Claremont Insider: City Council Recap

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

City Council Recap

A brief note on last night's Claremont City Council meeting:

As we expected, Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Taylor was named Mayor during the council reorganization at the beginning of the meeting. Taylor's Girl Scout cookie escapade didn't stop Councilmember Corey Calaycay from nominating Taylor or the rest of the council from approving of the nomination. In Claremont, tradition still trumps bad behavior.

Some Girl Scouts did show up at the meeting and got to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, during public comment one of them politely addressed the council without mentioning the Taylor incident, thanked the council for supporting the Girl Scouts and presented each council member with a box of cookies.

During the council reorganization, there were some indications of tension between outgoing Mayor Peter Yao and Councilmember Calaycay. The mayor and mayor pro tem positions are traditionally rotated by seniority, so with Taylor becoming mayor, that left Calaycay in line for the mayor pro tem slot. However, when the time came, Linda Elderkin first nominated Calaycay for Mayor Pro Tem. Yao then nominated Sam Pedroza, who showed remarkable class by declining the nomination. Because there were no objections to Calaycay's nomination, he was approved without a vote. Yao never did give his rationale for wanting to bypass Calaycay.

So there you have it: Mayor Taylor and Mayor Pro Tem Calaycay.

For the time being, Taylor seemed chastened by the reaction to her cookie fit and was on her best behavior. Though she no doubt wanted to dust off the old red light timer for members of the public addressing the council, she ran the meeting without it. And, the meeting's Internet feed also continued without Taylor pulling the plug.

As to business, the downtown trolley lease was approved, Phase One of Padua Park was okayed for placing out to bid, the downtown salon restrictions were approved, tweaking the Land Use and Development Code was debated, and the council reviewed a proposal by the Uncommon Good charity and Claremont High School's Teen Green club to build a "green dome" facility at Cahuilla Park.

The Uncommon Good proposal, incidentally, was pushed by two Claremont insiders (small "i"): Claremont Auto Center owner Roger Hogan and J. "Not a Claremont Resident" Michael Fay.

We'll try to delve into some of these matters in more detail in coming days.