OK let’s do a drive by of observations pretending to be insights:
- I got an e-mail from Reader AT shortly after I posted my column last night.
I think this perfectly illustrates the dangerous future that the city could face:
I look forward to your continuing coverage of the 1919 People’s Ordinance and the proposal to initiate fees for trash collection.
I believe that the choice of fees or no fees is a false choice. There is another way that is equitable and progressive, but almost assuredly cannot spring forth from a political process. Here is my proposal:
1. I propose that the City repeal the Peoples Ordinance.
2. As a quid pro quo, the City should refund a portion of my tax payment equal to the amount that the City currently spends on my trash removal.
3. I will independently contract with a trash hauling service.
Do you see what’s happening with this? This is the future of residents’ relationship to their city government. If things aren’t fixed and balance isn’t restored to City Hall, residents are going to start banding together to cut off their own sector and make sure it’s protected and to hell with the rest of what the city provides.
Look what the hoteliers did: They passed their own little tax to pay for tourism marketing and whatever else it is they’re doing with many millions of dollars that logically could have gone to City Hall. Look at what Kevin Faulconer and Dona Frye did with the initiative to set aside money for parks and Mission Bay. Look at the dozens of business improvement districts and resident districts in the city.
If City Hall continues to lurch and flail toward total demise, people will work to protect what they care about in their community. They will form organizations that clean up their neighborhoods and provide security. They will pay for things they care about, like Balboa Park or the Zoo or trash cans in Little Italy.
And they will tell the city’s leaders that they’re done. And who suffers because of this? Not La Jolla. Not Point Loma, Scripps Ranch or Mission Hills. They’ll pass their levies to protect their neighborhoods and to clean them.
It will be the other sections of town that suffer. The groups that can’t afford to maintain their areas. They’ll turn to a city that has been abandoned.
Mark my words. You deal with this financial crisis and the economic downturn logically or residents are going to turn their backs on City Hall. And Jerry Sanders and the rest of the crew can be forever known as the people who were so inept at crafting a recovery plan that they let the complete decentralization of the city take place without even knowing it.
- A source pointed something out to me today that I hadn’t noticed. The U-T ran a point-counterpoint this weekend on whether the city should construct a new City Hall.
The yes-let’s-build-a-new-City-Hall op-ed was penned by Robert V. Lankford.
But an aide to Councilman Carl DeMaio wrote the no-let’s-not-build-one-at-least-not-yet piece.
Why wouldn’t DeMaio himself want to put his name on it?
- Dozens have RSVP’d for the economy forum. I’ve been alternately leaving off details in my announcements so one more time: April 23, 6 p.m., 2590 Truxton Road (Building 176). This is right across the street from the parking lot for Vons so there’s plenty of convenient parking and I just went to look at the room. It should be nice.
- One last point: A reader wondered why I was pushing so hard for Tony Young and Kevin Faulconer to answer the question about what they would do if the city employees really did give them everything they wanted as far as concessions on retiree health care and pension costs.
It’s simple really. The employees claim, with some credibility, that the city is a very comparatively low-taxed area and that it should tax its citizens more. Yet residents are rightly and justifiably fed up with the city’s frauds, waste and stories of overcompensation.
So if Young and Faulconer and the mayor and others were to promise the employees that they would pursue, say, a fee on trash collection if the employees get rid of this or that, then if the employees don’t get rid of this or that, it’s kind of on them. It would be a powerful play.
So without further ado, here’s my first and only attempt so far at being a true TV news guy. Not just a pundit but I got to write a script and try to read it (gotta learn how to do everything if I’m going to survive in this news revolution).