Claremont Insider: The Cart Before the Horse. Again.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Cart Before the Horse. Again.

We don't know that we've mentioned it explicitly, but there is a blog on our blogroll, left frame (under "Community Links"). It's "Life in Claremont" written by a Claremont woman, updated daily, and done with great honesty, grace, and humanity. We read it frequently and did so this morning. She unknowingly gives a parable of how things are done here in Claremont on the Inside.

She writes,

"Today while standing in the line at the public library, I happened to glance at the poster advertising fall events for Claremont: On the Same Page. Friends of the Claremont Library choose a book each year for people of our fair city to read and discuss. The library hosts various events, including a talk by the author (if possible)...

"Anyway, to my great surprise, I saw that one of the events would not only be a talk given by Michael Lamkin (the conductor of the Claremont Concert Orchestra in which I play), but that there would be two musicians performing, including me! The other musician is my cello friend, Lynn, so I had to call her to see if she knew about it. She did, but didn't know that it would be in print!...

Maybe it is just us, but we've been dwelling recently on this tendency in Claremont to get things done backwards--to decide things first and ask for approval later. It's just like a few months ago when the Claremont Community Foundation organized Judy Wright's Trolley Tour of Claremont, went ahead with printing the booklet, and only belatedly went to council to, uh, get approval to use the trolley bus. It's just a bit coincidental, at least from the most recent list posted, that Judy Wright is on the board of the Friends of the Library.

Or there is the whole matter of the recently-inaugurated Wednesday Family Festival which despite all it's hype slathering on the ol' "Uniqueness of Claremont" oil, looks to us to be Just Another Street Fair with the usual food booths, kettle corn, bouncing rooms, executive massage, and community organizations and businesses handing out pencils, pens, and refrigerator magnets. That one seemed pretty far down the road when it popped up at a council meeting in on February 24th, a scant two months before the event fully-formed, public input (like from the neighbors who put up with noise, traffic, street closures, and trash) neither required nor desired, for the perfunctory--and predictable--approval by that august body.

click to enlarge
Speaking of the Family Festival, we saw that there's already a request for expansion of hours, until 9 p.m., that will apparently come before council on next Tuesday. This based on the wildly successful attendance at one (1) staging of the event on April 29th. Does anyone remember the Trolley's performance numbers, with ridership dropping by half after the novelty wore off?

And, as an addition to the whole Street Fair Ambience, the same request also asks to use noise-belching and fume-spewing portable generators at the booths, from 5 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday. Only thing is, in keeping with the cart-before-the-horse theme of this post, and even though there has been no council approval of same, they already were using generators at the event last Wednesday, keeping the aforementioned bounce houses inflated.

Welcome to Claremont. Or, more appropriate to our little inverted town, Claremont to Welcome.