Tonight's City Council meeting was a delightful departure from those in past months. There were no hordes of angry speakers, minimal citizen outrage, and the whole thing wrapped up by about ten minutes after seven. The most entertaining part of the evening was hearing a girl named "Mary Jane" talk about the problem of drug use, causing my irony-meter to beep uncontrollably.
The evening began, though, with Councilmember Laurene Weste giving a rather nice spiel about Memorial Day. Several members of Council touched on yesterday's observation and events in the City that honored those who died in service.
Then it was time to hear about a program called STAR that teaches 6th graders about drugs, violence, crime and all the other things that make life worth living. Some of the top students were invited to talk about "What the STAR Program means to me." What the speeches lacked in eloquence and clarity they made up for in wisdom. One girl, for example, said guns were bad because “In a public place, one simple act from a gun can create chaos.” We also learned that one can also say no to drugs with the handy excuse "I have to go make my bed" or by "pretend[ing] like you didn't hear them."
After Mary Jane and the others concluded, we had a very brief public participation section followed immediately by City and Newhall Redevelopment business. Nary a speaker showed up to say anything about the resolution to spend about $1.2M to acquire a property on Spruce Street. The space will be used for retail/offices with a side of library. The resolution was adopted, meaning that the City will buy out and serve as temporary landlord to current business owners on the property, all of whom will have to relocate.
Other notable business this evening was an appeal for public support of Representative Buck McKeon's CEMEX bill--I'll be posting more about this later. Mike Murphy discussed a trip to D.C. to work on getting the bill passed and the CEMEX issue resolved once and for all (theoretically).
Before the meeting closed, though, Mayor Bob Kellar suggested a "Team Building Day" for the City Council members. I will pay good money for a photo of Ferry and Weste climbing a rope course together or McLean walking through a forest blind-folded, guided only by the spoken directions of Laurie Ender. I know, that's probably not the kind of team-building activities they're talking about, but allow a blogger his fantasy.