Tuesday, December 12, 2006

La Verne's Non-Election

Maybe readers would agree that La Verne is a pleasant, peaceful [sleepy?] place to live or even just to drive through. So maybe La Verne residents don't see any need to make ripples in their placid pond. Jason Newell of the Daily Bulletin explains that since "the deadline passed to file paperwork to run in the March 7 election" and "nobody bothered to challenge Mayor Jon Blickenstaff or councilmen Robert Rodriguez and Steven Johnson" in La Verne, "state law allows the city to cancel the scheduled election and reappoint the incumbents." In other words, a nice, easy, automatic re-election for all three incumbents.

Not that we’d have a reason to expect anything different. Robert Rodriguez has been on the La Verne city council for 24 years, and in each of those years Jon Blickenstaff has been the city’s Mayor—now we can tack on at least four more years for Rodriguez and at least two more for Mayor Blickenstaff. (See La Verne Magazine's article on Blickenstaff, who took over his position in 1982 at the urging of the departing Mayor, his brother-in-law.)

There's just not a lot of turnover in La Verne government—Dan Harden has been a councilman for 15 years. He gets a nice write-up from Jason Newell concerning La Verne's Youth & Family Action Committee, which Harden chairs. Its "members talk bluntly about the challenges facing the city's young people, and throw around ideas for what the city, school district, police department and other groups can do to help ... The focus isn't just on gangs, Harden said; affluent La Verne has never really had many gang struggles, especially when compared with some of its neighbors. [It is pretty obvious they are referring to Claremont here. -Eds.]

Rather, the committee's broad goal is to prevent the kinds of anti-social attitudes that can lead to criminal lifestyles in the future."

Fair enough. Such committees are a good idea in any city, but this article seems to arise out of the recent string of "How-do-you-solve-the-problem-of-Pomona?" articles in the Daily Bulletin, and let us just assert for now that Pomona obviously faces a different set of slightly more challenging circumstances. More on that later.

To wrap up our update on La Verne, consider that their police department was recently awarded a "$10,000 grant ... from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control" that "will pay for an upcoming sting of city businesses" and help ensure no one is selling alcohol to minors. That's the sort of news you expect to hear about La Verne.


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Wasn't Robert Rodriguez the Mayor at one point????

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