Claremont Insider: A Quiet Town

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Quiet Town

Claremont, CA - Post-Election, Day 1:

We can only hope.

The results of Tuesday's city election continue to reverberate, at least in the Insider email account. The notes ran the gamut from the pensive:

DATE: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 3:00 PM
SUBJECT: And the winners are?
TO: Claremont Buzz

Dear Buzz,

I too would like to congratulate the winners of the March 3rd Claremont council elections. I wish and expect success for Corey Calaycay and Larry Schroeder. Mr. Schroeder, in particular, must be more vigilant to prove his commitment to rational and transparent governance devoid of the usual group-think mentality of the Claremont 400. I say this because I am wondering if his winning was a clear win for him, or the voters' mere rejection of Bridget Healy - the 400's candidate. Time will tell.

To the giddy:
DATE: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 9:33 AM
SUBJECT: Great news on the election results
TO: Claremont Buzz

Can we now get rid of the trolley!

To the gleeful:
DATE: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 10:04 AM
SUBJECT: heh heh heh
TO: Claremont Buzz

My schadenfreude is the size of Mount Baldy.

The Claremont Courier's Tony Krickl had election night coverage on his blog, including quotes from the two winners, Corey Calaycay and Larry Schroeder:
Calaycay was the top vote getter, earning 3,083 votes or 40.1 percent. "I feel like I've closed one chapter of my life and started a new one," Calaycay said, addressing his supporters at his campaign party.

Schroeder came in second with 2,767 votes or 36 percent. "It's still very surreal," Schroeder said at his home along side friends and supporters. "I want to thank the voters for giving me this opportunity to serve them. I promise I will do the best I can for Claremont."

And the Daily Bulletin's Will Bigham had a quote from Bridget Healy on the Bulletin's Inland Valley Elections blog:
When asked about her future plans, Healy said she will "re-engage" with her volunteer work. She said she will soon be traveling to New York City, a trip she received as a retirement gift from the city of Indio, where she also worked as an assistant city manager.

Asked if she will consider running for City Council in the future, Healy said, "I can't even think about that tonight."

She said some of her supporters had been encouraging her since the results came in to run in a future council race.

As hard as it to not rejoice in the schadenfreude, our own joy at reading of the Bridget Healy candidacy's spectacular flame-out is tempered by the thought that there was a time back in the mid-1970s when many of the people who formed the loose-knit social network we've come to call the Claremont 400 were themselves galvanized to political action in order to save Sycamore School from being closed. Those people instituted a successful school board recall, and they didn't look back, at least for three decades. At least until the Healy flop.

You'd hate to think that the town's been through a good deal of strife and political change only to have some other group arise to replace the one we've only just now managed to chop down to size. But, at the moment we shouldn't frighten ourselves into the false belief that just because Healy's campaign failed it necessarily means that some other group must step up take the 400's place.

For a while at least, we're probably going to be a lot more like other towns where groups coalesce around various interests and issues and then just as quickly disperse. We're guessing there won't be a single, monolithic group claiming to represent all points of view and controlling all of the decision-making. With luck, we'll experience much more real discourse and balance in the way things are run.

On the other hand, if we allow our pride to rise to the fore once again, we'll be back here in another 30 years. Or 10. Or 5. So kept it real, folks. Pride goeth before the fall, and all that. Or, as the nameless ronin could tell you, "A long life of eating gruel is best."