled down replica on display as well. There'll be a program about the historic flight at the Petaluma Airport on Saturday beginning at 11am. Weather permitting, there will be some sort of reenactment.
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.
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.
Word is that Governor Jerry wants to eliminate Municipal Redevelopment Agencies as part of his efforts to clean up California's fiscal disaster. I believe this is akin to shutting off the water while trying to put out a fire. Can this be anything but further evidence that most career politicians don't understand business, finance, or economics. I guess they have to learn the hard way. Though it seems that when politicians are learning, the lessons are hardest on us, and not them. Eventually, when The Great Recession is receding in our rear view mirror, I hope that we'll all be a little wiser, and just just a little older.
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.
...and if you go out to celebrate in any of River City's more notorious drinking establishments, keep your back to the wall and make sure that you have a clear path the door at all times. It's been quite a year and I thank many of you for your support. For the rest of you here are some useful definitions and tips for the New Year: Demagogue: generally an orator or political leader. Last time I checked, I'm neither. Marxist (ism) is not an epithet - at least not as I use the term. So, if you're offended when I describe local folks of the "progressive" ilk as Marxist, take the opportunity to compare their actions or pronouncements with some relevant historical examples. Male chauvinist: You're entitled to dislike and/or disagree with me, but if you're going to call me names, at least make them relevant to my actual behavior. And finally, look up the word "opinion." We all have them and the First Amendment guarantees all of us (including me) the right to express them. For those of you who feel that only the opinions of "right-thinking" folk deserve expression, look up another word, Fascism.