Claremont Insider: Tuesday Mail

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday Mail


One last 4th of July note, this time from a reader who seems to think Claremont Mayor Ellen Taylor is more a divider than a uniter:

Re: Ellen Taylor in the 4th of July Parade or The Cheese Stands (or rides in this case) Alone.

This year I had, for a change, a great view of the participants in the 60th Claremont 4th of July Parade. So with my up close and personal view of the parade, I was able to see the whites of the eyes, so to speak , of the parade participants. I expected to see the Claremont City Council in the usual flatbed truck on bales of hay, all five of them perched on high waving to the great unwashed in the crowd (hey, it was a hot day!). Instead., what I saw was Mayor Ellen Taylor in an old car all by herself (maybe after spending all day in the hot weather nobody wanted to sit by her) followed by Mayor Pro-Tem Corey Calaycay and Councilmember Linda Elderkin in another car, followed by Councilmembers Peter Yao and Sam Pedroza in yet another car (hey, aren't we supposed to be a sustainable city--what about 1 car or 2 Priuses?)

It occurred to me that this line-up was a perfect example of the way the Claremont City Council seems to operate these days---Ellen Taylor out in front of the pack, the Queen, waving to her subjects below and followed , at a respectful distance of course , by her loyal court. Calaycay and Elderkin together as they get along best with each other on the council, and last, and maybe least, Yao and Pedroza (remember that Yao nominated Pedroza not Calaycay for Mayor Pro-Tem) bringing up the rear. I wondered what the real reason for this line-up was and if there was a message here that I was missing . Ironically, the Claremont School Board members were all riding together on the flatbed truck on bales of hay ( a hand-me-down from the Council?).

Queen Ellen riding alone in her royal palanquin is a fitting image. All she needs is a throne. Come to think of it, she may already have one.....


And then there was this from a problem-solving reader who had an idea of what the city might do with their first choice for the new police station site. Recall that the land, currently owned by Corey Nursery, has the inconvenient problem of straddling the county line:
I was just thinking that development of the proposed CPD site could be accommodated if the city were to annex the portion of that site and the city yard site into the city and exchange that small portion of developed property south of the proposed station that is in Claremont and run the county line south on the east side of Monte Vista. Just a thought.


The Friends of the Claremont Library, a group that has done good works in the past (such as helping raise money for the local LA County library's magazine collection or working to get hours extended with the help of city money), is asking the Claremont City Council to give $50,000 to the library for works by Claremont authors (i.e., former Claremont Mayor and very amateur historian Judy Wright).

While such a city donation would certainly be useful in good times, a reader contacted us and wondered if such a collection shouldn't be created through a private fundraising effort. The money could then be used for more important things like library operations, or if they weren't needed, set aside in a city rainy day fund. The city is, after all, work hard to balance its budget as it is.

Our reader says:
Dear Insider,

On the July 8 City Council agenda, there is a request by Friends of Claremont Library for $50,000. They want the money so they can catalog books by Claremont authors. Should this money not be used for keeping the library open longer hours instead? And if they think the library is already open long enough, why can't the city council just put the money in the reserve account for a rainy day - especially with the looming State $15.2 billion deficit which could negatively affect city budgets? If this project is so important, why can't the Friends solicit donations from the community with the "convincing" argument that the community could not do without the very necessary and important project? Inquiring minds want to know.

The Friends used to be a really top-notch local group that didn't involve itself in the Claremont 400 social scene. In recent years, however, the Claremont 400 have taken over the group (can't they leave anything alone?). Consequently, we get harebrained ideas such as this latest bit, which is simply an extension of the Judy Wright-Claremont Heritage myth-making effort.

Get the city to spend $50,000 on this item, make a promise of $25,000 to the League of Women Voter's extremely flawed commemorative marsh proposal, $890,000 or so on the downtown trolley. You get the picture. Pretty soon you're talking about real money.