Blog Archives

April 21 – 27, 2021

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Rail Including trail, City Manager Survey, Library Notes, Dave Stamey w Annie Lydon, Grandson Rental. GREENSITE…on public participation. KROHN…City Manager Hunt. STEINBRUNER…is taking a one week break. PATTON…”Hang On Sloopy !“. EAGAN… Deep Cover and Subconscious Comics. QUOTES…”May Day”

...

TEMPORARY GREYHOUND BUS STATION. November 25, 1964. The train station at Depot Park being used as our Greyhound Bus Station, while the “new” one was being built over on Front Street.
                                       

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

DATELINE April 19 

FRIENDS OF THE RAIL – INCLUDING TRAIL. The concept of a railroad train AND a trail alongside it, running all the way from Davenport to Monterey, seems like such a great addition to the Monterey Bay that any opposition – or doubts about the benefits – seem like nit-picking. Here’s what Friends of the Rail & Trail said… “For the last 20 years, Santa Cruz County has been working towards implementing clean, fast transit between Santa Cruz and Watsonville, serving all points in between.

On April 1st 2021, ignoring the recommendations of Caltrans, the Coastal Commission, the Santa Cruz City Council, the Watsonville City Council, and many years of work by transit planners including their own staff… The RTC failed to approve the next step!  

In study after study rail has been shown to be the best option to expand public transportation in Santa Cruz County because rail has the most funding, will provide the best experience and has the biggest impacts to improving equity and the environment. Investing in green equitable infrastructure is not controversial, it’s a necessity.  We all need to let our representatives know how much we value Rail plus Trail; go here…  fill it out asap.

THE POWERS THAT BE. Santa Cruz City will be getting a new city manager. More than any other position of authority, the City Managers’ influence has caused enormous problems. There’s now a survey issued by the city asking 3 questions about what we think are the most important issues and qualifications for the role. My guess is it’s just a publicity stunt so the powers can claim they listened to us. Go here, fill it out and we’ll see.

LIBRARY NOTES. Years have passed, and still our Santa Cruz Public Library’s future has loopholes. Here’s the latest report from DON’T BURY THE LIBRARY group …

“Our last update was back in October 2020, before City Council elections, before a new council was seated with a majority who approved abandoning the downtown library rather than using Measure S funds for a creative rejuvenation, before city staff hired a consultant to move forward with a 5 – 6 story structure that will cover a city block (Lot 4) and include a library on the first floor, before city staff began its consultant process to decide what to build on the site where the downtown library is, after its demolition (and burial in a landfill). Sounds grim, huh? We often despair, but we persist and hope you will too.

DBTL remains steadfastly committed to our original position, established over five years ago. That is, a restored, rejuvenated, modernized, renewed downtown library right where one has been for 107 years, saving all the best parts of the building and its contents. At the risk of sounding mean-spirited, we hope the city’s flawed plans for Lot 4 fall fatally flat and that they must return to restoration of the existing library before time runs out on the bond financing. 

Meanwhile, on a lighter note, work by several groups continues behind the scenes and out in public to force the city to do the right thing. For example, Downtown Commons Advocates continues its work to promote an alternative vision for Lot 4. That official Vision is:

We see a Downtown Commons that offers a much needed public space for the community in downtown Santa Cruz. It would offer a public gathering place, a location for cultural performances and art, and a permanent facility for the Downtown Farmers’ Market, the Antique Faire, and similar events. A Downtown Commons will enhance the enjoyment and well-being of residents, and attract visitors to a revitalized downtown business community“.

Survey for city manager. 

DAVE STAMEY and ANNIE LYDON May 8th. Western music fans probably know all about Dave Stamey, the guitarist. Here’s what a recent note from Sandy Lydon said…Dave Stamey is  a BIG DEAL in the Western Music biz – he has been the Western Music Association’s songwriter of the year many times, as well as winning album of the year, etc. Annie’s been singing with him for 25 years – and  harmonizes with him on his last dozen albums. They work together in recording studios, but it’s only now and then they work together live. Dave’s concert schedule takes him all over the country. When schedules permit, they sing together.  They’ve sung at Don Quixote’s, and Michael’s on Main – the last time was in Soquel in 2019, and in fact did two sell-out shows one evening at M on M. Their tickets are moving (COVID requires limited capacity). Dave’s in the Western Music Hall of Fame, along with Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, etc.”. Get tickets right now, because there aren’t many left. That’s Michael’s on Main Saturday, May 8th.

GRANDSON RENTAL. If you – or any of your friends – know of a nearby student rental possibility, please let me know at bratton@cruzio.com My grandson Henry will be attending UCSC, and wants to move here asap. He’s kind, brilliant, very tech savvy, and already loves Santa Cruz from many visits here over the years.

Be sure to tune in to my very newest movie streaming reviews live on KZSC 88.1 fm every Friday from about 8:10 – 8:30 am. on the Bushwhackers Breakfast Club program hosted by Dangerous Dan Orange.

THE STAND IN (NETFLIX SINGLE). Drew Barrymore, who wowed us at the age of six, is now 46 years old and hasn’t improved her acting or timing since then. She plays a double role of a famous comedian-stunt woman and a radiant younger blonde who copies and stands in for her in life.

THE NEW MUTANTS (HBO SERIES) a 35 on RT, based on the Marvel Comics X men series… and I wouldn’t give it a 3 or a 5. Anna Taylor-Joy from the chess movie doesn’t add anything to this science fiction failure. The mutants are being held in an empty hospital and there’s a partial American Indian plot. Stay away from it at all costs.

NIGHT IN PARADISE. (NETFLIX SINGLE). An almost definitive South Korean gangster movie. Two big-time politically empowered and related gangs have internal problems. It’s all killing, torture, extra blood, and one of the most tortured movies I’ve seen. Watch it if you think we need more violence in our lives.

STATELESS. (NETFLIX SERIES) Cate Blanchett plays along with Dominic West in this trio of plots that intertwine. There’s a cult drama, and a beautiful victim who goes to an immigration camp where she meets an even tempered guard. Together they get involved with a refugee father from Afghanistan who lost his family in an illegal boat trip deal.

THE NEVERS. (HBO SERIES). It takes place in London 1896, and is another HBO science Fiction series. The space ships are quaint, antique and fun for a few minutes. There are monster-size young girls and satanic violent scenes which are supposed to tell us about the future of the world…or something! I got lost in the imagery. Not worth it!

THE NIGHT CLERK. (NETFLIX SINGLE) A young man with Asberger’s syndrome works as a night clerk in a hotel. Like Psycho’s Anthony Perkins, he watches tenants way too closely. It’s a confusing plot, especially when a beautiful guest shows a mutual interest. Then there’s a murder and John Leguizamo shows up as a detective. It has a 36RT. 

THE YEAR EARTH CHANGED. (APPLE +TV) Sir Richard Attenborough narrates this 28 minute documentary. Stunning, almost miraculous photography illustrates what a positive affect the COVID one year shutdown has had on nature (especially land and sea animals) all over the world. Surprising new relationships between humans and animals have ensued, along with vastly improved communication between the animals. Be sure to see this.

 SPECIAL NOTE….Don’t forget that when you’re not too sure of a plot or need any info on a movie to go to Wikipedia. It lays out the straight/non hype story plus all the details you’ll need including which server (Netflix, Hulu, PBS) you can find it on. You can also go to Brattononline.com and punch in the movie title and read my take on the much more than 100 movies.  

THE FATHER.(Santa Cruz Cinema 9) Theatre 5. (Amazon Prime video, Apple tv)The powers that be should just give Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman their well deserved Oscars and skip the ceremony. Hopkins is a 83 year old going through all the issues that accompany dementia. Colman is his lenient and patient daughter who tries to keep him alive and operating. Rufus Sewell and a few other stars act as his maybe real visions of his life. It’s a sad tale, and you’ve ever known of or lived with this problem first hand you’ll cringe for at least two hours.  Its worth your time and patience, see this excellent and deep diving saga. It has six Oscar nominations, and a 98RT.

TWO DISTANT STRANGERS. (NETFLIX SINGLE) A young black man wakes up leaves his girlfriend’s apartment and gets shot by a New York Policeman….99 times! He’s probably dreaming it each time but the incidents change and remind us of George Floyd’s murder almost every time. It’s haunting, thought provoking and definitely worth your viewing and thinking. It’s nominated for best live action short film by the Academy. It’s only 29 minutes long!

SNABBA CASH. (NETFLIX SERIES) A vivacious young tech type woman has big plans for a startup. She needs big financing and goes to her crooked brother in law to get his involvement. The movie gets sexual, violent, deathly and complex and the series goes on and on. It’s a Swedish production and you’ve seen it all before.   

EXTERMINATE ALL THE BRUTES. (HBO SERIES). An absolutely brilliant documentary that details the true and devastating racial history of the United States and the rest of the world. It covers the racism behind MGM musicals, Donald Trump statements, sit-ins, Auschwitz, Selma, Dachau and more racial scenes of horror. Raoul Peck directed it and Josh Hartnett acts as the returning murderer of slaves and servants. It also pays deserving tribute to Howard Zinn and his history of USA prejudice, “A  People’s History of the United States. WE should do more than watch this one we should memorize it’s four episodes. 77RT

HEMINGWAY. (PBS VIDEO APP. SERIES) As The New Yorker stated this Ken Burns documentary is all about the man behind the legend. There’s largely unknown or little exposed facts about Earnest such as his bisexuality identification, his many wives and girlfriends, his repeated concussions from wars, drinking, boating and beyond. He had to deal with his inherited fear and wish to commit suicide, which he did at the age of 61. He worked and worried hard to write, it was no easy task. This documentary brings us the real Earnest Hemingway. If you haven’t read his best books watch it and make your choice now.

click here to continue (link expands, click again to collapse)

...
April 19

ON PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.
The public was treated to a rare event at the April 13th Santa Cruz city council meeting. Mayor Donna Meyers in her opening remarks admitted that: “it is clear we have not got this right” in reference to the Temporary Outdoor Living Ordinance (TOLO) and that the TOLO was “not viable any longer”.  She shared that she had asked staff not to comment but rather would go straight to public comment. If you follow city council meetings with any regularity you know that such silencing of staff is unprecedented. 

It’s the stuff of dreams. Take any issue of consequence and senior staff have unlimited time to present their agenda to commission and council while a member of the public has a minute or two to respond before the bell or buzzer cuts them off. Developers similarly have unlimited time to present and comment. To be fair, one hundred members of the public equates to 100 minutes of comment so numbers matter. However, it is rare for an issue to generate a critical mass of public participation and even rarer that a Mayor and council would be sufficiently swayed by the public to reject staff’s recommendation. More typically it’s just a few of us with our few minutes of steam trying to turn around the Titanic.  

It did help stir up public resentment that the TOLO contained conditions anathema to the residents and small businesses in the Seabright area. Hard to fathom how so many top, highly paid city staff failed to anticipate a visceral reaction to permitting camping in that area. Maybe they don’t worry about the public, leaving that role to council who with rare exceptions follow staff direction. Maybe it was the Mayor meeting in person with hundreds of Seabright homeowners and business owners and listening to them. Whatever the combination of factors, it was a moment to treasure to hear the Mayor say “we need to stop tonight” and to apologize and thank the public. Such clear, honest words stood out from the usual.

What a different city we would have if the public truly were involved before rather than after major projects have been massaged for weeks if not years behind staff closed doors. Of course staff will point to their focus groups, stakeholder meetings and outreach activities to showcase public participation but these are carefully orchestrated to achieve the desired agenda. Examples of public ignorance of staff projects abound: the Beach/South of Laurel Plan (B/SOL); the Wharf Master Plan; the Downtown (Recovery) Plan; the Library and most recently, the Downtown Extension Plan. It is fair to say that for each of these projects the public found out about the details after the projects were well on their way to the finishing line. 

The B/SOL Plan, adopted in 1998 initially took the public by surprise. The late Doug Rand spread the word and with others, organized a packed council hearing at the Civic Auditorium. The three most controversial elements of the Plan, a realignment of Third Street, an expansion of the Boardwalk plus a parking structure and quarter of a million square feet of commercial space on the main Beach parking lot were scrapped. Watch for future amendments to this Plan to justify extending downtown towards the beach.  

The Wharf Master Plan initiated by staff and paid for with a bogus federal tsunami relief grant was unknown to the community until I wrote a Sentinel op-ed on the issue. In just over two weeks, 2,600 signatures were gathered on a petition in protest over the makeover with scores leaving personal comments, largely ignored.

Only a handful of the public attended the many Planning Commission meetings in 2018 that re-wrote the post-earthquake Downtown Recovery Plan, changing the low-profile downtown zoning of 35 feet building heights to 80+ feet while keeping a straight face that this was in the spirit of the original Plan.  

The council decision to tear down the existing Main Library and rebuild under housing with an adjacent parking structure on the site of the current Farmers Market with its beautiful old magnolia trees has major community opposition with most feeling they were hoodwinked by a re-interpretation of Measure S funds. At one meeting I attended the Library Committee voted to approve the Plan and only then allowed public comment. 

The recent Plan to extend downtown towards the beach south of Laurel caught the public by surprise. Staff wrote that by omitting early public comment, they (staff) could save three months lead-time. Of course, they assure that the public can weigh in after the consultants present their findings. It is naïve to believe that input after the consultants have laid out a Plan holds much power to do more than nibble around the edges and debate paint color. To be sure, a massive outpouring of public sentiment can possibly achieve change or it can just as likely be ignored. What is needed is a revamping of how staff and council approach engaging the community.

One place to start is for staff to share their future project list with the public well before any pencils start drawing lines on paper.  You don’t need a fully developed project to say to the public, “we are exploring moving the Main Library, what do you think?” Or, “we believe it a good idea to extend downtown to the first roundabout to allow for 85 feet tall buildings, what do you think?” Or, “we are contemplating allowing camping in the Seabright area small industrial zones, what do you think?” It would achieve an initial sense of the public’s reaction and allow the public to know what might be coming down the pike. 

Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, a member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association  http://darksky.org    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

...

 April 19

CITY MANAGER HUNT
The city of Santa Cruz is looking for a new city manager. The current manager, Martin Bernal, was shown the door three different times, by three different city councils, but he is going out on his own timeline and maximizing his retirement largesse. He will likely receive in excess of $200,000 each year for the rest of his life. That’s a lot of tax dollars. I believe he is in his mid-fifties. He may even try to get a city manager job somewhere else and receive two monthly pay days. The story of how Martin Bernal was able to defy the council timeline, and that includes the intentions, of at least 10 elected city councilmembers, is a story in itself. It is a story perhaps whose moral is to question whether Surf City would be better served by a strong mayor and council, rather than an unelected strong bureaucrat who de facto, leads the government and knows how to get bureaucratic things done?

Traits of a New City Manager
But let’s move on. It is unlikely that the strong manager-weak council system will change any time soon, and it is not because it is a fair and just system presently, but rather one that is an opaque and byzantine one at best. We are a modern, politically sophisticated city and we’ve outgrown the strong city manager system. In their infinite wisdom, this same city bureaucracy has set up a survey essentially asking three questions concerning what the good people of Santa Cruz would like to see in their next city manager. A few people heavily engaged in local politics who I know, responded. I reprint their responses below, but not their names. The responses have been lightly edited.

City Manager Survey Questions

  1. What are the most important issues facing the community that you would like the new City Manager to impact?
  2. 2. What are the most important skills, qualities, and characteristics of a successful City Manager?
  3. 3. Is there anything else you would like the City to consider when selecting the new City Manager?

Take the survey

Respondent 1

  1. Interaction with the community, that includes the homeless community AND improvements suggested by the Grand Jury; will the new City Manager actually take direction from Council and not the other way around?
  2. He or she listens to the community and not just the ‘wingers’ who hate everyone. Institute a Kitchen Cabinet that meets 2 times a month composed of citizens & City Manager.
  3. No promotions from in house; all city public governing documents are to be printed in Spanish.

Respondent 2

  1. a) Build appropriate affordable housing construction without bulldozing the historic character of Santa Cruz! 
    b) Act on creating first one, and then several, KOA-style MANAGED campground small sites (50 – 100 people each, max), and using “Tiny Homes” to create civilized accommodations both emergency and transitional shelter. Where? Look at North East corner of Natural Bridges where most of the Monterey Pines have died off from Bark Beetles.  Also, look at the south side of Delaveaga Park next to the Armory, and an acre of Arana Gulch Park as temp sites. Several other sites are also possible.
  2. a) A successful candidate must understand our City Charter and our Council-Managerform of government. Our City Council creates and sets policy and the City Manager enacts it.   Definitely not the reverse!    
  3. b) The new City Manager must acknowledge this early, often, and LIVE IT in the job.   This manager must give strong, clear direction to department heads and not the opposite.
  4. c) GENUINE humility is an absolute perquisite!  
  5. d) A successful candidate must acknowledge and pledge to support the desire and right of residents to participate in virtually all City Government affairs. Any candidate who supports current throttling of public participation should be rejected.
  6. The successful candidate must arrive and want very much to live and work in Santa Cruz and be very fond of its historic character. Such a candidate will live the philosophy that community character and historic sense of place are paramount while catering to property speculators, outside investment, and developers is not on the top 10 list. 

Respondent 3

I feel uncomfortable with the idea that the city is looking for a city manager based on issues. I mean, there are plenty of important issues, which I think the city should take on, but I don’t think the city manager should do that. We shouldn’t be hiring a city manager based on anything involving policy. She or he should not be making policy. The people who are elected should be making policy. The manager’s job is to manage staff and make sure they are doing the will of the people, as expressed by those they elected.

Respondent 4

  1. Housing affordability and long term solutions for unhoused residents. Funding/converting permanently affordable units for extremely, very and low income people.  Enacting government policy that ensures low income workers (i.e. almost everyone not in tech) can pay affordable rent to live where they work. Transformative solutions to transportation including expanding and accelerating carbon neutral rail options across the county and significant increased investment in expanded carbon neutral options within the city including improving bike lane safety to encourage use of carbon neutral alternatives to cars. Ensuring Santa Cruz retains and expands an economically diverse population. 
  2. Having a focus on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion that has proven to be a central element in their past work. Proven ability to think outside of the box and ability to implement and fund solutions to complex challenges. Ability to look for models across the US and globally that can be adjusted and implemented in Santa Cruz. Comprehensive understanding of the state and federal funding landscape and how to access those funds to advance community priorities. 
  3. Specifically asking questions about what they see the role of a city manager is in relation to the City Council and the community members of Santa Cruz. Ask city manager candidates to provide examples from their past work that demonstrates them putting that role as they define it into action. 

Respondent 5

  1. a) Construction of appropriate, 100% affordable housing, consistent with the historic character of Santa Cruz. If the City Manager and Council insist, developers will figure out a way to build what we need.
    b) Until enough permanent housing is built to accommodate the un-housed members of our community, create sufficient safe parking, managed campgrounds, and tiny home sites to provide them stable housing.  This is the best way such residents will have a chance of breaking the cycle of disengagement with the community.
  2. a) Compassion for all residents of the city; the next city manager should not harbor any undue affinity for landlords, developer and speculators.
    b) Respect residents of the city and genuinely seek public input on governmental matters.
    c) Know their place as an employee of the residents and Council.
  3. The City Manager must love this city, be or become a resident of the city, and fully participate in its cultural life.

Respondent 6

  1. Planning and Public works should not be permitting and working hand-in-glove with developers who are building housing at $650k to $1 million, but rather ONLY work with affordable housing providers who commit to building housing for those who live here now. In other words, the next city manager ought to oversee a moratorium on for-profit housing. 2) should have demonstrated success with houseless population in a previous city manager job, 3) a plan on how to get our downtown businesses back, and 4) a plan on getting back in-person city council and commission meetings asap, like by June 15th as governor stated when California would be fully open for business, and 5) a plan on scaling back the police budget and using 30% of police budget for mental health, substance abuse counseling, and a Eugene, OR. Cahoots style program that is separate from police dept.
  2. Knowing the community and then knowing how to hire the right dept. heads, and then knowing how to delegate work. You can’t do it all, but you have to manage it all. I would expect city manager to a) be a good listener, b) walk the streets and be seen, c) report to council all meetings attended, d) not to meet with more than 3 councilmembers before a council meeting so as not to violate the Brown Act, e) be willing to admit a mistake when a mistake was made.
  3. He, she, they, should live in Santa Cruz, expect to make no more than $200k per year (rent if they cannot afford a house), have an open office hour every week for community members to sign up and meet him, her they, have a demonstrated past/experience of working with communities of color and demonstrated skills as a mediator…He, she, they needs to possess the ability to bring people together around an issue, and the next city manager should be in love with Santa Cruz and be a cheerleader for our civic, political, and moral values.

Take the survey

“Today, we’re reintroducing the Green New Deal for Public Housing because — with millions on the brink of eviction, millions under/unemployed, and with a coming climate crisis — investing in our housing infrastructure has never been more important.” (April 19)


Just dropping my California delegate ballot into the Post box…#1 task for state party democrats is to reform the party from within…that means a vote for Delaine Eastin for CA Party Chair! State convention takes place on Zoom from April 29 to May 2.
...
(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 16 years. Krohn was elected to the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. That term ended when the development empire struck back with luxury condo developer money combined with the real estate industry’s largesse. They paid to recall Krohn and Drew Glover from the Santa Cruz city council in 2019.

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

...
April 19. 

Becky’s on a break and doing some legal research, she’ll be back next week.

Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes. She ran again in 2020 on a slightly bigger shoestring and got 1/3 of the votes.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

...

April 18
#108 / Hang On, Sloopy!

Paul Krugman, an economist who writes for The New York Times, is pictured to the right. In his column on March 26, 2021, Krugman addressed “The Decline of Republican Demonization.” In using this phrase, Krugman was contending that the Republican Party used to be able to find political success by “demonizing” Democratic Party economic and other initiatives, calling them “job killers” and “socialist.” This strategy of “demonization” almost always caused the Democrats to fall into “disarray,” says Krugman, and so can be considered to have been a successful political approach. However, according to Krugman, the Republicans are not really doing that right now, or at least they are not pursuing that strategy very effectively. They’re “low energy.” 

Krugman’s column advances some theories on why the Republicans have failed successfully to pursue their traditional strategy, based on a “Demonization of the Democrats.” Krugman’s conclusion is that the Republicans have largely “forgotten how to govern.” 

The Democrats, on the other hand, says Krugman, who are popularly thought to be always in “disarray,” have “held together and have done virtually everything they promised,” as the Democrats have worked to pass the CARES Act, the recently-enacted two trillion dollar pandemic recovery bill. 

In essence, though Krugman doesn’t point this out specifically, Krugman is saying that one of the keys to “governing” (which the Republicans seem to have forgotten) is to “hold on” to a policy or political initiative and to push ahead until success is achieved. 

As I read Krugman’s Friday morning column, the words of a once-popular song sprang into mind. That song, “Hang on Sloopy,” by the McCoys, a rock group from Union City, Indiana, was a big hit in 1965, the year I graduated from college. Somehow, and against my better judgment, that “Hang on Sloopy” refrain has been stamped indelibly into my auditory memory. 

My judgment in the arena of musical appreciation can, I admit, be legitimately questioned. As frequent readers of this blog will know, I tend to operate on an approach to popular music that strongly favors songs that are written and performed by Nobel Laureates. This is, of course, an elitist approach, and in some ways my Bob Dylan prejudice is a kind of personal failure. Still, I would contend that “Hang on Sloopy” is mediocre, at best. Mediocre or not, I still do hear those words, “hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on,” whenever I think about how “hanging on,” in adverse circumstances, is the best kind of advice – and particularly in politics. 

“Hanging on,” in fact, is a requirement for good government. “Insistence,” as I recently wrote, is another word for this vital ingredient. And way back in 2010, in “Under Weigh,” and in Under Weigh #2, I spelled out that “hang on” principle, based on my personal experience in the Merchant Marine: 

What I learned on the ship was that when it’s time to change course, you have to do more than turn the wheel. First you turn the wheel. Then, you hang on! Try applying that rule to your evaluation of our Presidential politics – or our politics in general! Patience and persistence might be the necessary prescription for the kind of change we can believe in. 

I also learned the principle from my own political experience. In 1978, the people of Santa Cruz County adopted Measure J, a growth management measure that I wrote, and that the Board of Supervisors placed on the ballot as a referendum measure. The passage of Measure J marked a fundamental change in land use policy for Santa Cruz County. It mandated the permanent protection of all commercially productive agricultural land, and directed new growth into areas already committed to urban development, thus stopping the sprawl that was devastating our environment (and the county budget). 

Measure J also required that the amount of future growth that our county would accept should be decided, each year, by a public vote of the Board of Supervisors, so that our community could itself decide what kind of future growth it desired, and so that growth wouldn’t just “happen to us.” Measure J also required that a minimum of 15% of all new housing constructed in the unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County must price restricted, so as to be permanently affordable to persons with average and below average incomes. That was an ambitious goal in 1978!

I considered Measure J to have been a major public policy achievement by our local community (one that has not been duplicated anywhere else in California, even to this day). I was proud to have been part of this successful effort. As I continued to serve on the Board (until 1995), the policies established by Measure J were under continuous attack – and this is one of the main reasons I “hung on” for so long (I served for twenty years on the Board of Supervisors). 

Maybe it was after the passage of Measure J that the refrain of “Hang On Sloopy” found a permanent home in my brain! As a political principle, it’s vital. Let’s hope the Democrats remember that, right now, as our country faces a turbulent period in our national politics.

EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. View classic inner view ideas and thoughts with Subconscious Comics a few flips down.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Deep Cover” down a few pages. As always, at TimEagan.com you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog

    May Day

“As full of spirit as the month of May, and as gorgeous as the sun in Midsummer.” 
~William Shakespeare 

“If suddenly the whole workers of the whole world disappear then the whole world will stop! Let us all realise this and let us celebrate the workers – these great people who make our world move!” 
~Mehmet Murat ildan 

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”
~Pablo Neruda

Drybar comedy has a lot of good comics. Here’s one for you!


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Subscribe to the Bulletin! You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!), and the occasional scoop. Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ godmoma@gmail.com

...

Posted in Weekly Articles | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.