First a wedding, then a new grand child and now I’m getting all political. No wonder I strive to be a lazy gardener – too much going on to spend enough time working in the garden. I have missed blogging more than I can say, so I thought I’d do a post about South Pasadena – a small town wannabe in a huge metropolitan area – and its upcoming elections.
South Pas, with a population of about 25,000, has a city council of five with a rotating mayor (yes, he/she stands on a small merry-go-round spinning round and round). Although I got involved in the Nature Park so that I could quietly pull weeds in a “remote” part of the city, it has led me on several occasions to spend long evenings in a room (city council chambers) with echoey accoustics, fluorescent lighting, and a heating/cooling system that leaves one freezing by the end of the night. Waiting to hear what the city was planning to do with the land adjacent to the Nature Park, or waiting for my turn to speak to the council for three short minutes – interrupted by blinking lights and beeps to make sure that I knew that I had only 60 seconds, no 30 seconds, left to speak – I learned much about our city and the people on the city council who oversee its operations.
There are five members of city council. Three are up for reelection: Rick Schneider, Mike Ten and David Sifuentes. Rick Schneider and Mike Ten are both running for re-election. There is a field of nine candidates for the three open positions.
Over the past five years I have known Rick from work he has done in and for the South Pasadena Nature Park. In spite of his busy schedule, holding a day job as a doctor and putting in many volunteer hours on city council (along with all of our city council members), he rarely misses a Saturday morning at the park. Furthermore, I know that he visits the park on other days as well to check to see how things are going, pull some weeds, and drag some amazing junk/treasures out of the deep recesses of the park.
|Way back in March of 2006 Rick spent Saturday morning pulling weeds in the Nature Park.|
During Rick’s first term in office I saw him in action many times while I waited for city council to address the items I was especially concerned with – usually related to the Nature Park and environmental issues. During those evenings I listened to his clear reasoning and sincere attempts to understand what was being considered so that he could make the best decisions for the city. He was not prone to grand standing, he only said what he needed to say to make sure he and other members of the council fully understood the matters at hand. His questions were insightful and to the point. He was able to clearly express his point of view, and I always found his positions to be extremely well-reasoned. This was true for agenda items related to infrastructure, cultural affairs, retail businesses, education, the 710 Freeway, and the myriad of other items the city council addresses – as well as the Nature Park.
|Rick’s specialty in the Park is hauling out trash from a particularly remote spot.|
|Rick shows concerned citizens the land that has remained unused for the past 50 years but may soon be added to the golf course driving range.|