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For those unfamiliar with the item, this project will eat up much of one block of Melrose Avenue and replace the small, once inviting shops once there with a warehouse/showroom/garage for interior design suppliers.
Carleton Cronin writes on life in the urban wilds of West Hollywood.
The scope of the project dwarfs just about anything else in the area. WHWRA was apparently admonished by the judge at the recent court appeal and reminded that the citizens elected their Council and that the Council should be trusted to do the best thing for the community.
Hardly a democratic view of citizen’s rights to monitor and question their elected officials, I think.
In any case, this situation bolsters my view that we get what we vote – or not vote – for.
The ballot box is the place to remove city officials who do not act in the perceived interests of the citizens.
We can vote them out – and, we can recall them. All it takes is a large enough group of citizens to do that. Ah, but there’s the rub.
Incumbent politicians usually have lots of money, friends in high places (for added support) and a loyal following. In WeHo it’s every man for himself and damned difficult to put a coalition together to unseat or even challenge a single Council member.
That and the fact that the numbers of registered voters who turn out to the polls tends to be abysmally low.
Thus, if some people are unhappy with an individual Councilman, they must gather enough residents of similar mind to swing the election in their favor.
“If thy eye offends thee, pluck it out!” reads the ancient admonition. But people who only complain and do not act are the best weapons the incumbents have.
Who can wait for term limits to take effect?
An obit in the LA Times for January 10 is that of James M. Buchanan, a Nobelist for his theory and work in “applying the principles of economic self-interest to understand whypoliticians do what they do.”
Let me synthesize my views with a quote from my old friend George Washington Plunkitt, of Tammany Hall: “I seen my opportunity and I took it!”
The "gang" of Tammany Hall.
Overwhelming self-interest is usually evident in politicians after the half-way mark of a second term. The shouts of the populace tone down into murmurs which are then overcome by the blandishments of the lobbyists and the office-holder’s entourage and he begins to believe his own PR releases. Soon, he is lost as his vision turns inward.
What he had proposed in his electioneering, “the city on the hill,” for instance, becomes “my city on the hill,” and his office door is open for only those who will see his dream come true.
Does that sound plausible?
Thus, if the effort to establish term limits is based upon current conditions, why are they being proposed for the future? We might not want them in the future.
If enough voters decide that change should take place in the next election, March 5, 2013, that would be democracy in action.
This long ramble was occasioned by the printing of a few letters to the editor following an op-ed piece by Manny Rodriguez.
I feel so strongly that term limits is bad for the democratic process that I had to make a statement.
I truly understand the reasons for the proposal, but it is more of a reaction to a current situation than a preventive for the future. I also believe in vox populi – the voice of the people.
Let’s see how that is separated from the clamor of the crowd.