Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Invasion of the Body Snatchers in my Old Home Town

What a pretty orchard it is. Tell it adios. The suits want it plowed under.

In my hometown we have an ill-mannered, fat lady mayor who always reminds everyone at each city council meeting that she got her MBA in Marketing at Stanford.

I used to have a high opinion of Stanford until I found out they gave out MBAs in Marketing.

They actually have graduate school classes in that?  I thought Marketing was a trade. But anyway ...

This bad-tempered fat lady is determined to build a $175M new City Hall Complex where our modest Civic Center now sits, surrounded as it has been for decades by a lovely apricot orchard.  The orchard, of course, would be the first thing to go once this lady mayor (with the Stanford MBA) gets her bond issue passed and gets out there in our orchard with her 'dozer.

I wasted my time at a city council meeting this week trying to get the council to send out honest, intelligent materials to the voters about this project. Four or five of us hopeless Don Quixotes showed up to try.

We complained about a slanted survey in the materials. Ha ha ha, they laughed and said aw heck, we caught them! Tee hee, they said. It isn't really a survey! Let's change the name and call it something else! Whoops! Now it's a "tool to engage the public in a dialogue." End of problem! Same spurious survey--different name!

Hello George Orwell? You out there?

I felt like Kevin McCarthy when he woke up in his hometown one day and discovered the Body Snatchers had taken over all the real people.

The only good news is I sat there so long at that council meeting, I missed my dinner--which is only a good thing because at my age I have to do everything I can not to end up looking like our mayor.

Anyway, our council members only ever talk to each other, so they thus believe we will be easily fooled by the marketing materials they will be sending out (that we will be paying for) and that any idiot can see are made of cotton candy--all part of their marketing campaign to get their bond passed. Marketing, after all, is our mayor's specialty!

This is the same city council that has brought us a disruptive, not to mention ugly, downtown renovation and new tall and ugly buildings that were banned by our zoning code until they came along.

I'm wondering if they just imported this whole city council--lock, stock, and smoking barrels--from the last town I lived in. You could switch them the way they do wives on those reality shows, and neither the council nor the constituents would ever know the difference.

It would be a comedy, if it weren't so sad and I didn't love my home town so much. I keep thinking of the statue of Adams, Jefferson, and old Ben Franklin in the lobby of our city hall. Those poor old fuddy duddy idealists. They would roll over and die if they knew what was going on.

Lucky for them they already are. Dead that is.

I think it must be about time for me to bury my ideals right next to them.

Can you tell by looking at this marketing material that they are selling us an $81M program to tear down all of the buildings in our Civic Center so they can build newer, bigger, taller ones (and chop down our city's apricot orchard)?
If you looked at that "educational material" a little differently, you might see it as a picture of me, marketing a project I don't like, to myself. (But my hair is a little longer.)

Add to 
Google Reader or Homepage
Subscribe to Robin Chapman News


Don Meuler said...

I'm guessing the mayor doesn't read your blog...

Robin Chapman said...

1.) Don't know if she can read;
2) If she can, she should read the Constitution--it says she works for us;
3) I hope if she is able, she does read my blog, because;
4) It might do her some good to learn that her constituents don't like her playing The Red Queen and souting "Off With Their Heads" at us. Perhaps she didn't learn much about marketing herself at that fancy school she attended.

Robin Chapman said...

P.S. The word on the street is that she doesn't have a sense of humor, especially about herself. I'm using this as an experiment to find out if that's true. She won't advance beyond City Council if she doesn't develop one!

Don Meuler said...

She shouldn't advance beyond City Council, regardless.

Robin Chapman said...

Based on the Peter Principle she's maxed out. You can watch her on YouTube if you can stand it (without experiencing mal de mer!)