Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Claremont: Crime, Kids, and Councils...UPDATED

Claremont sum-up:

Crime, Kids and the PD

Jason Newell writes a Daily Bulletin article about "Claremont's nationally recognized Youth Master Plan, a document that has helped to spur youth programs across the city.

Since the plan's adoption more than a decade ago, Claremont has developed several innovative facilities and programs designed to help keep young people out of trouble and on the path to becoming good citizens, officials said."

Ironically, Claremont has been in the news of late because of two crimes, a rape (see the in-depth Claremont Courier article by Will Bigham) and a hate crime (see the Claremont Courier story by Tony Krickl and the latest Daily Bulletin article by Wendy Leung). The suspects in both crimes are not from Claremont, but Claremont police tracked them down pretty quick nonetheless.

I have no reason to doubt the value of Claremont's Youth Master Plan; it could serve as a model for other cities; and it is good that the Daily Bulletin is highlighting such programs, but as I said in relation to a previous article about La Verne's Youth & Family Action Committee, such programs are not going to solve the problems of Pomona. (Yet another Pomona shooting just made headlines). I'm glad to see the media finally pay some attention to possible solutions for Pomona, but that city faces much harder circumstances than its wealthy neighbors to the north. As Jason Newell's companion piece points out, there isn't a lot of crime in Claremont itself, nevermind gang activity.

Consider that a major issue in Claremont relating to the police department is the city's [fascist] overnight parking policy (see Will Bigham's Claremont Courier article). That and chasing down criminals from outside the city's borders.

Although most residents likely approve of the efforts of the Claremont police department and crime is usually a non-existent issue, Claremont is currently looking for a new chief of police. [Hopefully the new hire will end past and present discontents and divisions within the department. Email me if you have more to say about this.]

City Council Update

Since Claremont city councilwoman and former Mayor Sandy Baldonado has declared she's not running for re-election, the open seat on the Claremont City Council will likely become the swing vote between Jackie McHenry and Corey Calaycay [reformers] on one side and Mayor Peter Yao and Ellen Taylor [status quo] on the other. One of newly filed candidates—Linda Elderkin, Michael John Keenan, Michael Maglio, Opanyi Nasiali or Sam Pedroza—will take Baldonado's seat. Incumbents McHenry and Yao are also up for election in March. Email me if you have more to say about this.

The council is still trying to figure out how to buy the chunk o' land that a recently passed ballot measure forces the city to buy (so as to slow up development and keep Claremont green). The fact that the city of Claremont can up and decide to buy an $11-12 million property in order to slow development down tells you a lot about the difference between this fair city and its southerly neighbors.

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