Letters to the Editor: Nov. 24 – Dec. 21, 2017

Posted: November 24th, 2017 | Featured, Letters to the editor, Opinion | No Comments

The times they are a-changin’

The La Mesa City Council thinks that not getting caught in a lie is the same as telling the truth. To be fair, they don’t think that their paltering (lying by telling some version of the truth) is even dishonest. It is seen as “telling the people what they want to hear.”

Such is the case with their recent decision to change the first Tuesday of the monthly council meeting start time from 4 to 6 p.m.

Every half decade or so, the City Council takes a notion to change the start time of one or the other council meetings. It always does so under the pretext of maximizing “open and accessible government” for its residents. Poppycock! Past time changes have never been for the benefit of the public. They were changed then, as now, for the convenience of those on the dais. Either at the behest of our elected officials or city staffers.

When were past start times at 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. ever shown to be the best time for public meetings? And why the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month (except in August)? Where is their evidence? Does the city even keep track of attendance at council meetings? No, the city has no idea which is the best time, nor the best day, to hold council meetings — and it never has. It hasn’t even tried to find out.

Start times have always been changed for the convenience of those on the dais. In this instance, for three council members who are not self-employed, and who are still committed to a standard work schedule. These folks find a once-a-month adjustment to their busy schedules too onerous to bear. But they don’t want the public to know that is their only reason for making change.

Instead they pretend that this is a selfless act in the furtherance of civic engagement. They feel compelled to game the system, even when their win is guaranteed, and the end result so trivial. The motion to change the start time was passed (barely) but will have zero effect on civic participation. Those who are now able to attend at the new time will be exactly offset by those who once attended the earlier time.

But don’t worry, the most important result has been achieved. The City Council has managed to get its way once again. By hook or by crook.

— Joe Glidden, La Mesa

CAP is unnecessary

Re: “City’s draft climate plan is released” [Volume 7, Issue 7 or]

 If you’re interested in the La Mesa Climate Action Plan (CAP), you’ve probably seen the updated draft noted. While it proposes a draconian greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction to 2 MTCO2e/capita by 2035, it also points out that the city’s emissions in 2010 were 4.4 MTCO2e/capita (on page 26) and the Air Resources Board mandates 6 MTCO2e/capita by 2030. That’s implementing SB 32’s 40 percent GHG emissions mandate and is the only statute setting a numerical limit.

So the city already complies with the only applicable state requirement and the CAP is unnecessary. The CAP proposal also used a Schwarzenegger 80 percent GHG reduction mandate by 2050 executive order which the state Supreme Court ruled against a few months ago, so that’s no longer valid.

I’ve pointed this out to the city and they have promised a response but I’ve yet to receive it.

— John Suhr, La Mesa

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