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Commentary on Altadena Town Council Meeting

First of all, the election results were confirmed tonight [6/18/09]. I will take my seat at the next meeting. As a member of the audience, I sat through a three-hour long meeting in which public comment was not allowed until the very end. By the end, I was a wee bit perturbed. It was good to see myself as a member of the community. At the time the public comment was finally allowed, I had just a couple of minutes to voice my thoughts, or better yet, my complaints in regards to the way the meeting was being conducted. Here we go. Although the Election Chair, Bob Meyer, mistakenly stated the wrong census tract during the meeting, Census Tract 4602 was in fact number one in voter participation, and for that, I applaud each and every [member].
Once I took the floor, I asked the Altadena Town Council if they noticed all of the empty seats. I stated that the Town Council meetings would be much more interesting if they allowed and encouraged the community to participate. You cannot expect people to sit for three hours without even a word. I do understand that a few months ago, a melee broke out between the audience and the Town Council, shortly after which public comment was voted to occur at the end of a three hour long meeting. I stated that this is unfair. Further, I mentioned that the melee made the Town Council better and more accountable. This is important.

The Town Council had a better run election this year with no major hitches. The Town Council had a better election as a result of public comment just as I became a better candidate because of my opponent, Bill Westphal. We must encourage community participation and make it a priority, as long as it is respectfully presented.
The Community Development Commission of the County of Los Angeles and Ray Carlisle of NID Housing Counseling Agency spoke on behalf of the controversial Lincoln Crossing project. First, I was sitting there wondering, What are they talking about? To make a long story short, one developer (Dorn Platz) seems to be short on cash (not surprising), while the county has no money either (not surprising), or at least not enough for this project. Ray Carlisle stated that all we need is a new partner with money. In the meantime, there is a federal investigation. Other than that, apparently a new Bank of America opened today. The prices at Super King remain very affordable, and 24 Hour Fitness is as busy as ever. This is just one phase out of five.

Sheriff Captain Blow spoke in regards to recent burglaries and the shooting. Captain Blow stated that they will be increasing undercover surveillance, though he could not say how, when, or where, so as to not compromise the operation. As for the shooting, one gang member shot another opposing gang member in the buttocks. And they all went to jail. Wow! Captain Blow went on to passionately state that we must hold the parents responsible. I wanted to comment so badly, but I had to wait two more hours.

In addition to what Captain Blow proposed, having previously worked with gang members myself, I feel we need to take back our community. Parents are not at home because they are working 40+ hours a week and then driving in traffic for two hours to get home and are not even guaranteed retirement. We need to allow Americans to retire. Parents are a product of our modern society. We are moving too fast. Let's slow down and go back forty years or so, to 1968. Children need opportunities, jobs, a good education, and love from their communities. A coach here, a teacher there, a parent here - not just for money or gain, but because it's right. We need to remove violence from music, television, movies, and video games. Why not sell rubber bullets? Everything negative that we take away, we should replace with something positive. We need to take our community back to the core traditional values upon which America was built.

Reminder: Altadena Town Council Meetings occur every third Tuesday of the month at the Altadena Community Center (730 E. Altadena Drive). Meetings are open to the public and begin at 7PM.


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